Friday Night Lights
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H.G. Bissinger's best-selling true-life account of a few months in the life of a high-school football team comes to the screen in this adaptation written and directed by Peter Berg. Odessa, TX, is an oil town in the western part of the state that's home to the Permian High School Panthers, the football team with the best winning record in the state. Odessa is a town with more than its share of problems; the decline of the oil business in Texas has set the city's economy into a tailspin, and racial tensions still erupt into violence on occasion. But football is the one thing that… More
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© Universal Pictures
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Few films have shown so powerfully the slashing double edge of sports fever."
‑ David Ansen, Newsweek
"Nuance typifies both Mr. Thornton's highly calibrated performance and the film's absence of unnecessary underlining."
‑ Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
"So much more than a football movie."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"Had Billy Bob Thornton not been so good in so many films, people would be talking about this as his greatest role."
‑ Richard Luck, Film4
"You'll leave the theater somewhat emotionally spent -- feeling like you've been tackled by a 220-pound linebacker -- but it's worth the ride. One of the best sports movies ever."
‑ Mark Moring, Christianity Today
"A heart-pounding big-screen treatment that captures all the action of a tumultuous season while showing the emotional toll on the players."
‑ Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader
"Substitutes slick, cynical point-scoring for insight."
‑ Charles Taylor, Salon.com
"What Friday Night Lights offers is the perspective that, for the people and young players caught up in this whirlwind, football simultaneously means everything and ultimately nothing."
‑ Jeffrey Chen, Window to the Movies
"The script spends at least as much time exploring the psychologies of the young players and the problems they face at home as it does rallying the audience behind their efforts on the field."
‑ Rick Kisonak, Film Threat
"The movie's principles are seriously out of whack, even as it angles toward a Big Life Lesson about learning to live with falling short of greatness."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"The affecting, gruelling result is less a document of recreational sport than one of obligation and ordeal."
‑ Ben Walters, Time Out
"Friday Night Lights is the real deal, a grim, in-your-face expose of one West Texas school's fanatical sports program."
‑ Glenn Lovell, San Jose Mercury News
"Friday Night Lights is a feel-good movie, but it's not real. It's a hard-hitting Hallmark greeting card. It's no wonder it appealed to Larry King %u2014 it's safe, easy, conventional, and feigns incisiveness."
‑ Tony Macklin, Bright Lights Film Journal
"While the atmosphere is excellent, and the general elements all strong, the film sadly fails to give any real insight or depth in regards to explaining the hows and whys of the near fever over the game and its players."
‑ Garth Franklin, Dark Horizons
"The best sports movie for years, as it's not about sport at all. Forget fears of jingoistic grandstanding, this is an un-American all-American tale that deserves attention."
‑ Ian Nathan, Empire Magazine
More reviews for Friday Night Lights on Rotten Tomatoes

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