Critics' Corner
Rita Kempley - Style section, "A masterpiece of Southern storytelling that draws a sharp line between good and evil."

Desson Howe - Weekend section, "One of the most absorbing, even humorous, experiences in recent memory."

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This movie won the 1996 Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay

'Sling Blade'

Scene from this movie Convicted killer Karl Childers, a withdrawn, slightly retarded inmate, leaves a state mental hospital after 25 years. When Karl makes his reentry into his hometown, carrying a handful of books tied up with string, he’s given a fighting chance. The asylum administrator has set up a job for him at the local fix-it shop. And soon after his arrival, Karl is befriended by Frank Wheatley, a plucky kid who accepts him immediately.

When Frank persuades his widowed mother to let Karl sleep in their garage, an almost Huck-Jim friendship is born between the boy and the childlike man. But Karl finds himself caught up in a familiar home situation. Linda, Frank’s mother, is stuck with an abusive boyfriend, Doyle (Dwight Yoakam). -- Desson Howe
Rated R

Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Cast: Billy Bob Thornton; Dwight Yoakam; J.T. Walsh; John Ritter; Lucas Black; Natalie Canderday; James Hampton; Robert Duvall
Running Time: 2 hours, 21 minutes
Filmographies: Billy Bob Thornton; Robert Duvall