Friday Night Lights

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Friday Night Lights ★★★ 2004 (PG-13)

Excellent tale about West Texas and its love for high school football. Based on the 1990 nonfiction account written by H.G. Bissinger of the 1988 season of the Odessa-Permian Panthers team, the film showcases the be-all, end-all small town fervor for the game and the all-consuming impact that has on its teenaged players. Among those are arrogant star running back James “Boobie” Miles (Luke), shy and insecure quarterback Mike Winchell (Black), and troubled tailback Don Billingsley (Hedlund), who's abused by his alcoholic dad (country singer McGraw, making a notable debut). Thornton gives a fine performance as Coach Gaines, a reserved man who knows his job is on the line if the team doesn't make the state championship. 117m/C VHS, DVD, UMD, HD DVD . US Billy Bob Thornton, Derek Luke, Jay Hernandez, Lucas Black, Garrett Hedlund, Connie Britton, Lee Jackson, Lee Thompson Young, Tim McGraw, Grover Coulson; D: Peter Berg; W: Peter Berg, David Aaron Cohen; C: Tobias Schliessler; M: Brian Reitzell, David Torn.