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Friday Night Lights
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  • In West Texas, Football IS Life
    You can't fully appreciate what high school football means to a West Texas town unless you go there. The Odessa landscape reminds you of the moon, dry and desolate. The week drags on like purgatory, until Friday nights.

    "Friday Night Lights" realistically captures what day to day life is like where prep football is king, and everything else doesn't matter. High School football is in every pore of every person who lives there. Winning teams are treated like gods, until they lose. Then they're on you like a pack of wild dogs.

    This movie shows what it's like to live and die for the game. You see the unbelievable sacrifice that kids, parents, and coaches put up for this. You may tend to brush this aside as just a phase in teenage boys lives. It's much more than that.

    After the movie, be sure to watch the feature with the real players and coaches of the Permian Panthers. You'll see just how close reality and filmaking have come here. I came away from "Friday Night Lights" wishing I could have been there. And thanking God I wasn't....more info
  • Never thought I'd like a football movie
    Much less one about high school football. However, Friday Night Lights manages to make you care about these kids and the pressure they're under, plus provides some good insights into the small town mentality and the politics involved in public school sports. It also goes to show how relative achievements (don't want to create any spoilers here) not only in competitive sports but in people's perceptions of life....more info
  • I must defend this movie- because it's a good one.
    Many are complaining that this movie isn't congruent to the actual facts (this may be an understatement). But I must defend the movie because of the artistic merit of the screenplay, the photography, the film score (good job "Explosions in the Sky"), the actors, and the actresses.

    For a momment, let's consider other Hollywood films "based on true stories":

    Remember the Titans
    --Fargo
    --Goodfellas
    --Casino
    --Black Hawk Down
    --JFK
    --Born on the Forth of July
    --Starship Troopers (no, just kidding)

    and most recently, Invincible (with Mark Whalburg)

    and many many more...

    OBVIOUSLY, the foregoing list of movies have many factual errors. FOR EXAMPLE, The police chief in Fargo was a man (and not a pregnant woman as depicted in the film).

    Hollywood creates these films and stamps "Based on a true story" on the movie in order to SELL and MARKET the film. The producers and film makers KNOW that they operate outside of the facts; producers DO NOT ATTEMPT to fabricate a movie exactly as it occured in real life. This is called "Artistic Liberty".

    Notice that before the movie began, the subtitle which appeared DID NOT say, "This film is an ACCURATE re-creation of the actual events..." The movie is not meant to be a documentary- it is meant to entertain rather than inform. If the producers wanted to make a documentary, then they failed. But the producers of Friday Night Lights wanted to make an entertaining and hard-hitting football flick.

    Also, at the end of the credits, a disclaimer appears stating specifically that the charecters and incidents portrayed in the film are fictional and any similarities to actual persons or events are merely coincidental. Therefore, we must realize that the movie is a work of FICTION!

    Friday Night Lights was a great film- highly recomended. ...more info
  • One of the best football movies ever
    Living in Texas it's almost a right of passage to watch this film. A true story it's sure a touching one when you see what these young men with subject themselves to for a trophy because it's so much more than that. I watched this film with a good friend who was brought to tears. This is a film, not about football but about comrodery, about devotion and dreams and acheiving those dreams through devotion and yes, comrodery. What's starts off somewhat like a documentary on 'making the team' or 'meeting the team' turns into a heart tugging event as you watch these young men go through quite a bit in order to realize their dreams. The QB and his devotion, not only to the sport but to his ailing mother. The running back who lives under the shadow of a former famous father (played BRILLIANTLY by Tim McGraw) who is now quite the drunk and abusive to boot. And then there's Booby Miles...the star of the team, but with a hurt knee he because a loose link in the chain. You can really see how these kids rely on each other to pull through. The scene where they are all crying on each other in the locker room is especially touching. What stood out to me was the end, the 'where they are now' type part and you see that only one member of the team is doing anything football related now...it shows that these kids are just normal kids, and now they are normal men, but it was the dream that was so real it made them almost superhuman. This is a great film to watch over and over with brillant acting by most of the cast. Billy Bob Thorton is fine, but outshined by Derek Luke (brilliant kid) and Tim McGraw (I was floored...but he STOLE every scene he was in) as well as Lucas Black, a relative newcomer who played the QB and real heart of the team. Wonderful movie that will tug at the heartstrings and by the end will make you feel proud to be a Texan...err...well, you fill in the blank _______________....more info
  • Made me think of my own high school football days....
    Even after having read the excellent book, and knowing what would happen, I still thought this was an incredible movie. Even though it shows how obsessed Odessa (and Texas) is with football, and not in the best light, it's the truth on how it is there, as well as many other places in the country.

    The best part for me is how it can show, even if you don't like your teammates, you have one common goal and will do anything to get there together. Plus the moment with the Billingsley's at the end was awesome. Words can not describe that scene for me....more info
  • Well Made Movie
    Friday Night Lights has a more refined development of the key characters than what you usually see in HS sports movies. It does a great job of exposing how they deal with challenges and setbacks, with some memorable scenes....more info
  • WOW!!
    This movie was something that I did not expect very much from to be honest...but I was hooked right from the time that I pressed the play button on the DVD player! Great story that acutally made you care about all of the characters!! Loved the extras that came with the DVD too...great interviews with all involved!!
    If you like football...even if you don't (like myself), you will not be dissapointed in this film!!! Rent or buy today!...more info
  • Almost Home
    Let me begin by saying that I enjoyed this movie very much and would recommend it to anyone, sports fan or not.
    The movie accurately portrays the small town Texas football mania with all its good and bad characteristics. ( Actually, in my hometown [pop.2200] Odessa would be considered a "city" ... they have a Wal-Mart.)
    Where the movie breaks down is in period detail. The clothes are wrong for Texas of that time. Heartbreakingly missing is the "Surfer-cowboy" look so popular with small town boys. ( This consisted of starched Wrangler jeans, roper boots, Hawaiian shirt / OP t-shirt, and was topped off with a cowboy hat and cheap knock-offs of Ray-Ban Wayfarers.) My Mother is still offering to sell me the photos of myself from this era to keep my kids from seeing them.
    Also, while I found the score for the film to be very well done, the period music just didn't fit with my memories of the time. ( I graduated 2 years before in '86.) I don't remember rap music being very popular in small town Texas in the late 80's. Some pop-rap such as MC Hammer and Tone-Loc had made some inroads, but to us Public Enemy was still Bonnie and Clyde. The mainstays were classic rock, hair metal and country music. Of course the sum total of African American kids at my high school was zero, and that might have had something to do with it.
    The film also glossed over or omitted several facts form the book. The Odessa - Dallas Carter game was a semi-finals game, not the finals game; and it was played at Memorial Stadium in Austin, not the Astrodome. There was quite some controversy over the fact that several Dallas Carter players had failed academic subjects for the term and were inelligible to play under Texas' "no pass - no play" rule. This was swept under the rug because no one wanted to look "racist", and possibly because Odessa's academic performance wouldn't bear close scrutiny. Also omitted was the fact that several Carter stars were arrested for armed robbery the next year, and most of them had Division 1 scholarships in their pockets at the time. ( probably not pertinant to the main story, but I thought it was hilarious.)
    I'm probably quibbling, and these minor points don't detract from a fine movie that I have watched several times and found enjoyable each time....more info
  • The Greatest Sports Movie Ever Made.
    Friday Night Lights more than lives up to its billing as the best sports film ever. Based loosely on a true story, the movie tells the story of a small-town high school football team, as they follow their dream of winning the state championship.

    The acting is top-notch, the football sequences are action-packed, and the emotive punch is undiminished from the poweful, moving book.

    This DVD belongs in any serious sports fan's library, and even non-sports fans will find it engaging and satisfying. Well worth its modest price. Five stars!...more info
  • Friday Night Lights - Blu-ray Info
    Version: U.S.A / Universal / Region Free
    Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
    MPEG-4 AVC BD-50 / AACS / High Profile 4.1
    Running time: 1:57:39
    Movie size: 38,83 GB
    Disc size: 45,15 GB
    Total bit rate: 44.01 Mbps
    Average video bit rate: 35.86 Mbps

    DTS-HD Master Audio English 3986 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3986 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
    DTS Audio French 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
    DTS Audio Spanish 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
    Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround

    Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
    Number of chapters: 32

    #Audio Commentary
    #Deleted Scenes (SD - 22 minutes)
    #Featurettes
    --Peter Berg Discusses a Scene in the Movie (SD - 1 minute)
    --Player Cam (SD - 4 minutes)
    --Tim McGraw: Off the Stage (SD - 6 minutes)
    --The Story of the 1988 Permian Panthers (SD - 23 minutes)
    --Behind the Lights (SD - 26 minutes)
    --Gridiron Grads (SD - 14 minutes)
    #BD-Live enabled...more info
  • A stellar yet somewhat troubling motion picture
    There can be no doubt that Friday Night Lights is a remarkably good motion picture, but I have to admit that I have mixed emotions about the film. Maybe that is a good thing because one thing this movie makes almost all of us do is think about ourselves. The majority of us are in there somewhere - maybe you're the dad who puts too much pressure on your kid to be a star athlete, or the coach's wife whose very way of life becomes defined by a simple game made much too complicated by the community, or the rabid fan who lives and dies with your team and never hesitates to berate a coach or player who makes one mistake. Maybe you're the star athlete who saw your dreams die in the form of a serious injury, or the little guy who had to prove your toughness, etc. If you care enough about sports to watch this movie, you're in here somewhere.

    Back to my mixed feelings, though. I love football; it's a great sport that lets you have some fun and learn important lessons, such as teamwork, you can put to good use throughout your life - but there is an ugly side to the sport, and Friday Night Lights shows you just about everything that is wrong with this great game. There is nothing fun about being a Panther during the season chronicled in this film. On day one of practice, every kid on every high school team should want a state championship, but none should expect it. Desire brings out the best in you, while expectation sets you up for a fall. In Odessa, Texas, though, the very spirit of the game is betrayed by the adults in the community; not only do they expect a championship, they demand it; these most rabid of fans might know every play in the playbook, but they know nothing about what football (in my opinion) should really be all about. The stress these kids feel to not only win, but pulverize every opponent is much more than any 17-year-old should ever have to bear.

    The film basically takes us through the 1988 football season for the Panthers, from the first practice to the final game. That first practice sets an ugly tone for what is to come, and things get even uglier when the team's star running back hurts his knee in the first game. It will not be a perfect season in Odessa. Losing, of course, brings out the worst in some people who were already pretty bad to begin with. The parent of a chronic fumbler, already embarrassed that his son isn't following in his footsteps, pretty much goes off the deep end; the quarterback, living with an ailing mother and desperate for a scholarship that can take him away from this town, gets pushed pretty close to the breaking point, and the star player refuses to believe he is seriously injured because he can't imagine a life without football. What of the coach, the enabler, the molder of young minds? Billy Bob Thornton may be terrific in this film, but I never got inside the head of the coach he played. In the end, I see him as perhaps the worst kind of coach you can have. He's not honest with his team, he doesn't take care of his players, and he puts an obviously injured player back in action without even consulting either of the doctors who examined him. He plays down expectations at times, but it's just an act; all too soon he is frothing at the mouth on the sidelines. Some say he figures things out in the end, realizes that football is just a game, but I disagree. That heartfelt talk with the quarterback: a cruel form of motivation; that half-time speech at the big game: more psychological motivation. It's all about winning for him - that's my interpretation, at least.

    The film does have its moments, though. When the injured superstar finally breaks down, it's more than a poignant moment - the film virtually stops right there; it's one of the most powerful scenes I've seen in a long time. Other big moments, though, rubbed me the wrong way. Having your father finally show something better than contempt for you is good, but the reason why it happens in this case sends a message I find quite wrong.

    This is definitely a film about high school football. Academics, the very thing that high school is supposed to be all about, is nowhere to be found here - except in the reading problems of a certain star athlete and random comments about more money going to athletics than education. As a full-fledged nerd, and as someone currently involved in education who has to hold his tongue when he sees luxurious athletics buildings erected on a campus desperately needing additional classrooms, I am going to have to stifle myself right here. It does disappoint me a little bit to interpret this film the way I do - for, the way I see it, it ultimately says winning isn't everything - but it is pretty darn close. Whatever its message, though, Friday Night Lights does make you think, and it is a gripping sports-related film, and that is more than enough to make it well worth watching....more info
  • NOW THIS IS A GREAT SPORTS MOVIE!!!
    Every so often, an absolutely magnificent sports film comes along - and this is one of them. A relatively unknown cast, apart from the always reliable Billy-Bob Thornton, delivers heart-felt performances. Based on a True Story. The film follows a group of teenage boys giving everything they have to win and get out of their small "going-nowhere" town. Juggling class, relationships, family problems and a "zero tolerance" loss syndrome from the town's folk - they've got their work cut out for them. It's the kind of movie that has your hair standing on end up the back of your spine. Excellent direction and a phenomenol performance by Country Singer TIM McGRAW as one time football star eeking out an exsistance in the small town - living only on his name and what his name once brought him. Also watch out for Lucas Black - who's going to end up as one of the biggest up and comers in Hollywood! A GREAT MOVIE - YOU CAN WATCH OVER AND OVER AGAIN. In the same vein as, REMEMBER THE TITANS & MIRACLE!!!...more info
  • Awsome Football Flick!!!
    It certainly started out as just another football film (though over-directed with a hyper-active camera)...the parties, the sexual shenanigans, the over-the-top characters. I was ready to pan the film.
    But then it heated up. Once the season started, and the football action became the centerpiece, this film shined. The characters were compelling and you really felt for them and their individual situations.

    I am not a Billy Bob Thorton fan, but I was pleasantly surprised by his controlled performance. Too often the coaches in football movies are completely over the top. Thorton had the strength to get on people - but he never over did it. It was a football coach. And the movie ended on a strong note. The half-time speech Thorton gives during the final game is something that gives a former football player goose bumps. It really encapsulates what its truly like to be a part of a football TEAM...and how powerful that experience can be.

    I have seen movies like "All the Right Moves", "The Program", "Varsity Blues" and the laughable "Any Given Sunday". NONE of them can hold a candle to this movie. Any football player or fan needs to watch this film...the best football movie I have ever watched.

    ...more info
  • Friday Night Lite - but enjoyable anyway



    The best thing about "Friday Night Lights" is how it exposes the small town obsession with high school football. In Odessa, Texas, where the story is set, businesses shut down and radio sports commentators opine with the pretentious air of political pundits when the Permian Panthers take to the field. Now this is some serious football country, as the mood of the town fluctuates with the win/loss record of the team and family dynamics follow along with the ebb and flow of the season. It may be that somebody down there in Odessa just seriously needs to get a life.

    Based on the book by H.G. Bissinger, the film recounts the 1988 season when Coach Gary Gaines, despite the loss of his best player, still managed to carry his team to the state championships.

    Unfortunately, the storyline and characters in the film are not always as interesting as the setting and milieu. The drama is occasionally lacking and many of the characters rank as little more than hoary sports movie cliches: the supportive coach's wife; the abusive, alcoholic father trying to relive his high school glory days through his son; the cocky star player humbled by the exigencies of a cruel fate. Yet, the film has assets that help it to overcome some of the weaknesses of the script. Billy Bob Thornton plays Gaines as a thoughtful, even-tempered individual who knows what it takes to win but understands that life does not begin and end on the football field. His inspirational locker room speech towards the close is restrained, pointed and well delivered. In fact, the coach seems far less obsessed with winning than many of the ordinary folks he runs into - and has to take unsolicited advice from - on a daily basis. It is that pressure to win at all costs - placed not only on the boys but on the coach as well - that the movie dramatizes so effectively. The film also makes it clear that, for many of these boys, football is the only ticket they will ever have out of small town America.

    "Friday Night Lights" isn't nearly as compelling and involving as "Remember the Titans," but diehard football fans won't be complaining. ...more info
  • great film based on an amazing book of a truley good story
    I loved this movie and It portrays The football team from Permian H.S. in west Texas well. Totally recomend this film but you should read the book of the same name 1st so you get all the characters back stories. ...more info
  • Average At Best
    A so-so flick with a plot that is rather mundane and weak character development that leaves the viewer not really caring much about these small town future nothings. Acting is adequate but the drama is somewhat contrived as the actual events and scores for that season were less then thrilling. Most annoying is the terrible cinematography by Tobias Schliessler and the editing by David Rosenbloom and Colby Parker is atrocious. That said, compared to all of the other trash released in Hollywood these days it is still a watchable film. Rent the DVD on $0.99 night....more info
  • High school football as a glorious religion
    For an appreciation of this excellent film see the beautifully written review by D. Mikels. What I want to do here is present a counterpoint. I played high school football too and might have sat on the bench a little less except that I was a slow-footed T-quarterback at a school that ran the single wing. Yes, it was that long ago.

    The football presented in this film by director Peter Berg is a little different. In fact it is a whole lot different. Here high school football is the most important thing in the world, not just for the players and coaches, but for the entire town. If you drive through a west Texas town or an Oklahoma or even an Indiana town on a Friday night in the fall, the town will be deserted (as in the movie) while the stadium at the high school will be lit up like a gigantic Christian revival meeting in which it might be fully expected that Christ will appear to perform the Second Coming.

    It is no exaggeration to say that in the heartland of America the rites and rituals of football, joined into by almost the entire populous, take on all the trappings of a most zealous and evangelical religion. What Peter Berg has done here is capture that maniacal devotion and idolatry--that oh, so American way of life in a quasi-realistic way.

    I say "quasi" because there is some license taken with reality by the film makers. First of all, and most importantly, the players are too old. Derek Luke, who plays star running back Boobie Miles (and does an outstanding job), was 29 when the movie was filmed. Jay Hernandez who played Chavez was 25. Anybody who really plays football or coaches it can tell you there is a world of difference between a young man of seventeen or eighteen and one of twenty-five or thirty.

    And the scenes filmed especially for the movie with the flying tackles and the rolling flips and the bone-crunching open field tackles--forget it. Those are staged tackles, like kung fu fights in Chinese movies. Everything looks fantastic only it's about as realistic as a barroom fight in an old cowboy movie from the forties.

    What is realistic? When sexy, saucy blonde Melissa goes looking for her trophy seduction of the MoJo quarterback--that's real. She knows that the highest status in town belongs to the star of the high school football team, and the highest status of any girl is to get that guy. Also realistic is the pressure put on coaches and administrators to win football games. Winning isn't a matter of life and death. As some coaches will tell you, it's more important than that. And they mean it. Die and you're only dead. But lose at football and you are disgraced for life. Typifying this mentality is Don Billingsley, father of running back Charles, who wants to beat the life out of his son for fumbling the football. Can't the kid see that you let down your teammates, your school, your town, your friends, your relatives and God Almighty if you fumble the f-ing football?

    Also real is Boobie Miles's answer to what subject he gets all A's in: "There's only one subject. That's football." Or this line from a disappointed fan calling in to the local radio jock show after the team loses a game: "There's too much learning going on at that school." He's not kidding. He means it. Too much time in the classroom. Too little on the field.

    So is this film--as its devoted fans believe and know to be true--an ode to the glory and beauty of football? Think again, jockstrap. It's a glorification. It represents a mentality in which the greatest events of life occur when you're eighteen years old. After that it's all over. What you got left is beer, the wife, TV, and Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days." Or to choose another lyric, what you've got are "Veterans of the fight/Fast asleep at the traffic light." (Jackson Browne)

    There are a number of goofs and anachronisms in the movie. IMDb lists a dozen or so including cars in the parking lots that weren't even made in 1988, the year of the film, and football gear used that didn't exist then. But that doesn't matter, and nobody who loves this film cares in the slightest about that because what really counts is the fantasy, the imagined and recalled glory of a time when everything was new and astonishingly vivid, when events made indelible marks on our hearts and souls. When we were all 17. This then is mythology in the making and in the living.

    The question begs itself: is this good or is this bad? Is football as a religion something to be treasured or condemned? Personally I have mixed feelings. Young men have aggressive tendencies that need to be channeled and middle-aged men need to play war games. Football allows an acting out of these needs without undue harm to anyone. Certainly football is better than gang-banging.

    When, some many years down the road, the history of cinema is brought up to date, this film will be remembered because it is a very good film, and Billy Bob Thornton's fine performance as Coach Gary Grimes will be appreciated. But instead of the film being seen as a realistic portrayal of what it's like to play and be involved in high school football, it will be seen as a commentary on the sociology of middle America in the late 20th century, a time when the nation was very rich and football was not only king but something close to a way of life, something indistinguishable from a national religion....more info
  • Friday Night Lights
    Is there a such thing as "I" in TEAM? Critics may argue this question, but when it comes to the film Friday Night Lights (2004), based on a true story about one high school football team in West Texas, there is no "I" in TEAM. The film follows the true events of the Odessa-Permian Panthers, an elite high school football team in West Texas, in 1988. The game of football isn't just something to do in this die-hard football town, but more like life or death where expectations of an undefeated season and winning the state championship is not only an achievement, but a requirement!
    Critics could argue that there is an "I" in TEAM in the beginning of the movie where the Panther's star player, James `Boobie' Miles (Derek Luke from NJ), makes the thought of losing unimaginable. That stands true, until Boobie suffers a severe season-ending knee injury in the first game of the season which automatically results more in teamwork than in the performance of one `key' player. The film does a great job with its handling of the needed injured athlete facing an unknown future by adding suspense . Since revealing the character would spoil the film, the audience can see the actor (Derek Luke) give an amazing performance of great burning frustration, drawing sympathy from them in a way that the character's previous arrogance did not. The film portrays this character's conflict very well by showing this frustration as he awaits his unknown future.
    With a few losses later in the season, the coach, Gary Gaines (Billy Bob Thornton), goes from hero to zero in the eyes of the supporters. Friday Night Lights portrays what a real football season is like with the pressures of life and supporters. Although they didn't have the undefeated season as expected, the Panthers still manage to succeed in making it to the state championship with teamwork and individuals who step-up into the fame. With screenwriter, Peter Berg's shaky camera shots, the viewers see that this isn't your typical football movie, instead, more like a reality show that adds a little extra legitimacy to the standard components: the constant parental pressures, the die-hard obsessive town, the hot-headed coach, the odds push toward the big game. Despite the many components in action, this emotionally fulfilling journey ends with an unexpected twist unlike most films.
    Despite the many conflicts and pressures of high school, supporters, as well as family, Friday Night Lights isn't about the performances of each player, but more about what happens in the hearts of each of them. The film is about both the sport and the problems that each individual player faces during their bumpy season. Without a doubt, Friday Night Lights is by far the best sports movie ever made, and a personal favorite, that everyone must see!
    ...more info
  • Excellent Satire
    As I watched this film, I kept thinking about a recurring 'Married With Children' joke, "I played high school football for Polk High. I scored four touchdowns in one game." If only one of the characters, like Al Bundy, sold women's shoes after graduation. Unlike this movie, the end of High school is not the end of life, but the beginning. If fifty-five thousand people have nothing better to do than go to a high school football game, as portrayed in this movie, three millenia of philosophy, literature,and art has been wasted on simple-minded dolts. Friday Night Lights illustrates how pathetic and shallow high school football and American culture is. Move on, please. ...more info
  • Best movie i have seen
    Hey everybody this is a really great movie. If you are looking for a football movie that has great actors and such you have found it. ...more info
  • Easily, the most honest sports movie, ever...
    I played lacrosse in a state-ranked town, where the kids all grew up walking around with sticks, dreaming of a state championship and trying to get a lax scholarship. the high school coach would call us at home when we were in elementary school if we didn't show up to box lacrosse on sunday. you had to hang out with the players on the team, you had a curfew on game night, and everyone associated you as "a lacrosse player"...it was the worst, no fun at all, it was a business, no place for kids...i quit my senior year, giving up a sure scholarship and scoring prestige...but i left with my sanity and lived my life the way i wanted...needless to say, this movie is what happens...the pressure is unreal for the kids, they just wanna be kids...i understand why the coaches do this, cause' it works, conform or get lost...that is, unless, you are a star player, and you get special treatment...i know more than half of us got arrested in the 95-96 year...they had to change the sports handbook to adjust for athletes getting arrested 3 months before the season starts...hahahaha...insanity......more info
  • Phenomenal Movie
    I read the book this film was based on several years ago and thought it was absolutely riveting. This movie truly captures the spirit of the book in a way that few adaptations can. True, in the book, and in real life, the Permian Panthers met the Dallas Carter Cowboys in the semi-final game of the state playoffs and not the championship game, but the end result was the same.

    The film follows a season of Odessa (Texas) Permian High School football and anyone from anywhere near the area has heard about West Texas football and how seriously it's taken by the inhabitants of the region. Permian plays it's home games in a $20 million football stadium, an amazing thing for a high school to have. High School football is almost always played on Friday evenings during the fall, hence the title "Friday Night Lights".

    But this is not your typical movie depiction of sports, it's based on a real story like most movies about sports, but it differs in that it's much more real. In this movie are all the ugly things that as much make up life as all the good things. Early in the season the star player, Boobie Miles, blows out his knee and has to come to grips with the fact that he'll never be the same player, never go to the big-time college football school, never go to the pros. He's 17, almost an adult and the only thing he is prepared to do in life is play football, and now he is physically unable to do that.

    We also see the intense pressure leveled on the coach, Gary Gaines, to succeed; in Permian a good season isn't enough, a State Championship is always expected. After the second early season loss, coach Gaines and his family arrive late at night back to their house, only to see about 30 "For Sale" signs planted by angry fans in his front yard.

    In the end, the Panthers triumph, not on the field, not as a team, but individually, each knowing in his heart that he did everything possible to win. And three players a couple of days after the final game meet at the parking lot of the high school, and each go their seperate ways. The QB tossing a ball off to a group of kids playing in a nearby field as he walks away.

    And in real life, for 95% of high school football players, and 95% of college football players for that matter, that is the reality of football. The last game for your school is the last game that you will ever play. Football is unique in that respect, you don't see adult football leagues like you do soccer, baseball, softaball, volleyball, etc. leagues. Once your school career is over, the game is done with you. All you will ever do from now on is watch.

    And the movie catches this poignancy perfectly, one of the most beautiful endings I've ever seen in a film. The overall feel of the movie is more that of a documentary than of a dramatic presentation. And it's wonderfully done. Even if you hate sports movies in general, you should watch this one. It's different, wonderful, and not to be missed. You'll be sorry if you do....more info