Sling Blade

Tucson Weekly

DIRECTED BY: Billy Bob Thornton

REVIEWED: 02-27-97

A movie that's both grim and oddly feel-good, this low-key, independent production has a terrific script and an even better cast. Billy Bob Thorton plays Karl, a man who, as a child, murdered two people with a big knife; 17 years later he's "well," according to the state institution where he's been warehoused, and is summarily ejected into the big, wide world. He meets up with kind strangers, including a little boy (Lucas Black), who adopts him like a lost puppy and takes him home to live in his mother's garage. The mother's boyfriend (Dwight Yoakam) is a prick, though, and soon Karl finds himself in the middle of a domestic drama that seems to remind him of his own twisted childhood. Sharp, understated performances from J.T. Walsh (who's really terrifying as a sex offender), John Ritter, and Robert Duvall round out the movie, but it's really Thorton's performance as the practical, slow-witted, vaguely monstrous Karl that helps make this one of the best movies of 1996.

--Stacey Richter

Interviews
Sling Blade

Full Length Reviews
Sling Blade
Sling Blade
Sling Blade
Sling Blade

Capsule Reviews
Sling Blade

Film Vault Suggested Links
Streetfight
Delinquent
The Designated Mourner

Related Merchandise
Search for related videos at Reel.com
Search for more by Billy Bob Thornton at Reel.com
Search for related books at Amazon.com
Search for related music at Amazon.com

Rate this Film
If you don't want to vote on a film yet, and would like to know how others voted, leave the rating selection as "Vote Here" and then click the Cast Vote button.