Sling Blade (1996) - Drama

Hohum Score



Karl Childers, a simple man hospitalized since his childhood murder of his mother and her lover, is released to start a new life in a small town.

Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight Yoakam
Length: 135 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 49 out of 309 found boring (15.85%)

One-line Reviews (183)

Stunning work from Billy Bob Thornton and his cast...

Instead of making these issues important to the story they just seem to happen on the side, leaving the audience with a plot-less slow-moving film.

Billy Bob Thorton (who also wrote and direct) plays Karl Childers, a mentally slow retard who recently gets out of the nut-house after living most his life there, on account of murdering his cheating mother and her lover.

Weak second half and predictable finish...

intense depthness .

Sure, I knew he was going to take him down, but how and where and when...?All in all, I enjoyed it throughout.

a terribly boring film with some moments of interest.

Billy Bob Thorton Proves he is one of the most talented men in hollywood by writing, Directing, and staring in a most compelling story of friendship, turmoil, and justice.

This film was very well written, and its 1990's film elements make it very enjoyable to watch.

So predictable!

Overall, I will definitely purchase a copy of the film and pass it around to my friends, it teaches a few lessons while entertaining all audiences.

This movie was too long, too dull and too tedious.

So I will just have to say that even though the story develops quit slow and there isn't any action,you still have to see this movie.

Predictable and sad .

Sling Blade is not easy to watch, but not because it is boring.



it's just far enough away from mainstream BS that it makes people think they're watching something compelling when in fact they're wasting their time.

Quite slow at parts though.

In my whole life i can remember only one movie i walked out of and that was Sling Blade.

A slow sombre piece that gives you time to enter the mental state of Thornton's character.


By the way, I enjoyed it.

Many of my friends loved this, but I found it pretentious and boring.

his acting is compelling, and seemingly Oscar-worthy any year...

He created a masterpiece that is emotional, thrilling, dramatic, humorous, and entertaining.

A remarkable and unforgettable film, `Sling Blade' is a journey of emotional discovery that is absorbing and absolute.

It is a breathtaking, heartstopping movie, a triumph of the human spirit, work of a genius.

This might have worked well on stage but BBT's performance here is one dimensional and dull.

The performances are authentic and the characters engaging; you just wanna stay with them as long as you're welcome.

Intriguing .

However, the acting of Billy Bob Thornton really makes this movie worth watching.

Now even when you figure out how the movie is going to end, the anticipation of getting there is what makes the journey compelling.

how boring can a film get?

It's told in a perfect slow way, which helps to make some of the dramatic scene's really powerful.

Editorial: mildly entertaining bit of acting by Thornton, Ritter, and surprisingly, Yokum.

The humorous spots are touching and original and make you laugh out loud; the sad spots are very compelling, and should trouble viewers and make you think.

I confess I found it compelling.

The chair dragged by J.

The story is also very compelling.

A Gripping Drama.

"Sling Blade" is definitely a movie worth watching.

'Sling Blade' is worth watching just on the fact that Thorton gives one of the best handicapped performances of all time in it.

It's sad, slow, and highly mournful, though punctuated with occasional humor.

Suspenseful and Dynamic Tear-Jerker that Demands Patience .

One can only wonder how he ended up in tasteless movies and tedious comedies.

It's about the banality of evil, and the struggle to cope with a world that's full of that evil: A world where the employer abuses the worker, then the worker comes home and beats his kid, and then the kid grows up to be someone who continues the cycle.

For the first 45 minutes, this film was terrific, led by an extremely intriguing character played by Billy Bob Thornton and a nice kid (played by Lucas Black) who befriends him.

And the plot was just so predictable for me that I could not enjoy it.

I particularly find two scenes engrossing.

Especially enjoyable as it was sophisticated and showed life not as black and white.

My only gripes: the pacing is too slow, some actors are so bad they need a high school drama class (ie, Bill Cox who is Karl's boss at the shop), and that Thorton's character invites sympathy from the viewer although he is evil at times.

If you like intense characters and stories, you might like it.

It's just a tale in which the folks in charge of a mental hospital do something stupid, leading to a series of predictable, sad events.

Too predictable - and where is the heroism.

The film proceeds with a slow, meditative pace and beautifully simple cinematography.

Haven't we all known insecure rednecks who hate everyone because their own life is a pointless hateful mess?

Many beautiful shots, an underhelmingly told (yet at the same time utterly provocative) story, a stunning soundtrack; together they form just three more indispensable elements to the whole.

Believe me it is well worth watching, if for nothing more than Billy Bobs unbelievably acting,

The movie sadly stumbles a bit when we get closer to the end, which in my case slightly lowers the final overall rating of the movie, but it still definitely manages to be a very entertaining movie throughout without any bigger weaknesses or faults.

The direction of the film is a little slow in some points, but overall Sling Blade is an enjoyable film from start to finish.

Some accuse Sling Blade of being too predicable, a statement which I consider terribly incorrect, due to the film compelling the viewer through its characters, rather than gripping a viewer through narrative ambiguity.

I found this film to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience from start to finish.

In the garage scenes, you can sense the unspoken boredom and desperation and disappointment with life in Karl's coworkers.

Thought-provoking but sleep-inducing.

Instead I was to be treated to an excellent drama of a most special type, the contents of which for me were completely 'unpredictable'.

DuBois said 'all art is propaganda,' about 80 years ago and this applies.

The pace is fairly enjoyable, though, constructed and progressed well.

a stunning performance as frank really makes the whole story right!

Slow, beautiful, wondrous...

This was probably one of the most boring movies I've ever seen.

Billy Bob's performance as Karl Childers is absolutely riveting!

Thornton's past becomes more unbearable as the film progresses as we get to meet his alcoholic father (a cameo for Robert Duvall) and the audience realizes that something explosive is going to happen before the movie completes its run.

It is simply fascinating.

His script is both moving and compelling, his direction certain, and his performance is a disciplined exercise in consistency.

This is one great movie though; I highly recommend it to any movie fan.

The film is a trite view of the trauma of horrible child abuse and the difficulties people with mental disabilities have coping with life.

It is a beautifully slow movie and the directing is amazing, as it seems to sweep along majestically.

People who have never allowed themselves to truly FEEL have missed the full experience of this movie, and would probably consider it boring.

Because it was predictable.

No special effects, no auto chases, or big action scenes clutter up this simply spun, but devastating evocative saga.

I just got done viewing Sling Blade a second time and enjoyed it as much as the first.

But when I watched it again while critiquing it, I just found far too many inconsistencies to highly recommend it.

gripping from the first minutes....

I've watched this movie about 3 times over the last 18 years and I've enjoyed it each time.

It's a vehicle for the director, writer and main star of _Sling Blade_, Billy Bob Thornton -- and clearly he invested his life's most intense creative effort into this movie (expanded from an earlier short movie of 25 minutes), and all the effort paid off hugely.

Pretentious Cut .

How many of us claim to be prophetic when we sit and see a movie for the first time and leave the theater or our favorite chair and declare "I knew it would end that way!

'Sling Blade' is an intense drama that takes its time in telling the story and revealing the characters.

A few times I was just getting bored from predictabilty of the speech in the film...

Billy Bob Thornton wrote, directed and starred in this intense character study of an anti-hero Karl Childers, a slightly mentally-handicapped man just released from the "nervous hospital" after killing his mother and her lover many years beforehand.

He doesn't perform acting, he's literally inhabited by the painful soul of Karl Childers, and he's so absorbing that we're always in the same wavelength.

One-note repetition drew critical praise, but makes for a boring evening .

I did not think I would enjoy the film because of its theme, but I found it to be touching and absorbing.

How, or perhaps why, could someone considered "slow" straighten the blankets that quickly?

i thought this movie was slow-moving--not in an enjoyable way, either--and worst of all, predictable.

Not only were his actions lacking in reason, they were also mostly predictable.

Walsh (one of Karl's comically disturbing co-detainees), to the stunning Dwight Yoakam as the abusive boyfriend of Frank's mother.

While the climax of the film is somewhat telegraphed, it is more inevitable than predictable, and the audience is left alone with the wonderment and self-examination over the questionable choice of a sympathetic character.

Billy Bob Thorton's performance was, however, one of the most riveting I have seen in quite a long time!

But the story has very little to offer, very one dimensional, and in the end feels like a waste of time.

Walsh, Robert Duvall and, most especially, Dwight Yoakam, whose portrayal of a man teetering on the edge of a psychopathic meltdown is bone-chilling and brilliant.

These Handicapped Characters are Fascinating on the Screen and Fly into the Hearts of Audiences because They are Underdogs and have an Innate Wisdom that Usually Makes Them the Smartest People in the Room and have a "Root for Me" Factor that Drives the Drama, Humor, and Tragedy.

Sling Blade was a highly interesting and suprisingly entertaining movie.

One of the most unusual and enjoyable films I've ever seen .

unbearable .

Haunting, evocative, melancholy, this film oozes emotion and atmosphere.

But the pace is very slow, the inevitable end is heavily telegraphed, while as a whole the film is encumbered by a solemn earnestness rarely seen in real life.


Sly Stallone is a mugger, a selfish actor with little depth who bores with his personality.

Direction: This film doesn't prick you with cheap tricks, it brims ever so nicely with slow intensity, scene after scene, unfolding small events, revealing characters.

Touching, absorbing .

Karl is a slow man who has just been released from the mental institution for killing his mom and her boyfriend when he was a child.

Riveting film .

The characters are engrossing and charismatic, I've watched this film over 10 times and it still gets more interesting each time I watch it.

I urge everyone to watch this film because it is funny, emotional, enjoyable and just plain brilliant.

He gets to meet his estranged father, he gets baptized, he gets to meet a slow salesgirl at the local Dollar Store, he serves as a surrogate father to a young boy.

Worth watching for Thortons acting .

The sad thing is, the small ideas that I mentioned all would have made good movies by themselves: The relationship between Karl and the boy; The cruel new world Karl is introduced to; the family's problems with the mother's boyfriend and his drinking; and even the relationship of Karl with another "slow" person whom he goes for a walk with.

Its amateurish feel is overwhelmed by Billy Bob Thornton's inherent knack for telling a story and creating intriguing characters who defy even three dimensions.

And slow!

But totally enjoyable nonetheless...

The story was very thought provoking and entertaining....

Others who seemed disenchanted with this film out-of-hand are those who found it "slow".

The movie had plenty of weak points, one, was that it was very slow.

Thought provoking, touching, but slow .

Billy Bob is a mugger, a selfish actor with little depth who bores with his personality.

The choice of shots is often gripping when they are unexpected.

There story is really sad and tragic and I believe it touches almost everyone that sees it,but the thing that bothered me about it,is that it developes to slow.

The screenplay isn't terribly profound--just the opposite, in fact; it's more than a little predictable, and the characterization of the villainous Doyle lays it on a bit thick for my taste.

Predictable circumstances follow where viewers are asked the wrong questions in the conclusion.

Enjoyable all the way through .

This movie was thoroughly interesting and engaging from start to finish.


I reckon I was bored, Mmmm-Hmmm.

Sling Blade is a heart felt story, which follows a man who is mentally slow and is ventures in the outside world after being discharged from a mental facility.

The movie is very touching and very enjoyable.

This film brought me to tears, and I think in a way that's why I enjoyed it so much.

It takes us into all sorts of topics like, religion, homosexuality, sexism etc.As the movie approaches it's conclusion the music becomes more and more intense and right at the conclusion it just goes silent.

This movie was so engaging and revealed the acting abilities of every one in it.

) Critics actually got something right: the immortal "Sling Blade" delivers a stunning and spectacular performance that couldn't be repeated.

This film is SUPPOSED to be slow and agonizingly so.

The flow is quite smooth, if a little slow at times.

No action,no sex, just an intense emotional film about a man trying to live a normal life in the outside world.

Slow moving movie saved by Yoakum .

Even though the film was slow, not once did it ever became dull or boring for me.

The family and towns people all fit into perfect roles, and the tale is truely entertaining and stunning.

Billy Bob Thornton's intense, nuanced portrayal of the profoundly damaged Karl Childers is what made Charlize Theron's Eileen Wournos possible - a total and flawlessly sustained transformation that urges the viewer to think long and hard about the definition of both criminality and mental illness, helping us understand that murdering someone doesn't necessarily make one a murderer, just as limited intellectual ability doesn't make one 'handicapped'.

Thornton didn't just tell a story, he delivered a performance of hypnotic weirdness, enjoyable on a primary level.

It should have won just about every one, except best actress since it lacks a lead female role (that award went quite rightly to Frances McDormand in the Coen Brothers' riotous, suspenseful and breathtaking Fargo, the second-best movie ever).

The movie moves along slower than Karl himself.

A stunning movie that stands tall with other productions of the 1990s.

This movie, although slow paced, will keep you on the edge of your seat.

A Riveting Film about relationships & redemption.

Beautiful slow character portrayal.

The ending, however, can only be described as trite.

The Director's Cut of Sling Blade, even at a weighty 148 minutes, and despite its slow pace, is gripping film-making.

The story is good and interesting, and even if the pace is somewhat slow the movie never becomes dull.

this is a film which falls into the category of worth watching a few times (a rare event) due to the performances especially by Lucas Black, as the young boy, Natalie Canerday, as his mother, and Dwight Yoakam, as the abusive alcoholic Doyle Hargreaves.

Overrated, trite, silly and unbelievable .

The outcome of the film, I think, is supposed to be predictable.

Interesting and Entertaining .

Entertaining Southern-fried melodrama, sort of Flannery O'Connor Lite.

I highly recommend it to one and all.

Good show but pretty predictable.

Realistic films are often predictable because life is often predictable.

The scenes with Thornton and Yoakam are riveting.

I thought the score fit the movie perfectly, and, far from it being a slow movie, found the pacing just right....

One rainy afternoon, four years ago, I got bored and went to rent a couple of movies.

In addition to the warm engaging characters of Karl, Linda and Frank, there's Linda's friend Vaughn, a closeted smalltown gay guy, and even the minor characters like doctors and mechanics are drawn as compassionate caring characters.

Unfortunately the DVD, which could be filled with so much fascinating information about an intriguing film, is bare bones at best.

And another thing that bother me alittle was the predictable dialouge.

Whilst the pacing is a bit hit and miss, being slow at times and then rushing through the better parts of the film, the story is original and fresh and has plenty to offer with its 2 hour+ run time.

It's a totally unpredictable movie--even the wobbly tone of the picture keeps you on edge.

It is too slow paced and after one hour I stopped.

It's fascinating that although we observe Karl Childers for 2.5 hours, he's not really a clear-cut, easily labelled person; we struggle, in classifying him, similarly to Vaughan when, in a funny episode, he believes Karl must have been thinking hard, philosophically, about something, although he was only thinking about food right then.

But the brilliance of this film isn't the destination, which is predictable, if inevitable.

It is fantastic how this slow film is so captivating.

I actually got bored while watching it,so I had to stop the video and view the rest later.

And after ten minutes, positive expectations started to invade my thoughts, a movie opening with such an original character and gripping monologue could only lead to cinematic greatness and nothing in the film ever belied my expectations.

Shame on me, as it is a stunning piece of work.

But so predictable!

It's too bad, because Thornton was just fascinating to watch and listen to, if they could have just let the story revolve around him without the agendas thrown in.