Sling Blade

Director - Billy Bob Thornton

Genre - Drama

As dirt cheap financed independent movies go, this is as good as it gets. Billy Bob Thornton's turn in the director's chair is a stroke of quiet genius, bidding its time with a story which on the surface looks like nothing but is in fact packed full of multi-layered themes. Thornton plays a well meaning simpleton with a heavy past. When he befriends a kid who sees him only as the sweet and kind man he tries so hard to be, a bond of trust and reliance form between the two. Unable to forgive or turn a blind eye to the injustices in society, the calm and peace he sought in life gives way to a darker force, lunging him ever closer to the same grave mistake he made a long time ago. Thornton's acting here is nothing short of remarkable for his 360° transformation as well as his dedication which was put into, come up with such a one of a kind character. What Tarantino did with 'Reservoir Dogs', Thornton matched that with his passion for acting and of finding the truth in human weaknesses. Whilst Tarantino tantalized us with his spitfire dialogue, Thornton did it with eliciting strong performances from his actors and in particular himself. Without any aid of prosthetic, his carefully constructed morphing into this unrecognizable character will put to shame actors who scrape by with their SAG cards. It may not have cemented Thornton as a turn of the century auteur like what 'Citizen Kane' did for Orson Welles, yet in its own small way, this movie will outlive the sum of its modest parts.


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This was the first thing I ever remember Billy Bob Thornton doing. It was excellent.
We actually watched this years and years ago when we were kids. Bored us to tears. Then we watched this recently and it just blew us away. We misjudged it terribly but back then we were too young to know better.