Friday Night Lights Reviews

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Tony Macklin
Bright Lights Film Journal
February 2, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.0/5
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
October 7, 2004
Friday Night Lights is like a third-down play that needs to pick up four yards but gets only two.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine
October 6, 2004
Director Peter Berg's adaptation is the cinematic equivalent of a recovered fumble: not disastrous, but also not terribly good.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Garth Franklin
Dark Horizons
October 30, 2006
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jeff Otto
IGN Movies
October 7, 2004
Friday Night Lights is a disappointment in the end because it could have been so much more.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Brian Orndorf
FilmJerk.com
October 8, 2004
Lights only diverts narrative tedium when the gladiators take the field; effectively drowning out the nonsense that eventually takes place off the field.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
Joshua Tyler
CinemaBlend.com
October 7, 2004
How you view the film will undoubtedly depend on how much you share the movie's unhealthy attitude towards competitive sports.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
May 26, 2006
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Rob Blackwelder
SPLICEDWire
October 6, 2004
The games are dynamically filmed...but they lack credibility as players on both teams are obviously on a script and big plays are stage-managed to a ridiculous degree.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher
October 8, 2004
[A] lifestyle advertisement for the noxious small-town culture that turns high-school football players into local heroes, no matter what price these young men have to pay.
Kevin Carr
7M Pictures
October 11, 2004
I can't help looking at this as an indictment of the high school football system.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
October 8, 2004
There's an interesting movie struggling to get out of Friday Night Lights, but every time it tries it gets rushed and tackled.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Vince Koehler
Entertainment Spectrum
October 11, 2004
The extreme close ups and use of a hand held camera part of the time was tedious, but as the film progressed, the excitement built to a tumultuous conclusion.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Chuck O'Leary
Fantastica Daily
October 8, 2004
...so ineptly and annoyingly filmed that it should be used in filmmaking classes... to demonstrate how not to make a movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly
October 19, 2004
Graduate work in the Jerry Bruckheimer school of overproduced, underwritten gut shots. Though Berg's big-game finale will win fans, the buildup feels like one long time out.
Daniel M. Kimmel
Worcester Telegram & Gazette
October 8, 2004
[T]he belief that high school athletics is something worth ruining lives over is more likely to strike one as pathetic than praiseworthy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Michael Booth
Denver Post
October 8, 2004
Editing out many of the body blows and personal fouls from Bissinger's hard-hitting account, Friday Night Lights on film tends to punt just when true insight demands going for first down.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Harvey S. Karten
Compuserve
October 9, 2004
A routine, rah-rah sports movie.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Paul Doro
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
October 7, 2004
By abandoning all attempts to explore the town's obsession with the game, opting instead for sports-movie cliches and more slow-motion tackling, the filmmakers fall short of the goal line.
| Original Score: 2/4
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing
October 13, 2004
A true-life yarn that was dubbed by SI as "one of the greatest sports stories of all time" has now been turned into one of the dullest sports films of recent years.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
October 18, 2008
Top Critic
Stuart Levine
Variety
October 1, 2010

ComingSoon.net
October 19, 2004

Boston Phoenix
October 19, 2004
Top Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 19, 2004
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