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Friday Night Lights (2004)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, Sport | 8 October 2004 (USA)
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Based on H.G. Bissinger's book, which profiled the economically depressed town of Odessa, Texas and their heroic high school football team, The Permian High Panthers.

Director:

Peter Berg

Writers:

Buzz Bissinger (book) (as H.G. Bissinger), David Aaron Cohen (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2,463 ( 68)
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Bob Thornton ... Coach Gary Gaines
Lucas Black ... Mike Winchell
Garrett Hedlund ... Don Billingsley
Derek Luke ... Boobie Miles
Jay Hernandez ... Brian Chavez
Lee Jackson ... Ivory Christian
Lee Thompson Young ... Chris Comer
Tim McGraw ... Charles Billingsley
Grover Coulson ... L.V. Miles
Connie Britton ... Sharon Gaines
Connie Cooper ... Mrs. Winchell
Kasey Stevens Kasey Stevens ... Flippy
Ryanne Duzich ... Melissa
Amber Heard ... Maria
Morgan Farris ... Jennifer Gaines
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Storyline

Odessa, Texas, is a small, town in Texas. Racially divided and economically dying, there is one night that gives the town something to live for: Friday Night. The Permian Panthers have a big winning tradition in Texas high school football, led by QB Mike Winchell and superstar tailback Boobie Miles, but all is not well, as Boobie suffers a career-ending injury in the first game of the season. Hope is lost among citizens in Odessa, and for the team, but Coach Gary Gaines, who believes that "Perfection is being able to look your friends in the eye and know you did everything you could not to let them down", is somehow able to help the team rise up from the ashes and make a huge season comeback. Now on their way to state, the Panthers must go out and be perfect, because they may never matter this much for the rest of their lives. Written by Zac Abrams

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Hope comes alive See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic issues, sexual content, language, some teen drinking and rough sports action | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Najbolji tim See more »

Filming Locations:

Abilene, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,269,025, 10 October 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$61,188,085, 26 December 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the end of the movie, where Permian is trying to score right before the last play, Director Peter Berg can be seen jumping up and down in the stands. See more »

Goofs

When they are previewing the state championship game, the TV announcer says, "It is rumored that six of their players have already signed Division 1 letter of intents." It is against NCAA rules to sign a letter of intent before national letter of intent day. National letter of intent day is always on the first Tuesday in February. See more »

Quotes

Coach Gary Gaines: [half-time speech] I want you to take a moment, and I want you to look each other in the eyes. I want you to put each other in your hearts forever because forever is about to happen here in just a few minutes. I want you to close your eyes, and I want you to think about Boobie Miles, who is your brother. And he would die to be out there in that field with you tonight. And I want you to put that in your hearts. Boys my heart is full. My heart is full.
See more »

Connections

Version of Friday Night Lights (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Memorial
Written by Christopher Hrasky, Munaf Rayani, Mark Thomas Smith, Michael Aaron James
Performed by Explosions in the Sky
Courtesy of Explosions in the Sky
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Real Varsity Blues
9 February 2005 | by zatz-1See all my reviews

This is a very dark sports movie. It's about fanaticism, the great weight of importance certain people place on sports. Sports fans often regard their teams as extensions of themselves. In "Friday Night Lights," the entire town of Odessa, Texas collectively puts their town's reputation on the shoulders of a high school football team. It's basically the same exact plot as "Varsity Blues," except a serious version of high school football in small town Texas.

One thing the movie does extremely well is taking hackneyed plots of the individual players (because it's all been done before) and putting them all in the background. So the plots play out not in a cheesy, inspirational, in-your-face way. Instead, they are just there with only as much attention as the viewer wants to put on them. The great aspects of sports are enough to keep us interested and makes the movie incredibly real.

The only character whose plot is really focused on is Boobie, the cocky running back who is injured and tries to defy his own injury. This is a plot in sports movies that has been focused on somewhat - the injured player. But never before has the pain been so real and so powerful.

This movie is heart-wrenching. Sports movies usually have so many moments of redemption and cheesy happiness that often feel false. This movie only has one such moment and it is incredibly powerful. Nothing about this movie is Hollywood. Billy Bob Thorton gives a great, understated performance as the coach, a man who is simply internal, who can do nothing but sit back and watch events unfold, knowing full well the impact that each game has on himself and his family. All the actors playing the football players do a good job, especially the guy who plays Boobie.

Don't expect this movie to uplift you. But it will show you an interesting side of sports you may have never considered. And, in the end, it shows exactly what is great about sports, and it has nothing to do with winning or making a career out of the game. It's about giving all you have for a teammate.


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