(1996)

Critic Reviews

84

Metascore

Based on 26 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
90
Film.com
The lure of Sling Blade is both elemental and hauntingly familiar, and I would not be surprised if Thornton's breakthrough film is one day considered a classic in its own right.
90
Chicago Reader
Perhaps the most remarkable thing here is Thornton's nuanced performance, but the film has other rare virtues: all the characters are fully and richly fleshed out (with some unexpected turns by John Ritter and singer Dwight Yoakam), and the story's construction is carefully measured.
90
Los Angeles Times
Catches you up so firmly in its world that you find yourself accepting whatever Thornton presents right up to its deeply ironic finish.
90
Takes you down paths full of primitive, almost biblical implications, but it also finds comic relief in moments of palpable tension.
89
Thornton, who wrote, directed, and stars in Sling Blade, has created an unforgettable character and situation, a film that's sure to become an American classic.
88
Chicago Sun-Times
There is pain, humor, irony and sweetness in the character, and a voice and manner so distinctive, he is the most memorable movie character I've seen in a long time.
80
Film.com
(Thornton) proves his mettle as an actor, writer and director with this bleakly comic and surprisingly tender movie.
80
Variety
Marked by some powerful scenes, fine performances and colorful dialogue, this talented directorial debut by actor-writer Billy Bob Thornton has its effectiveness diluted by serious overlength and a rather monotonous, unmodulated tone.
80
Film.com
(Thornton) does a remarkable job in all three categories, but what you're likely to remember most clearly is his performance.
75
Baltimore Sun
Builds slowly but passionately, not dancing to some Hollywood tune, but finding its characters where they are and letting them be who they are.

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