The Slaughter Rule - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Slaughter Rule Reviews

Page 1 of 2
September 26, 2015
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.

Budget: $500,000
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
½ January 27, 2014
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.
½ January 1, 2014
Truthfully this didn't hold my interest, I watched about half of it, 08.13 "After he is cut from his high-school football team, a teen (Ryan Gosling) joins a local squad organized by a stranger (David Morse) who forms a bond with his student."
½ January 18, 2013
he's really great in this movie
½ March 19, 2012
Most prominent for being an early starting vehicle and a sign of what was to come of Ryan Gosling‚(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 doesn‚(TM)t hit the viewer over the head with its themes, characters, developments and character relationships. It‚(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, he‚(TM)s cut from his high school football team and any connections that he forms with people are eventually disrupted by Roy‚(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 he‚(TM)s intimate with, fights with his best friend and doesn‚(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 isn‚(TM)t within its bumps in the road. It‚(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 can‚(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 today‚(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.
½ January 17, 2012
The story of a coming-of-age boy. It will get you through some really intense scenes and you'll get to know the main character step after step; I found "The Slaughter Rule" fascinating in its simplicity. It's a good movie to see, it's cold and it kind of reminded me of that inadeguate feeling I had when I was a teenager.

Recommended. But not unforgettable.
October 9, 2011
Washed-out, humdrum sports flick which even young Gosling cannot rescue. I didn't stick around for the outcome but I could smell it coming a mile off.
October 1, 2011
This movie might be off putting to some based on how well you can handle the subject material. I liked this movie a lot. Sure this isn't the greatest football movie but I think it's up there. The performances were great but the two that stuck out the most were Gosling and Morse. They both fit perfectly with their characters and they were just terrific. The characters themselves were great especially Gosling's character you can't help but to actually care for him. The music in this movie was great and set a nice tone. I can't help but to wonder, didn't the kids have school? You hardly ever see Gosling and his friend in school. Some of my questions were not answered in the end but, the ending to this movie was great and really well done. I enjoyed this movie a lot, it was great despite all my questions not being answered 3.5/4 stars. I'm not in the mood to type a well thought out review but this movie is great, Ryan Gosling is just terrific in this film and he's a terrific actor overall.
½ May 7, 2011
was a wierd awful movie about a gay old man
½ February 25, 2011
Ryan Gosling does it again.
Super Reviewer
February 17, 2011
Ryan Gosling, Clea Duvall, and David Morse all give great performances. Gosling is, as always, pretty darn outstanding. The locales are often breathtaking. Amy Adams was an unknoun actress at the time of this movie who would have thought!

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.
February 14, 2011
Tuff for me to sit all the way through this one but I've seen it twice in a month. Very good acting.
½ October 5, 2010
Ryan Gosling was wearing my fav # lol Btw he is such a cutie pie =)
½ August 13, 2010
ryan looked really young, i liked it cuz he was in it
July 15, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
½ October 20, 2009
Sooooooooooooo boring!!!!
August 18, 2009
Homoerotic football film (I fucking hate football movies) that takes place in a hick mountain town in Montana, about young twink Roy Chutney (Ryan Gosling) who gets cut from his high school (?) football team and joins this crazy old man's (David Morse) amateur football team. Everyone in town says the guy is gay, and he takes an extreme liking to Roy. So the whole movie you're thinking "is this guy a fucking pedophile or not?" That seems to be evident when they're wrestling and he starts kissing the kid in his ear. I hate all football movies, so I thought a homoerotic twist on one would make it more interesting. It doesn't, this is a long, boring film about boring, uninteresting people. Oh, and I hate Ryan Gosling. I heard he walked off a film recently because he thought he was a bigger star than he was and wasn't being treated like one. Dude, you were just in The Notebook, it wasn't like Transformers or anything. You're not fucking Shia Lebouf or someone you know? He was great in that Lars and the Real Girl movie though, so that was nice.
½ June 4, 2009
I really loved the Montana winter backdrop. Alot of odd characters in this movie, but I adore Ryan Gosling and this was very typical of him. A very different choice for David Morse, though. In the end, I don't know if it achieved what it wanted to, but I didn't feel less for watching it.
½ May 31, 2009
Some interesting characters and interactions, but also some inexplicable behavior that came out of nowhere. Lots of great visuals, but emotionally it felt subdued for long stretches.
½ May 27, 2009
This was an interesting movie, meaning it had it's good moments and its "wow lol" moments. I'm glad it had a good ending, and I was really happy to finally see Eddie Spears in a movie, his character was what you call a true friend.
Page 1 of 2