Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

Peter Berg (2004)

112min
12A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Billy Bob Thornton delivers yet another robust but nuanced performance in this atypical American football movie that focuses not on the highs and lows of winning and losing, but on the intolerable pressure that is put on players barely old enough to shave. Based on a true story, it centres on the Permian Panthers, a high-school football team from the small Texas town of Odessa, a place warped by its obsession with the game and oblivious to the human cost of this fixation - the disturbing truth is that these boys' lives effectively end the moment they graduate. Thornton is outstanding as Coach Gary Gaines, a man who is aware of what the sport is doing to his young charges and does what he can to protect them, but whose job, ultimately, is to ensure that they win. On one level, this is an intense and exciting sports drama, shot in grainy documentary style but with quick-fire editing. However, it's also intelligent and - particularly in the final credits, which reveal what happened to the boys - undercut with a powerful sadness.

Summary

The huge success of a high school American football team becomes an obsession for the residents of a struggling Texas town. As the economy crumbles and underlying tensions threaten to erupt, the squad's victories provide a beacon for the townsfolk - but at a heavy price. Sporting drama, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Lucas Black and Garrett Hedlund.

Cast & Crew

Coach Gary Gaines Billy Bob Thornton
Boobie Miles Derek Luke
Brian Chavez Jay Hernandez
Mike Winchell Lucas Black
Don Billingsley Garrett Hedlund
Charles Billingsley Tim McGraw
Sharon Gaines Connie Britton
Chris Comer Lee Thompson Young
Ivory Christian Lee Jackson
L V Miles Grover Coulson
Director Peter Berg
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: UIPGuidance: Contains some violence and swearing. Available on: DVDReleased on: 13 May 2005
Drama