Friday Night Lights

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

In this football drama based on the book by H.G. Bissinger, Gary Gains (Billy Bob Thornton) is the coach of Odessas Permian High School Panthers, the most successful football team in Texas in the 1980s. In this town, football is not just a game. Its a way of life. Parents hopes and dreams for their sons are that their team will make it to the state championship, giving them a shot at football scholarships. The pressure is so great for these young men to perform that they sometimes play when theyre hurt. Football coaches are forced to move when they do not produce a winning team. Every Friday night, the faithful fans fill the 20,000-seat Ratliff Stadium to cheer their team on to victory. But the pressure is too great for some of these young men, and they are pushed toward the breaking point.

How hard should parents push their children to perform? In one instance after a boy drops a ball, his father ridicules him and then tapes the ball to his hands with duct tape. In another case, a mother spends time with her son reviewing plays. Players are looked up to when they do well and looked down on when they fail. On a radio talk show after a loss, a caller says, They spend too much time learning in that school. The coach challenges the team to be perfect and then explains that the game is not about points but rather if you can look others in the eye with a clear conscience because you gave it your all. The team is seen reciting the Lords Prayer and is encouraged to have love in their hearts for their teammates. There are a couple of instances of sexual situations, and bad language is used throughout the film, which is the primary reason it is not recommended by Preview.

Preview Reviewer: Alan Boyer

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (21) times mild (hell 9, damn 6); moderate (b-stard 1); strong (-ss 5)

Obscene Language: Several (8) times moderate (s-word 8)

Profanity: Several (5) times (strong (GD 3, J 2)

Violence: Several times mild (football action including some unsportsmanlike action; when a boy loses his helmet and is on the ground, a teammate kicks the helmet hitting him in the face; some fighting and struggling among teammates); moderate (intense football action with hard hitting)

Sex: Few times mild (couple is seen disrobing preparing for sex but is interrupted, implied sex when couple is seen putting clothes on afterwards)

Nudity: Few times mild (woman seen without top from behind very briefly, woman seen in underwear, man seen in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few moderate (boys says they are going to get laid)

Drugs: Few times mild (brief scene of a party with heavy drinking using a beer funnel, wine is served during dinner party)

Other: Racial slur (n-word 1)

Running Time: 117 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.