The Slaughter Rule (2002)
Critic Consensus: A bleak but original indie, The Slaughter Rule benefits from outstanding performances by Ryan Gosling and David Morse.
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Critic Reviews for The Slaughter Rule
Having made his name as a ferocious, self-hating Jewish skinhead in The Believer, 22-year-old Ryan Gosling gives another memorable performance as a lonely, world-hating fatherless quarterback in The Slaughter Rule.
As compellingly played by Morse, a great actor who gives pic more than it gives him, Gideon comes off as a sensitive soul who knows how risky it can be to appear too sensitive in a small town.
The film's powerful meditation on masculinity gets much of its credibility and punch from the two leads, especially Morse, a reliable character actor who sinks his teeth into a role with heavy physical and psychological demands.
David Morse, who's spent the last 20 years kicking around network television and building up an resume of impressive movie credits, establishes himself as a truly formidable presence in this powerful first feature by Alex and Andrew Smith.
Writer-directors Andrew and Alex Smith go for emotional truth, but what they come up with is often silly.
Audience Reviews for The Slaughter Rule
[font=Century Gothic]In "The Slaughter Rule", Roy(Ryan Gosling) is not having the best of weeks - his father is killed, then he is cut from his high school football team, apparently for not being angry enough. A coach of an independent six-man football team, Gideon(David Morse) recruits him to his team. There are local whispers as to whether Gideon's interest in Roy is purely professional...while Roy catches the eye of an attractive waitress, Skyla(Clea Duvall).[/font] [font=Century Gothic]"The Slaughter Rule" is a deliberately paced movie that takes full advantage of its unique setting in rural Montana. The beautiful scenery contrasts wonderfully with the hardscrabble lives of the characters. I thought it did a very realistic job of portraying small town life especially for the teenagers. I wish it had made more of a statement concerning masculinity, though. The performances are fine, especially David Morse who finally gets to play a character he can sink his teeth into.[/font] [font=Century Gothic]Note: On Saturday, I saw "Dallas 362" where Kelly Lynch plays a widowed mother. In "The Slaughter Rule", she plays a character who is officially divorced when her ex-husband is killed. Is this a trend or am I really having one of those weeks?[/font]
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