(1996)

Critic Reviews

84

Metascore

Based on 26 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
San Francisco Chronicle
A story that's startling, soulful and absolutely unforgettable.
100
USA Today
Sling Blade is about a society barely holding on by its fingernails, the home and hearth hardly a place of respite. Unlike "The Ice Storm" or "The Sweet Hereafter," Sling Blade is devoid of the creature comforts of middle-class life that at least allow people the degraded hobbies that keep them functioning. [May, 1998]
91
Entertainment Weekly
It's a beautiful contraption of a movie, a gothic backwoods fable that uses its naive yet murderous hero to walk a fine line between sentimentality and dread.
90
Catches you up so firmly in its world that you find yourself accepting whatever Thornton presents right up to its deeply ironic finish.
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.
88
Chicago Tribune
Resonates like the best of Southern fiction.
87
Mr. Showbiz
What evolves among them is a kind of realistic fairy tale, sustained by the sweet gravity and guttural, deadpan minimalism of Thornton's performance.
75
New York Daily News
Billy Bob Thornton wrote, directed and stars in this compassionate, occasionally funny, character-driven movie about a mentally unstable man who takes the best interests of children very seriously.
75
ReelViews
The narrative is little more than a flimsy envelope -- it's the men and women who are sealed within that make Sling Blade worth watching.
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.
70
The atmosphere is Southern Gothic pure enough to do Carson McCullers proud -- grotesque, sentimental and dankly nasty -- and Thornton manages not to undermine his own writing.
63
San Francisco Examiner
I can't help thinking, though, that maybe Thornton was too ambitious in trying to wear three hats.

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