3. THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME FROM FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (2004)

Friday Night Lights gave casual audiences a look at the near-religious following that high school football has in Texas. The film culminated in the state championship game where Permian High battled Carter High for dominance in Dallas. To people from the area, this wasn’t just a game, it was life or death.

The game itself was intense and dramatic, thanks to director Peter Berg’s eye for action and a moving halftime speech that gave people a glimpse at the bubbling emotions that go into every big game. Like any sports movie worth its salt, the big game came down to one last play. Instead of bowing to Hollywood formula, Permian High comes one yard short and loses in the end. The towering highs and devastating lows of football are on full display here, and the sobering outcome further establishes the realism of the movie.