Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Allison Benedikt
    There isn't a bad performance here, but besides Thornton, Luke stands out.
  2. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    The best sports movie for years, as it's not about sport at all. Forget fears of jingoistic grandstanding, this is an un-American all-American tale that deserves attention.
  3. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Few films have shown so powerfully the slashing double edge of sports fever.
  4. 88
    The movie demonstrates the power of sports to involve us; we don't live in Odessa and are watching a game played 16 years ago, and we get all wound up.
  5. A smart, sharp, stirring adaptation of the H.G. Bissinger best-seller.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    One of the best football movies ever, Nights in the end celebrates the game.
  7. Thornton, giving a splendid, disciplined performance, seamlessly shapes his coach into a believable man of quality rather than star-size charisma.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 100 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 66
  2. Negative: 17 out of 66
  1. Jan 17, 2014
    While I know this came first, seeing this in comparison to the TV series is like night and day. On one hand, the TV series is phenomenal. On the other, this is not. The story just feels so abbreviated and hastened. The great part about the TV series was that while it was about football, of course, it was about so much more than that. It was about the characters and their daily lives and then how everyone would unite on Friday to play football. In the movie, and this is to my point about the abbreviated nature of the movie, a lot of the characterization was missing and it ultimately felt almost impersonal. Sadly, this is why I could not enjoy this one a ton. Now, it was an ok movie and all, but cerainly not as great as I would have hoped. This story is clearly just better suited for television where everything can be explored in greater depth. Full Review »
  2. Apr 10, 2013
    This movies is truly great because of the way he portrays the "Texas" way of life.
    Peter Berg also did a pretty great job in developing
    characters because you can really relate to them.
    Ending of the movie is heartbreaking and I would strongly recommend this movie to everyone, even if you're not a football fan.
    Full Review »
  3. Dec 6, 2012
    Thanks to winning performances from Thornton and others, "Friday Night Lights" lifts itself above the conventional inspirational sports drama by relaying a deliberately honest message and never deterring from it. Full Review »