Parents' Guide to

Sling Blade

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Intense family drama with strong language, some violence.

Movie R 1996 134 minutes
Sling Blade Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 14+

Great movie!

For stricter audiences consider: mechanic shop had a girly poster (non nude) and toward the end of the movie there’s another poster that was possibly partial nudity- hard to tell. Lots of g-d’s and the f word. Helps others to be mindful of others disabilities and also has a sympathetic tone where you can empathize with the main character and his hard childhood. Great movie overall and worth the watch.
age 13+

Surprising message

I watched this with my Dad at a young age and it’s one of our favorites. I have now watched it with my 10 and 12 year old and while yes, there is language and inappropriateness from one character in the beginning describing his preferences in female grooming patterns, and disappointment when the female was in fact a male.... there is no blood or gore. The age rating- what language are you comfortable with? The R rating is a bit much in my opinion. I think it’s more of a PG-13. I’ve watched PG-13s that have carried much heavier content. The character bond is touching and relatable. My kids loved it and will now joke with their grandfather and I about it for years to come. Mustard and biscuits and French fried potatoes may even be on the menu this week.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Thornton is the main event in this film. He won an Oscar for the screenplay and was nominated for another for his amazing turn as a man who clearly can't grasp much of the nuances of the world but is well aware of his limitations. Despite the violent crime he committed as a 12-year-old boy, the adult Karl is a gentle giant who is happy just to be able to shop for toothpaste and eat at a diner. He clearly identifies with Frank, and begins to feel protective as Doyle becomes more and more of an abusive threat.

But don't mistake Karl's quiet and gentle exterior for either stupidity or passiveness. He may not understand everything that's happening around him, but he certainly grasps enough to see that Frank and his mom need some help. And while his violent nature hasn't been seen in 20 years, when he decides to act, he's capable of making some surprisingly calculated decisions.

Movie Details

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