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)

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.

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).

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.

This film is SUPPOSED to be slow and agonizingly so.

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

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.

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.

Beautiful slow character portrayal.

So predictable!

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

Quite slow at parts though.

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

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.

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

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

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.

Suspenseful and Dynamic Tear-Jerker that Demands Patience .

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

But totally enjoyable nonetheless...

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

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.

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

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

Interesting and Entertaining .

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

Because it was predictable.

Weak second half and predictable finish...

I highly recommend it to one and all.

But so predictable!

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

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

Slow moving movie saved by Yoakum .

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

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

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

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

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.

Overrated, trite, silly and unbelievable .

Predictable and sad .

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.

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

The movie moves along slower than Karl himself.

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

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

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

unbearable .

Realistic films are often predictable because life is often predictable.

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

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

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

Sling Blade was a highly interesting and suprisingly entertaining movie.


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.

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

"Sling Blade" is definitely a movie worth watching.

Thought-provoking but sleep-inducing.

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.

a terribly boring film with some moments of interest.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

A Riveting Film about relationships & redemption.

Intriguing .

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

By the way, I enjoyed it.

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

Slow, beautiful, wondrous...

Pretentious Cut .

And slow!

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

I particularly find two scenes engrossing.

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

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

Enjoyable all the way through .

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.

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

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.

The scenes with Thornton and Yoakam are riveting.

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!

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

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.

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.


It is simply fascinating.

It is fantastic how this slow film is so captivating.

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.

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

I confess I found it compelling.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

The movie is very touching and very enjoyable.

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

The chair dragged by J.

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

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

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

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.

Too predictable - and where is the heroism.

Good show but pretty predictable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I reckon I was bored, Mmmm-Hmmm.

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

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


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

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

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

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.

Touching, absorbing .

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

Thought provoking, touching, but slow .

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

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.

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

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

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

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

how boring can a film get?

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

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

Riveting film .

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

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

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

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.

Worth watching for Thortons acting .

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

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

intense depthness .

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

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'.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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


A Gripping Drama.

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.


The story is also very compelling.

gripping from the first minutes....

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