MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 77 this week

Sling Blade (1996)

R  |   |  Drama  |  14 March 1997 (USA)
8.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 68,147 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 305 user | 102 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

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:

Writers:

(play), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

10 Best Back-to-School TV Shows

Dust off your varsity jacket and get excited for fall with our list of the 10 best back-to-school TV shows.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 04 Feb 2011
 
a list of 41 titles
created 10 Jul 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 20 Sep 2012
 
a list of 42 titles
created 29 Dec 2012
 
a list of 35 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Sling Blade" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Sling Blade (1996)

Sling Blade (1996) on IMDb 8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Sling Blade.

User Polls

Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Short | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Twenty-five years after commiting a double murder, Karl Childers is going to be released from an institution for the criminally insane. A local reporter comes to talk to him, and after some... See full summary »

Director: George Hickenlooper
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Molly Ringwald, J.T. Walsh
A Simple Plan (1998)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When three blue collar acquaintances come across millions of dollars in lost cash they make a plan to keep their find from the authorities but find complications and mistrust weaving its way into their plan.

Director: Sam Raimi
Stars: Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton, Bridget Fonda
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A laconic, chain-smoking barber blackmails his wife's boss and lover for money to invest in dry cleaning, but his plan goes terribly wrong.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Frances McDormand, Michael Badalucco
Bad Santa (2003)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, Lauren Graham
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After a family tragedy, a racist prison guard reexamines his attitudes while falling in love with the African American wife of the last prisoner he executed.

Director: Marc Forster
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry, Taylor Simpson
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Dark comedy where a married couple comes to the aid of a jailed uncle.

Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Laura Dern, Diane Ladd
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Alabama; 1969: The death of a clan's estranged wife and mother brings together two very different families. Do the scars of the past hide differences that will tear them apart, or expose truths that could lead to unexpected collisions?

Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Stars: Tippi Hedren, Kevin Bacon, Ray Stevenson
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Two Texas cowboys head to Mexico in search of work, but soon find themselves in trouble with the law after one of them falls in love with a wealthy rancher's daughter.

Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Stars: Matt Damon, Penélope Cruz, Henry Thomas
Swing Blade (1997)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Lovable mental patient Karl Childers from "Sling Blade" tries to get a date on the martini-soaked "Swingers" LA club scene. A short parody.

Director: Nicholas Goodman
Stars: Chris Cox, Matt Sloan, Georgia Anghela
Shine (1996)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Pianist David Helfgott, driven by his father and teachers, has a breakdown. Years later he returns to the piano, to popular if not critical acclaim.

Director: Scott Hicks
Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Justin Braine
Drama

A road movie centered on the experiences a guy has with a gal he meets during his trip.

Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An portrait of activist, songwriter, friend, father and legendary performer Willie Nelson.

Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Stars: Paul English, Amy Nelson, Annie Nelson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Natalie Canerday ...
...
...
Karl's Father
...
...
...
Melinda (as Christy Ward)
Sarah Boss ...
Kathy Sue Brown ...
Wendell Rafferty ...
Melvin
Bruce Hampton ...
Morris (as Col. Bruce Hampton Ret.)
Edit

Storyline

A partially handicapped man named Karl is released from a mental hospital, about 20 years after murdering his mother and another person. Karl is often questioned if he will ever kill again, and he shrugs in response saying there is no reason to. Now out of the mental institution, Karl settles in his old, small hometown, occupying himself by fixing motors. After meeting a young boy named Frank, who befriends him, Karl is invited to stay at Frank's house with his mother Linda, who views Karl as a strange but kind and generous man. However, Linda's abusive boyfriend, Doyle, sees things differently in the way rules ought to be run- normally insulting Linda's homosexual friend Vaughan as well as Karl's disabilities, and having wild parties with his friends. As Karl's relationship with Frank grows, he is watchful of Doyle's cruel actions. Written by commanderblue

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A simple man. A difficult choice. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, including descriptions of violent and sexual behavior | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 March 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Resplandor en la noche  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$890,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$36,644 (USA) (29 November 1996)

Gross:

$24,475,416 (USA) (25 July 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Billy Bob Thornton requested that no red be seen in this movie stating : "I don't like to see red in a movie, unless it's about the Revolutionary War". Billy Bob decided to leave in the shot of a town fire engine driving by. See more »

Goofs

When Karl is talking to the Frostee Cream Boy, there are no cars on the road behind him. But whenever the camera is aimed at the Frostee Cream, there is a lot of traffic on the road reflected in the window. Billy Bob Thornton points out in the DVD commentary that this is because the local police had another pressing issue the day they filmed Jim Jarmusch, and they couldn't be there to stop traffic. See more »

Quotes

Vaughan Cunningham: Listen, everyone, I've had a few glasses of wine and that tends to make me emotional. It came over me in a rush. I just want you to know that I care about each and every person at this table.
Linda: Thank you, Vaughan. We care about you too, don't we?
MelindaFrankAlbert: Yes.
Karl: Yes, Sir.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to Jimmy Don Thornton See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tosh.0: Krispy Kreme (Exclusive Interview) (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

The Maker
Written and Performed by Daniel Lanois
Courtesy of Warner Special Products & Opal Music Inc./Upala Music Inc. (BMI)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Absolutely Amazing!
18 April 2005 | by (South Bend, IN) – See all my reviews

I can't believe it took me so long to finally see this movie and I must admit I had never seen any work by Billy Bob Thornton. Without a doubt, Sling Blade is one of the finest pieces of work ever put on film. Billy Bob's performance as Karl Childers is absolutely riveting! I found myself completely fascinated by this character. The entire ensemble of characters are superbly cast. The child actor who plays Frank is talented beyond his years. This story unfolds in many layers, with friendship and love woven between bigotry and cruelty. It begins with a somewhat horrible description of the double murder of Karl's mother and her lover, but yet is tastefully done with words, no cheap views of blood and gore. It shows how the lack of parental love and understanding can form an individual, but also how the human heart can still have the capacity to be open, as in the relationship between Karl and Frank. You'll feel completely drawn into this little family with its pain and problems.

This is a masterpiece of superb acting, writing and directing! If you haven't seen it yet, please don't deny yourself the opportunity of viewing one of the most amazingly touching movies you will ever see. Even in the company of great performances by Tom Hanks and Dustin Hoffman, I think Sling Blade leaves Forrest Gump and Rain Man in the dust!


114 of 127 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why didn't Doyle get up? longlivepeewee
The acting?? shahatboy
DIDN'T LIKE IT! HELP ME OUT FANS! sergiozaciu
I'm taking a risk saying this.... yasmo10
What was the significance of the generator scene? djj93312
Things We Learned From Watching Sling Blade, Mm-hmm MierdaDeToro
Discuss Sling Blade (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?