100

San Francisco Chronicle

By Edward Guthmann
A story that's startling, soulful and absolutely unforgettable.
Full Review
100

USA Today

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]
Full Review
91

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
It's a beautiful contraption of a movie, a gothic backwoods fable that uses its naive yet murderous hero to walk a fine line between sentimentality and dread.
Full Review
88

Chicago Tribune

Resonates like the best of Southern fiction.
Full Review
88

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
There is pain, humor, irony and sweetness in the character, and a voice and manner so distinctive, he is the most memorable movie character I've seen in a long time.
Full Review
87

Mr. Showbiz

What evolves among them is a kind of realistic fairy tale, sustained by the sweet gravity and guttural, deadpan minimalism of Thornton's performance.
Full Review
75

Baltimore Sun

By Ann Hornaday
Builds slowly but passionately, not dancing to some Hollywood tune, but finding its characters where they are and letting them be who they are.
Full Review
75

New York Daily News

By Jami Bernard
Billy Bob Thornton wrote, directed and stars in this compassionate, occasionally funny, character-driven movie about a mentally unstable man who takes the best interests of children very seriously.
Full Review
75

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
The narrative is little more than a flimsy envelope -- it's the men and women who are sealed within that make Sling Blade worth watching.
Full Review
63

San Francisco Examiner

By Walter Addiego
I can't help thinking, though, that maybe Thornton was too ambitious in trying to wear three hats.
Full Review
84 out of 100
Universal acclaim
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.