Sling Blade Poster

Release Date: November 22nd, 1996

DVD Release Date: February 4th, 1998

R|2 hr 16 min

Plot Summary
Mentally disabled Karl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton) is released from the mental hospital where he has spent most of his life after murdering his mother and her lover. He soon forms a bond with Frank (Lucas Black), a boy whose father committed suicide. When Frank's mother, Linda (Natalie Canerday), lets Karl stay at their house, her cruel boyfriend, Doyle (Dwight Yoakam), tries to get Karl removed. Determined to protect his friend, Karl devises a way to save Frank from years of Doyle's abuse.

Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight Yoakam, J.T. Walsh, John Ritter, Lucas Black, Natalie Canerday, James Hampton, Robert Duvall

Director: Billy Thornton

Genres: Drama

Production Co: Miramax

Ratings & Reviews

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  • 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]

  • What evolves among them is a kind of realistic fairy tale, sustained by the sweet gravity and guttural, deadpan minimalism of Thornton's performance. show more

  • A story that's startling, soulful and absolutely unforgettable. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com