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Movie Review: Sling Blade

Updated on March 7, 2017

French Fried Per-Taters!

John Ritter co-starred in Sling Blade shortly before he died.  In general he played more comedic roles and in this film, he played a more serious character.  R.I.P. John Ritter.
John Ritter co-starred in Sling Blade shortly before he died. In general he played more comedic roles and in this film, he played a more serious character. R.I.P. John Ritter. | Source
Sling Blade was nominated for and won numerous awards. Billy Bob Thornton became famous after this dramatic film.
Sling Blade was nominated for and won numerous awards. Billy Bob Thornton became famous after this dramatic film. | Source
Billy Bob Thornton did a masterful job portraying a mentally unstable character in the movie Sling Blade.
Billy Bob Thornton did a masterful job portraying a mentally unstable character in the movie Sling Blade. | Source
Without a doubt Sling Blade is Billy Bob Thornton's best movie to date. He shows a lot of different emotions during this film.
Without a doubt Sling Blade is Billy Bob Thornton's best movie to date. He shows a lot of different emotions during this film. | Source
Doyle was verbally and physically abusive. In the end he got the sling blade.
Doyle was verbally and physically abusive. In the end he got the sling blade. | Source

Kaiser Blade or Sling Blade?

This film takes place in Arkansas and it tells the tale of a mentally challenged man who killed his mother and her lover. Billy Bob Thornton, like Tom Hanks before him, did a fantastic job in playing a handicapped man, in the leading role. Karl Childers (Thornton): Childers was hospitalized from the age of twelve and then he was released twenty years later.

After he befriended a twelve year old boy, he started iving with him, his mother and his step-father. The only issue is, the step-father whose name is Doyle (Dwight Yoakam). Doyle treats the family like pretty rough but, Karl is not allowing any of that to happen, if he can help it.

He has moved into town, after his long absence and works fixing up lawnmowers and his residence is a small room in the back of the store. He keeps to himself but, loves his lunch with his co-worker and his boss. He loves them french fries "potaters".

Doyle is known for his temper and he has been known to be mean and show his violence more than once, to this very kind family. Doyle is very loud and obnoxious and expects everyone to wait on him. He feels like it is owed to him.

Karl ends up killing Doyle with a Kaiser blade as he sat in his own recliner. Then Karl called the law on himself. After killing Doyle, Karl actually set at the table and ate mustard biscuits while waiting for the police to arrive.

This is an absolutely riveting story that will make you sad, happy, mad and confused all at once. You want to be mad but, then you realize why or you are overcome with sadness but, that is what the director is wanting you to experience. This is a movie that everyone can relate to. Most everyone has come in contact with a person or have heard of someone in an abusive relationship. This movie brings that subject to light as well. On a scale of one to ten, I give this film a 9.

Billy Bob Thornton, wrote, directed and starred in Sling Blade. Originally, Thornton made a short film and screenplay called, "Some Folks Call It A Sling Blade". The music soundtrack for the movie was produced by, Daniel Lanois (French Canadian Artist). Billy Bob did an excellent job performing as a mentally challenged man and the film was dramatic, traumatic and a total shocker in the end.

The film also starred the late, great actor John Ritter and the film will make the flow tears because, it hits home and it is realistic. He tried to be a true friend to the family. He was also the mom's (Linda's) boss. He played this role like he was truly a store manager. He really looked the part. It was different to see John Ritter play a character other than a comedic role. He usually plays a silly character. This character and role brought out a different side of John Ritter.

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Sling Blade

Billy Bob Thornton plays in Sling Blade as a mentally challenged murderer. The film is very emotional and deep.
Billy Bob Thornton plays in Sling Blade as a mentally challenged murderer. The film is very emotional and deep. | Source

Movie Rankings

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Sling Blade

Sling Blade on Blue Ray

Did He Write It?


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French Fried Taters Scene

Cast of Sling Blade

Billy Bob Thornton
Dwight Yoakam
Lucas Black
John Ritter
Robert Duvall
Natalie Canerday
J.T. Walsh
Mickey Jones
 
 
 
 

Awards and Awards Nominations

1. Academy Awards: Billy Bob Thornton won for best adapted screenplay.

2. Academy Awards: Billy Bob Thornton was nominated for Best Actor.

3. Writer's Guild of America Awards: Billy Bob won for best adapted screenplay.

4. Young Artist Award: Lucas Black Lucas Black won for best young actor in a feature film.

5. National Board of Review Awards: Billy Bob Thornton won for special achievement in film making.

7. Chicago Film Critics Awards: Once again, Billy Bob Thornton won for best actor.

8. Kansas City Critics: BB Thornton won for best actor as usual. It seems he was on a role!

My Personal Outlook

I remember this movie quite well especially when Karl went back to his family's home and saw where he had lived in a one room shack without any power, no running water, or indoor plumbing. His father brought his food out to him. He would get fed maybe twice a day. It was mustard and biscuits. He said that he could tell when his family was doing well because he would get at least two biscuits that particular day. He would talk about digging a hole in the shed and that would be where he slept each day. He wouldn't be given a blanket or anything to cover up with or a pillow. He was forced to make it own his own each day with little to nothing.

These would be considered by our standards today inhumane living conditions. His parents would have been taken to jail and all of the children removed. At this household, he was not treated humanely much less loved.

Report Card on Sling Blade

1. Acting: A+

2. Drama: A

3. Plot: B+

4. Directing: A

5. Writing: A+

6. Ending: A

Sling Blade Movie Clips

Location of Sling Blade

Sling Blade Trailer

© 2013 Buster Johnson

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    • Annie Miller profile image

      Annie Miller 4 years ago from Wichita Falls, Texas

      I was just talking about this movie the other day! It's one of my favorites. I need to watch it again.

      Great Him, Leslie ... full of so much interesting information.