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movie review Friday Night Lights
Rated PG-13
Runtime: 1hr 57min
Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Derek Luke, Garrett Hedlund, Jay Hernandez, Lucas Black

MFG Rating: 4/5

Based on true accounts from a book by H.G Bissinger titled: Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream. This film gives a sometimes touching, and other times ugly look into the lives and fears of the small town of Odessa Texas and their Permian High School football program. From the both the book and the movie, it appears there isn't a whole lot to do when you grow up in West Texas so, if you are a young man and you live there it is almost assured that you will follow in the footsteps of your daddy and his daddy before him and play football for the Odessa-Permian Panthers, And you will WIN!!!

The Panthers are a Perennial Powerhouse in the state of Texas and have won state as of 1988; The time this movie was set a total of 4 times and were National champions once. The town expects nothing less from the team and the coaching staff than another State championship. Anything less would be considered a failure. So, if there were one character in the movie that could be considered "main", it would have to be the coach. Coach Gary Gaines (Billy Bob) is the one the town will blame or praise in victory or defeat and Thornton was the perfect choice to bring him and his desire to win to the screen.

Like most major sports movies, the story follows a few players and the actors that portray them; This film is no different. The star running back, Boobie Miles (Derek Luke) is the centerpiece of the Panthers Offense and considered by most to be unstoppable. The impact he serves is evident from the first scene in the film when you see scouts from practically every division one college in the NCAA studying his every move… at the first practice of the season (WOW!). Do I need to tell you what happens next? Yes? Good, cause I was gonna do it anyway.

Get ready for it because the drama is about to thicken like a Milkshake from Johnny Rockets (drool)… The first couple of games Boobie and the Panthers run up and down the field on the opposition and there isn't a doubt in any ones mind that they will go undefeated all the way to the state championship, until… dun-dun-dun… He stays in too long in a blowout game and gets injured. Now with the Panthers trailing and no star to carry them to the promise land, the hopes of the season fall on the shoulders of the Senior Quarterback Mike Winchell (Lucas Black) who's job until tonight was to do nothing but hand the ball to Boobie (I just like typing the word Boobie) and not lose the game. The team fights hard without their star but the other team fights a little bit harder and just like that the hopes of being undefeated fly out the window. The town's disgust is pretty clear when you see the coach's front yard after the game. Well, I will let you figure the rest out for yourselves. You know the drill. Buy a ticket and see it for yourself. We only guide we don't spoon feed.

Critics around the country (not that I give 2 flying F's what they think) are raving about this film and calling it the GREATEST sports movie of all time. Now, I don't know if I would go that far but, I would definitely put it in the top 5… With that being said, I give it 4 very big stars; The only reason it does not get 5 is there were no car chases to speak of and the T&A is very limited. But, the hits in this movie are some of, if not the best ever filmed.

- JC

 

Vital Stats
                   
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Gun Play
                   
The only gunplay other that a skeet shooting session in the middle of a rock quarry is the “Shotgun” formation that the QB finds himself in the entire time to keep from getting mauled… BOOM!!


Blood & Gore
                   
Some very nasty cringe moments when the bones crack and the helmets fly around... Love it.


Car Chases
                   
Nope. But, the receivers running down field and getting clocked is almost as unnerving as a head on collision.

T&A
                   
A couple of boob shots and a fine little sl*t scene in the bathroom.


Chuckles
                   
A little but this movie leans on the side of the dramatic.