Sling Blade Image
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 68 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A southern gothic tale about a man named Karl (Thornton), who's just been released from an asylum -- some 25 years after he committed a gruesome crime. He returns to the southern town of his youth, where his quiet, gentle manner and simple charm land him a job and lead him to an unlikely friendship with a young boy (Black) and his widowed mother. When the mother's abusive boyfriend appears, however, this simple man is thrust into a combustible dilemma that has powerful, moving consequences for all. (Miramax Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Christopher Sharrett
    100
    Sling Blade is about a society barely holding on by its fingernails, the home and hearth hardly a place of respite. Unlike "The Ice Storm" or "The Sweet Hereafter," Sling Blade is devoid of the creature comforts of middle-class life that at least allow people the degraded hobbies that keep them functioning. [May, 1998]
  2. Who is Billy Bob Thornton? The question fascinates after seeing Sling Blade, the extraordinary first film that he wrote and directed and in which he plays the leading role. [Feb. 10, 1997]
  3. Reviewed by: Tom Keogh
    90
    The lure of Sling Blade is both elemental and hauntingly familiar, and I would not be surprised if Thornton's breakthrough film is one day considered a classic in its own right.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard T. Jameson
    87
    What evolves among them is a kind of realistic fairy tale, sustained by the sweet gravity and guttural, deadpan minimalism of Thornton's performance.
  5. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    80
    (Thornton) does a remarkable job in all three categories, but what you're likely to remember most clearly is his performance.
  6. Billy Bob Thornton wrote, directed and stars in this compassionate, occasionally funny, character-driven movie about a mentally unstable man who takes the best interests of children very seriously.
  7. Thornton is sadly affecting in the film's central role.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 35
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 35
  3. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. YvonneH.
    Aug 20, 2006
    10
    This is a story that while calmly told has you on the edge of your seat because you know it's going to have blast of an ending. Well written, great acting. It is so true to life it seems to be based on a true story. Billy Bob and the little boy's acting were amazing. Expand
  2. WiggyMan
    Dec 22, 2005
    10
    Amazing performances, great story. Billy Bob is a freak of the highest proportions :)
  3. Aug 24, 2013
    10
    A masterful script. Outstanding acting Thorton is spellbinding in the lead role. His opening scene is without doubt the best I've seen.This is storytelling at its finest and directed with confidence, conviction and ease. Light and shade, humour and a fierce undercurrent of tension. To every film fan watch it now! Expand
  4. lj
    Sep 23, 2006
    10
    i just seen the movie. Awesome, never thought i would get inot a movie like this. Awesome, i just hate i am just now seeing it.
  5. May 4, 2014
    10
    Billy Bob Thornton succesfully makes himself a centre of this film : a director, a screenwriter and a leading role, but you will clearly remember one of those, an extraordinary performance. A tagline : "Sometimes a hero comes from the most unlikely place." may has a different point of view, beautiful and dark come up, but it's nothing to do to this film. This film makes Southern storytelling / drama genre more powerful and stronger. Expand
  6. MsG
    Dec 24, 2006
    10
    As a mental health professional, Billy Bob's portrayal was excellent and moving. This story is all too common and realistic about people in psychiatric hospitals, from Karl's character to the sadistic rapist in the hospital to Doyle's drunken abusiveness. Excellent portrayal of too common a life for many. Expand
  7. Nov 28, 2012
    8
    Featuring (quite possibly) Billy Bob Thornton's best performance in a film, "Sling Blade" is a simple, yet emotive drama with as much humor as it has heart. Expand

See all 35 User Reviews

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