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The Slaughter Rule (2002)

 -  Drama | Sport  -  11 January 2002 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 1,837 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 31 user | 18 critic | 13 from Metacritic.com

A young man finds solace with a young woman, his mother, and a high-school football coach who recruits him to quarterback a six-man team.

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Gideon 'Gid' Ferguson
...
Skyla Sisco
...
Floyd aka Studebaker
...
Tracy Two Dogs
...
Evangeline Chutney
...
Ken White ...
Russ Colfax
...
Waylon Walks Along
Kim DeLong ...
Lem Axelrod
...
Gretchen Two Dogs
Douglas Seybern ...
Uncle Peyton
Cody Harvey ...
Coach Motlow
Melkon Andonian ...
Devo
J.P. Gabriel ...
Jute
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Storyline

Roy gets cut from his high school football team just days after his estranged father dies. For him, football is more than a proving ground; it is a promised escape from his lonely rural existence and salvation from the paralyzing passivity that dominates his life. Enter Gideon, a loner living on the roughneck fringe who is looking for gamers--kids who scrap hard--to play on his six-man football squad. Roy joins the Renegades, and he and Gideon enter into tenuous friendship that pushes the limits of male bonding. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 January 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Drive to Dream  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,461 (USA) (10 January 2003)

Gross:

$13,134 (USA) (28 March 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screenplay was developed in the Sundance Lab. See more »

Quotes

Roy Chutney: My father told me if I was hard enough, I wouldn't break. He lied. Everything breaks.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Silver Wings
Written by Merle Haggard
Performed by David Morse and Wylie & The Wild West
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User Reviews

 
Underrated Effort
14 January 2003 | by (Arizona) – See all my reviews

As a subscriber to Sundance Channel, I am intrigued by recurrent programming patterns in the films shown. Recently, for example, there has been a spate of male-oriented psycho-sexual dramas that go deeply into themes usually represented in mainstream cinema as subconscious or accidental phenomena.

In The Slaughter Rule as well as other recent offerings like L.I.E. or Priest or Taboo (originally Gohatto), characters reveal emotions that seem designed specifically to break new ground in the amorphic area between ordinary storytelling and what some would call pornography. The common word to describe this is "disturbing." But just as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Midnight Cowboy, and Harold and Maude opened people's eyes in the 60's and 70's to the possibilities of "disturbing" cinema as literature, these new films may lead in my view to an entirely new public attitude about the inherent validity of the effort.

To be sure, The Slaughter Rule is a flawed film. So are many others of its kind to date. Its premise, however, is sound. One can nitpick about cinematic values, geographical anomalies, or plot distractions, etc., but to be able to see disparate fictional characters get under each other's skin is what makes any drama come to life. Added to that in this case is a very competent job of producing, directing, and editing. Moreover, no one can quarrel with the acting performance of David Morse.

Coming to grips with overtly sexual themes in films -- particularly those that deal seriously with "disturbing" but very real kinds of human emotions -- is a challenging task not only for moviemakers like the Smiths, but also for viewers. I give this movie an "E" for effort and a solid 9 out of 10 for everything else.


12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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