Sling Blade (1996)
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Critic Reviews for Sling Blade
An abundance of long, flat medium shots that rob the film of intimacy and give it a sleepy pace.
A mesmerizing parable of good and evil and a splendid example of Southern storytelling at its most poetic and imaginative.
Sling Blade takes you down paths full of primitive, almost biblical implications, but it also finds comic relief in moments of palpable tension.
Audience Reviews for Sling Blade
Its a Hollywood gimme: feature a mentally/physically challenged soul as the central character in a picture and, bingo, Oscar time. And the twist? We learn to forgive and love ourselves through the big, wide open heart of the poor pathetic lug who's more human than us despite their infirmities. In this one the crazy murderering guy who's actually been committed turns out to be the nicest guy in the town! Thornton went Hollywood with this ... and never looked back. Yoakam's good as the bad guy, too.
This is the film that made Billy Bob Thornton an icon. He pulls triple duty as the star, writer, and director (his debut in this particular area) of this haunting tale based on an acclaimed short film he also authored and starred in. Set in a small Arkansas town, we follow Karl Childers (Thornton) a mildly retarded man who, for the past 25 years has been in a state hospital for murder. He's deemed stable, and released back into the world. We follow him as he returns to the town he grew up in a d tries to move on with his life. He begins a friendship with a young boy, his mother, and her gay friend. Things get greatly hampered thanks to the mother's vile, alcoholic, and abusive boyfriend, and it's not long before Karl realizes that a change is in order. The character of Karl is one of the most fascinating and memorable ever. I can't help but break out my imitation of him every time I see this movie, or hear it mentioned. He's just a joy to watch, and he's got a really interesting take on the world that is great to experience. He's not the only one who shines here though. J.T. Walsh is chilling as a fellow patient at the hospital, John Ritter is great as the gay friend Vaughan, and Dwight Yoakam is terrific as the loathsome boyfriend. The film is equal parts funny, sad, and unnerving. It's extremely compelling and unforgettable, and makes for a great watch, although it's probably not something you really want to endure all that often, as it does get very uncomfortable to bear at times. This one really impresses me, and it's a shame that Thornton hasn't reached the level of greatness that he does here since.
A depressing, arresting character story involving a former killer, who is let back into society once he serves his time. Billy Bob Thornton's incredibly restrained performance is what keeps this movie interesting, he creates a character so broken from his former life, and now his new one, that the only thing that matters in his life (that being Lucas Black's character) is worth fighting for. You'll probably see the ending coming from a mile away, but it is definitely a fitting one. Great acting all-around, from Thornton, Dwight Yoakam, John Ritter, and Lucas Black as the boy who befriends Thornton, this is an impressive movie. Don't watch it if you don't like sad stories, this is definitely a somber tale of a man who doesn't know where he fits in a world that is "to big" for him, as he says himself.
Sling Blade Quotes
|Karl Childers:||"They say I'm well..."|
|Karl Childers:||French fried pataters|
|Karl Childers:||French fried pataters.|
|Karl Childers:||I like gravy on my fries. ummm..mmmm|
|Karl Childers:||I like gravy on my fries.|
|Karl Childers:||I don't reckon I got any reason to kill anybody. Um..Hmm..|