An effective look into the sometimes insane world of high-school football. Supposedly based on a true story, Billy Bob Thornton plays a football coach with immeasurable amounts of pressure on him to bring his team to the state championship. Lucas Black (his Sling Blade
costar all grown up) plays the team’s quiet quarterback, Derek Luke plays phenom Boobie Miles who knows nothing other than football, and Tim McGraw (country singer and decent actor) plays an abusive father who can’t handle his son’s (Garrett Hedlund) failures. The acting is superb, the sports scenes rousing, and the soundtrack excellent. This is a real triumph for actor-turned-director Peter Berg, whose best film before this was The Rundown
. Not your average sports movie, and a big, pleasant surprise.