• R, 2 hr. 14 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Billy Bob Thornton
    In Theaters:
    Nov 27, 1996 Wide
    On DVD:
    Jan 1, 1998
  • Miramax Films


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Sling Blade Reviews

Page 1 of 4
John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews

Much of the audience appeal relies on the film's simplicity

Full Review Source: Old School Reviews | Original Score: B

February 15, 2012
Emanuel Levy

Marking Billy Bob Thornton's debut as a director and solo writer, Sling Blade is a powerful southern gothic parable about good and evil.

Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: B

July 22, 2011
Ryan Cracknell
Movie Views

Well acted, a multi-leveled story and a pure honesty make Sling Blade one of my favourite films of the 1990s.

Full Review Source: Movie Views

August 28, 2009
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews

Thornton brings three key ingredients to the table: distinctive, rich, authentic Southern locations, patient and painterly atmosphere, and a precise and fresh character to study. [Blu-ray]

Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 12, 2009
James Plath
Movie Metropolis

Thornton offers a subtle, thoughtful script, generally sensitive direction, and an understated performance, uh-huh.

Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Original Score: 8/10

August 1, 2009
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Excellent character study of a mentally challenged person.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: B+

July 23, 2009
Michael Dequina

The film's many rewards cannot be described in conventional terms.

Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com | Original Score: 3.5/4

September 17, 2005
Kevin Carr
7M Pictures

There will never be another film like Sling Blade. And I reckon we'll have to live with that... Mmm-mmm.

Full Review Source: 7M Pictures | Original Score: 5/5

September 7, 2005
Forrest Hartman
Reno Gazette-Journal

These days Thornton is seen primarily as an actor, but with "Sling Blade" he proved a true auteur.

| Original Score: A+

July 15, 2005
Emily Blunt
Blunt Review

A deep and thoughtful masterpiece - now on director's cut dvd!

Full Review Source: Blunt Review | Original Score: 4/4

June 16, 2005
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis

...a moving, poignant, humorous, chilling, and melancholic motion picture, with a bravura turn from its writer/director/star.

Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Original Score: 8/10

June 3, 2005
Judith Egerton
Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

Sling Blade derives its power from Thornton's affecting characterization of Karl Childers.

Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY) | Original Score: 3.5/4

July 1, 2004
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

There is almost nothing slipshod about the film and I suspect that it will only seem more impressive the further we get from the flurry of hype ...

Full Review | Original Score: A

November 1, 2002
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

This riveting character-driven drama is a cautionary tale about the ways in which violence desecrates all life.

Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice

August 31, 2002
Rita Kempley
Washington Post
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A masterpiece of Southern storytelling.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 5/5

May 8, 2002
Janet Maslin
New York Times
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An abundance of long, flat medium shots that rob the film of intimacy and give it a sleepy pace.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

May 8, 2002
Michael Atkinson

This may not make the film a party renter, but in a tired indie world of guns, goatees and slack urban romance, it's the razor-sharp real thing.

November 12, 2001
James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

a Southern gothic tale of love and redemption that feels at every turn strikingly original

Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk | Original Score: 3.5/4

February 27, 2001
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
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A mesmerizing parable of good and evil and a splendid example of Southern storytelling at its most poetic and imaginative.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 5/5

February 14, 2001
Sean Means
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In Sling Blade, Thornton lays claim to the title of hyphenate of the year.

January 1, 2000
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