A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Themes include competition, hard work, the importance of family, tragedy, triumph, and teamwork. Race and class are also issues. All of these issues are dealt with realistically and insightfully.
Positive Role Models
These are flawed, complicated characters; many mean well. Cast is diverse, but there's also plenty of racist language, and race is an issue in the final game.
Violence & Scariness
Rough football skirmishes with some bloody injuries; a father is abusive to his son.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
References to "getting laid," making out, implied teen sex, bare back and quick glimpses of bare breast.
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Language includes "s--t," "hell," "damn," "ass," "goddamn," the "N" word, "Jesus Christ," and "oh my God" (as exclamations).
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Underage drinking; an adult character abuses alcohol.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Friday Night Lights has some tense family scenes with an abusive father. Underage characters drink, and an adult character abuses alcohol. There are sexual references/situations (including passionate making out and some quick glimpses of bare breast) and use of the phrase "getting laid." The football scenes are powerfully staged and very intense; some skirmishes result in bloody injuries, and viewers may almost feel that they're the ones getting tackled. The movie is frank in its treatment of race and class. Expect some strong language ("s--t" and more). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Director/co-screenwriter Peter Berg has produced a movie that has both immediacy and resonance, filled with moments of authenticity and insight. Friday Night Lights has an intentionally rough, gritty, bleached, documentary feel, but Berg is in complete control, with every shot a small gem of precision and mastery. Many of the performances are quite moving, and, as always, Thornton brings subtlety and natural honesty to his role.
Within a very traditional sports movie structure, Berg assembles a mosaic of gem-like moments that illuminate a much bigger picture. This is not a football movie -- it's a rich and meaningful story about people who play football and the people who watch them, with respectful and poignant insights, beautiful performances, and sensitive treatment of issues that touch us all.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.