MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 569 this week

Sling Blade (1996)

R  |   |  Drama  |  14 March 1997 (USA)
8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 67,379 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 303 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

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 23 Jul 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 19 Mar 2013
 
a list of 36 titles
created 09 Sep 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 25 titles
created 7 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 8.1/10

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
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
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
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
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
The Apostle (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After his happy life spins out of control, a preacher from Texas changes his name, goes to Louisiana and starts preaching on the radio.

Director: Robert Duvall
Stars: Robert Duvall, Todd Allen, Paul Bagget
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
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 Wilder advised Billy Bob Thornton to write a screenplay where he could exploit his less than perfect features. See more »

Goofs

When Jerry and Karl walk up to Bill Cox's repair shop for the first time, the Steadicam operator's reflection can easily be seen in the right front hubcap of Jerry's car. He is visible during the entire shot, which lasts about 10 seconds. See more »

Quotes

Doyle: Hey! I said get out of my house! That goes for cocksuckers and retards!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special Thanks Emily Gerson Saines See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Billy Bob Thornton/Creed (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Shenandoah
Performed by Emmylou Harris
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Probably one of Thornton's finest movies
25 August 2005 | by (Tessenderlo, Belgium) – See all my reviews

I guess the main reason why I wanted to see this movie was because it was written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton, who also played a role in it. Even though the man hasn't really been able to prove a lot with his work as a director, I must say that I almost always appreciate him as an actor. He's perhaps not the most popular actor in Hollywood, but in my opinion he sure is one of the better ones.

In this movie he plays the role of Karl Childers, a grown, but simple man who is released from the psychiatric hospital where he has been hospitalized since the age of twelve. He had to stay in that hospital for so long because he murdered his own mother and her lover, believing that they were doing something wrong. He returns to the town where he lived the first twelve years of his life and it doesn't take long for him to get a job as a mechanic, fixing all kinds of small motors at a local repair shop. In the same town he also meets Frank, a young and friendly boy who immediately seems to like this strange man. Soon Karl is invited by Frank's mother to stay in their garage, much against the will of her alcoholic and abusive boyfriend Doyle. While Karl's friendship with Frank gets stronger, the tension between him and Doyle keeps building up, until reaching its final climax...

Now that I've finally seen this movie, I can only say that it's too bad that I didn't give it a try earlier. Especially thanks to the magnificent performance by Billy Bob Thornton, this is a movie that is more than just worth a watch. But also the other actors like Dwight Yoakam, Natalie Canerday,... did a very good job. The entire movie feels very realistic, is quite sober and never tries to be too dramatic. This is the kind of movie that could have become very preachy, but it hasn't and that's something that I really appreciate. Add to this some good directing and you know that Thornton has done a very nice job with this movie.

This isn't exactly a typical Hollywood movie, not in its story and certainly not in its approach towards the subject. This could easily have become some kind of cheesy TV-movie, but Billy Bob Thornton has made a very good movie out of it instead. I really appreciated his work as a director, actor and writer in this movie, liked the story and was intrigued by the acting of all the actors. That's why I give it a 7.5/10, maybe even an 8/10.


33 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why didn't Doyle get up? longlivepeewee
DIDN'T LIKE IT! HELP ME OUT FANS! sergiozaciu
The acting?? shahatboy
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:
?