The Slaughter Rule Reviews
Starring a young looking Ryan Gosling, Drive To Dream (The Slaughter Rule), is about a young inspiring American football player who gets cut from his team because his coach thinks that he hasn't got enough anger in his heart. With nothing to do in his small Montana town, he falls for a young girl who shows up at his dads funeral and he starts playing football for a man that he meets in a diner (David Morse). Whilst training with his new team, Roy Chutney (Gosling) starts to hear rumours about Gideon's (Morse) past which questions there close friendship. His relationship with Skyla (Clea Duvall) is also under pressure because she doesn't really feel love from the troubled teenager. After a few games on the road, the team doesn't really progress into anything special because they don't really gel together that well and there coach (Morse) has his own personal demons to deal with. I quite enjoyed this emotional drama which was made with a small budget, before Rosling became the mega-star that he is today. His distant acting style worked well with this role and David Morse was brilliant as his father figure/coach but it does seem like it was made for TV. Its always good to see these massive Hollywood stars older movies to see if they can actually act, which Gosling proved that he can. His style hasn't changed that much but he has covered many other genres since this film. Its a watchable movie which does have different elements to keep the movie interesting but it's very one toned without that much substance. Its worth a watch just to see Gosling at a young age but from a entertaining prospective, it's very average.
This movie was made when Gosling, 34, had just starred in Remember the Titans, which was a small role and the Believer which didn't go down well with audiences. He really became a household name after starring in the Notebook, which became a worldwide hit. Since then, he has starred in some decent movies like Stay, Fracture, Half Nelson, Blue Valentine and Drive. He then turned to comedy in Crazy, Stupid Love, were he showed off his impressive abs and became the love of women all around the world and then he went back to his usual moody movies in the Place Beyond the Pines, Gangster Squad and the weird Only God Forgives. He has chosen to stay out of the limelight for a while but he will be coming back soon in movies like the Bladerunner remake, the Haunted Mansion, the Big Short starring Brad Pitt, Christian Bale and Steve Carrell and the Nice Guys with Russell Crowe. This film was directed by Alex & Andrew Smith who have only made a couple of shorts before making this small movie. They really did get the most out of Gosling & Morse in this emotional drama and you can tell that they relied on the script more than fancy shots and extravagant scenery. This isn't a feel good movie and there are some depressing scenes but the actors did give it there all and it's good to see how far Gosling has come.
Worldwide Gross: N/A
I recommend this movie to people who are into their emotional dramas about a promising teenage football player who gets dropped from his team and plays in a small league in his town, with his father figure coach. 4/10
Recommended. But not unforgettable.
Despite the novelty of its setting, 'The Slaughter Rule' is a fairly conventional coming-of-age tale about a boy who grows into manhood by becoming a member of a ragtag six-man football team. Roy is a teenager trapped in a small Montana town whose life has not been going any too well of late. His father, with whom he had only the most casual of relationships, has been discovered dead on a railroad track, a possible suicide victim. His mother, embittered by their divorce, sleeps around with countless men and has no real inclination to provide her son with any but the most cursory form of maternal affection. On top of all this, Roy has just been rejected for the school's varsity football team because the coach finds him lacking in the kind of 'anger' he feels a player needs to be a success on the gridiron. When Roy is asked by Gid, a somewhat eccentric older man in the town, to come join his six-man football team, the youth only reluctantly acquiesces (six-man football is a near rule-less poor relation to the real game, one ostensibly only played by farm boys). It is at this point that Roy's growth into manhood begins, since it turns out that the enigmatic Gid, who one assumes will be merely a father figure for the affection-starved youth, may be seeking more than just a father/son, athlete/coach relationship with the boy.
This latent-homosexual subtext, in fact, is just about the only element that separates 'The Slaughter Rule' from countless other films in this genre. Most everything else about the film feels derivative and stale: the emotionally distant parents, the promiscuous, psychologically detached mother, the abusive stepdad, the sweet girl who wants to flee this hicksville town as fast and as far as a bus ticket can take her. Towards the end, especially, the filmmakers start to pile up the heartbreaks and tragedies, one on top of the other, almost to epic proportions. One wonders how so much can happen in so short a time to so small a group of people. In the almost two hour running time of the film, only the ambiguity of the Roy/Gid relationship arouses any real interest in the viewer.
Ryan Gosling is tremendously appealing as the troubled Roy, and David Morse (the father in 'Contact') turns Gid into a nicely sympathetic figure. The starkness of the Montana landscape also provides an appropriate backdrop for the bleak melodrama that is playing itself out in the foreground. Apart from these few quality elements, however, there isn't a whole lot else to commend in 'The Slaughter Rule.'
The Slaughter Rule exceeded my expectations as a small film with huge talent, excellent performances, a superb cast and a compelling, tightly directed story.
The Smith Brothers shine in their first film. David Morse and Ryan Gosling give nuanced and sensitive performances. The supporting cast is consistently excellent, especially David Cale and Eddie Spears. This is primarily a male story, but Kelly Lynch and Clea Du Vall give great supporting roles and make you want to see more scenes with them.
A dreary Montana winter teaches teenager Roy (Ryan Gosling) how to be a man. First, he loses his father, a possible suicide; then he's cut from his high school football team. So when Gid (David Morse), a pariah in his own hometown, suggests that Roy play for his six-man team, Roy has nothing to lose -- or so he thinks. But all too soon, Roy is overwhelmed by his love for an older woman (Clea Duvall) and pressure from the brusque-but-paternal Gid.
Roy gets cut from his high school football team just days after his estranged father dies. For him, football is more than a proving ground; it is a promised escape from his lonely rural existence and salvation from the paralyzing passivity that dominates his life. Enter Gideon, a loner living on the roughneck fringe who is looking for gamers--kids who scrap hard--to play on his six-man football squad. Roy joins the Renegades, and he and Gideon enter into tenuous friendship that pushes the limits of male bonding.
A young man finds solace with a young woman, his mother, and a high-school football coach who recruits him to quarterback a six-man team.