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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as Roy Chutney
as Gideon Ferguson
as Tracey Two Dogs
as Russ Colfax
as Waylon Walks Along
as Gretchen Two Dogs
as Uncle Peyton
as Coach Motlow
as Matt Kibbs
as Forfeit Referee
as Slick Higgins
as Nelson Chutney
as Jolene Chutney
as Football Announcer
as Keno Lady
as Male Nurse
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
Ryan Gosling and David Morse give terrific performances; I was very impressed by both of them actually. Features a young Amy Adams in a minuscule role.
Most prominent for being an early starting vehicle and a sign of what was to come of Ryan Goslingâ(TM)s career, The Slaughter Rule is a low-key, humble and honest look at misery, the attempt to escape it and, eventually, the search for mercy when it seems as though darkness has surrounded you. Well-written, acted and directed, The Slaughter Rule doesnâ(TM)t hit the viewer over the head with its themes, characters, developments and character relationships. Itâ(TM)s far from straightforward and more of a character study than anything; one that, due to the largely unfamiliar setting and way of life, might be difficult to grasp for some people. Ryan Gosling stars as Roy, a high-schooler who is having the worst winter of his life: his father dies, heâ(TM)s cut from his high school football team and any connections that he forms with people are eventually disrupted by Royâ(TM)s uneasiness, his inability to trust and the inexperience in the line of passion. With his father gone and his mother busy with her own problems, Roy becomes distant with a local girl heâ(TM)s intimate with, fights with his best friend and doesnâ(TM)t trust his new, low-level football coach (David Morse), who Roy believes to be gay, but simply wants to be there and be supportive of Roy. The film isnâ(TM)t within its bumps in the road. Itâ(TM)s only eight years old, but in terms of compassion, The Slaughter Rule shows its age. While the relationship between Roy and Coach is ultimately harmless, the viewer canâ(TM)t help but believe Coach to be gay as his characters companionship is depicted in a jaded form. On the other hand, the relationship between Roy and the local girl is underdevelopment and their split seems to come out of the blue and the viewer is never given any clear means as to how Roy deteriorates the relationship. However, the film is loaded with symbolic metaphors that play off of its main points and, though unlike the average person in todayâ(TM)s culture, Roy is a relatively easy person to empathize with. The Slaughter Rule is a slow watch that takes its entirety to come full-circle, but for some it will be worth it.
Typical. A typical troubled, confused, coming of age kid meets & being enlightened by a typical old man with a mysterious past & dark secret. But a not so typical acting by both David Morse & Ryan Gosling.
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