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© Baehr, 2016

Release Date: November 29, 1996

Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight
Yoakam, J.T. Walsh, John
Ritter, & Lucas Black

Genre: Drama


Rating: Unrated by MPAA

Runtime: 133 minutes

Distributor: Miramax Films

Director: Billy Bob Thornton EXECUTIVE
PRODUCER: Larry Meistrich

Executive Producer:

Producer: Brandon Rosser & David L.

Writer: Billy Bob Thornton

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(B, CC, Ab, Ho, LLL, VV, S, A, D, M) Biblical, moral worldview with Christian elements including positive references to the Bible, mother teaching Bible to son, baptism, compassion, & a young boy stating homosexuality as unbiblical, but marred by an anti-Christian ending; homosexual themes; 34 vulgarities, 22 obscenities & 21 profanities; abuse & violent relationship where man beats up woman & young son, man in wheelchair is pushed, boy throws things at man, violent murder where man is killed with lawnmower blade, a description of a violent killing of a woman & her lover, & suicide; a vulgar description of a woman's private parts, lewd descriptions of inmate's sexual fantasies, a sexual act, & sexual acts outside marriage implied; alcohol use; smoking; and, revenge


In SLING BLADE, a killer is released after 25 years in the state asylum, and sets off to a good start by holding down a repairman job. He also befriends and moves into the home of a lonely boy, but history has a way of repeating itself despite all good intentions. The movie is well acted, but despite its moral worldview, it has an ending filled with extreme, unbiblical violence.


SLINGBLADE is the arresting story of a killer set free after 25 years in the state asylum. Karl killed his mother and her abusive lover when he was a young boy. On his release, Karl wanders into a small Southern town, gets a job as a repairman and moves in with his newly-found friend, Frank, a lonely fatherless boy who lives with his mother and her abusive boyfriend. Karl takes Frank into his protection, and as their friendship grows, Karl's protectiveness for Frank takes on proportions that neither had expected, at Karl's expense.

Billy Thornton's characterization of Karl is touching and sad. There is something that he brings to Karl's character that makes it easy to overlook Karl's blatant physical shortcomings and see instead that innocent, though misguided heart behind them. The story is biblical in nature, where Frank and Karl exchange many moments talking on how killing is against the Bible's teachings, and Frank even quotes the Bible on the sins of homosexuality. However, the filmmaker does not seem to understand, it is against God's Commandment to take another's life, no matter how noble and self-sacrificial the intention. Regrettably, despite its moral worldview, it is violent movie with many obscenities.

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