Friday Night Lights - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Friday Night Lights Reviews

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½ May 16, 2018
Arguably an alarming look at how intense America takes high school football, 'Friday Night Lights' balances some intense on-field action with a dramatic storyline while capturing the culture of high school football where the young men carry the weight of their small town on their backs.
May 14, 2018
Strengths: Like the show that came after it, the film is shot beautifully. Peter Berg just gets how to handle football on a screen. Every game is shot to perfection. It focuses on what it needs to and does so with the breakneck pace and sharp cuts that come with the game of football. The story manages to be inspiring and uplifting, but also heartbreaking at times. It does a pretty good job balancing the large cast of characters and makes you feel for each of them. Nearly every character gets some kind of arc and grows from beginning to end. If we're looking for standout performances, they come from Billy Bob Thornton (Coach Gary Gaines), Garrett Hedlund (Don Billingsley), and Derek Luke (Boobie Miles). Thornton gets to give one of the best sports speeches in film history, while Hedlund has a tough, layered character, and Luke carries an emotional story for a character who goes from unlikable to sympathetic. The final game is fantastically set up, with many ups and downs that tug at your emotions.

Weaknesses: The movie is ripe with clichés. It's as if the filmmakers wanted to take every trope you see in a sports story and cram it into this. From the injured top star causing the resilient backup to take his place to the arrogant star to the player having an abusive father to the championship game involving a major comeback. It also felt like some people were underutilized. For example, Connie Britton (Sharon Gaines) plays the coach's wife and barely gets screen time. As we saw on the FNL show, she's a fantastic actress who could've been a key part of some big scenes if properly used.

Overall: There are a few things that prevent it from being among the very elite in sports movies, but it's damn close. Friday Night Lights is a masterfully shot film that portrays the relationship between a coach and his team very well. There's a lot of emotional punches throughout, making it the kind of roller coaster you want to experience in your sports movie.
April 19, 2018
A good movie but extremely strange. To have the best moment of your existence at 17 then you became old, the glories of your life already in the past. I'm reminded of those great opening lines from The Lover: "Very early in my life it was too late. At eighteen it was already too late. I aged." Freaking sad movie!
July 14, 2017
Favorite movie ever!
May 28, 2017
Countless clichés. I enjoyed the explosions in the sky music.
March 2, 2017
An inspiring sports drama with a well written story.

A drama that chronicles the entire 1988 season of the Permian High Panthers of Odessa, Texas, with football players, coaches, mothers, fathers, pastors, boosters, fans and families struggling with ongoing personal conflicts while the team fights for a state championship. A town for sale, Odessa, Texas has seen better days--the financial bust evident in its boarded-up shops and broken lives. Yet one hope sustains the community where, once a week during the fall, the town and its dreams come alive beneath the dazzling and disorienting Friday night-lights. When the Permian High Panthers take to the field. In a city where economic uncertainty has eroded the spirit of its inhabitants, nearly everyone seeks comfort in the religion of the Friday night ritual, where the unfulfilled dreams of an entire community are shifted onto the shoulder pads of a team of high-school athletes.

It feels like the sports drama has the potential to be extremely impactful but at the same time, it also has the potential to be the most cliche. Nowadays, most sports movies tend to follow the same routine, making them predictable and saturated. Considering this film is much older, its story is still well written and although it's a little predictable at times, it still makes for some powerful moments.

It really feels like this film has a Southern vibe in it and since its set in Texas, that's kind of a given. Considering this story took place years and years ago, it does feel like a different period within sports. The way people view their sports and the kids that play in it is much different then how they're treated today. Not necessarily in terms of glamour, but in a different kind of way. I enjoy the story and it feels like something we don't see ALL the time.

The screenplay was well written and like I said earlier, there were a handful of powerful moments in this film. Every player has their own learning curve and hardships that they have to face, and each one feels different. You have a variety of personalities among the team and it never felt like any of the conflict was forced. I like seeing these teenagers grow and just how they navigate the pressure of this time period.

Along with the screenplay, the editing and the soundtrack were also fitting for the film. It felt like the pacing was done really well and the film was well directed. It's a really solid piece of work and it's a sports film that I think many people should watch.
½ January 12, 2017
Not As Well Done As Oliver Stone's "Any Given Sunday" But The True Story Thing Gives It Good Gravitass. There Is A Few Good Performances. It Drifts A Couple Of Different Ways In Terms Of Story & Kinda Loses It's Key Focus At Times..Nothing Too Serious, But It Does Take Away Given A Long Running Time.
½ January 10, 2017
Aggressive, but shows off the true sides of the sport. It was an interesting true story of a team that tries just about everything to make it big, even through the pain and suffering of individual players.
December 19, 2016
One of the better football movies since it spends time focusing on the depressing drama surrounding the game and the characters are well-done. At the end of the day it's still about a sport so I wasn't totally engaged.
October 5, 2016
This is a top sports movie. The importance placed on character development, personal growth and the bonds that can be formed on a team, give this story it's soul. Mix that in with the most realistic sports action to ever hit the big screen and you end up with a gritty, thought provoking film. All of you who don't like this movie have obviously never played a team sport. Those of you who have will def find a connection to this tale. Life isn't about winning but the character, experiences, lessons and friendships you find along the way.
September 2, 2016
A must see high school football drama!
July 21, 2016
its an alright football movie
July 14, 2016
Billy Bob Thorton is disgusting
June 29, 2016
excellent as a drama and as a sports movie. great acting all around. It's an eye-opening look at America's obsession with football.
½ June 18, 2016
72%
Saw this on 18/6/16
This is one of the least arousing sports movies that I have seen in recent times all because of the innumerous amount of cliches that plague this movie. Despite lacking a drive or clear character development (except for a few of the characters), this film succeeds in parts because at times its story seem fresh and emotional, but that kind of a feeling does not stay for long while watching this movie. The action in the field seems uninspired on the whole and Peter Berg's direction, though good is not his best.
½ May 26, 2016
Una muy buena historia, de las mejores peliculas de futbol americano que se han hecho, llena de pasion, las escenas de juego y entrenamiento te hacen sentir como se vive en realidad el futbol americano de prepas en USA, altamente recomendable.
April 19, 2016
Billy Bob Thornton is excellent in this. When playing the manager of a sports team it is much easier to go down the drill instructor route and start screaming and shouting. Thornton is mostly calm and calculated but when he does dish it out he let's em have it. A terrific performance. I know nothing about American Egg Chasing but the action sequences looked great and it has a solid soundtrack.
February 22, 2016
Never before has the roller-coaster of raw emotion that is high school sports been captured so accurately on screen. The cast all gives excellent and convincing performances, the plot is realistic and often surprisingly thought-provoking. It all adds up to a heart-wrenching finish that genuinely brought tears to my eyes, something pretty rare for me. This is the greatest football movie ever made, and yes it's even better than Remember the Titans.
January 30, 2016
"I give it a 10 a fucking 10!!"
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