Slaughter Rule

Slaughter Rule

5.0 2
Director: Alex Smith, Andrew J. Smith

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Alex Smith and Andrew Smith's acclaimed debut feature gets a simple but solid presentation for its release on DVD. The Slaughter Rule has been transferred to disc in letterboxed format at the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1, which has been enhanced for anamorphic playback on 16 x 9 monitors. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Surround; the dialogue…  See more details below


Alex Smith and Andrew Smith's acclaimed debut feature gets a simple but solid presentation for its release on DVD. The Slaughter Rule has been transferred to disc in letterboxed format at the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1, which has been enhanced for anamorphic playback on 16 x 9 monitors. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Surround; the dialogue is in English, with no multiple language options. Bonus materials include a commentary track and on-camera "afterthought" from the directors, a look at the Sundance Film Festival workshops where the screenplay was polished, and more.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A sincere, uncompromising tale of redemption that uses six-man football as a metaphor, The Slaughter Rule transcends its deceptively simple backdrop to become a profoundly moving film experience. It’s also a tour de force for two fine actors, relative newcomer Ryan Gosling and accomplished character actor David Morse. Gosling portrays Roy Chutney, a fatherless, disaffected teenager growing up in rural Montana. He is befriended by shambling, bearlike Gid Ferguson (Morse), who coaches a six-man football team when he’s not peddling newspapers and performing old tunes in a local honky-tonk. New team member Roy desperately needs a father figure, but maybe it shouldn’t be Gid -- who, though already keeping company with a rheumy wreck of a man -- can’t keep his eyes off the talented young player. Clea Duvall, an unprepossessing but effective performer heretofore seen in supporting roles, is quite impressive as a bartender who becomes involved with Roy. Sibling filmmakers Alex and Andrew Smith, who wrote and directed The Slaughter Rule, focus their energies on the increasingly uneasy relationship between Roy and Gid, and they use the magnificent but bleak Montana landscape to emphasize their protagonist’s sense of isolation. Cinematographer Eric Edwards films deep blue skies, scarlet sunsets, brown fields, and snowy white hills with a painterly eye; his sweeping wide-screen shots, as suggested by the Smiths, evoke the pastoral pleasures of such Terrence Malick movies as Badlands. But this film isn’t subservient to the visuals; it’s driven by the powerful performances of an extremely able if not star-studded cast.
All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
From its evocative title onward, The Slaughter Rule is an intricate and moving drama enhanced by exceptional performances. Accomplished character actor David Morse (Dancer in the Dark) brings subtle power to a dauntingly complex role as Gideon, who has a genuine desire to bring out the best in his team of cast-off boys. But this desire is tied into his more selfish, darker needs. Ryan Gosling, who had a manic edginess as a Jewish neo-Nazi in Henry Bean's The Believer, shows some range here playing Roy Chutney, a character whose violence and anger simmer beneath a calm, passive surface. Roy's resentment of his absent, now deceased father is evident, put across by the sharp script. When Skyla (Clea DuVall) runs into Roy sometime after the funeral, she apologizes to him: "I keep forgetting Mr. Chutney was your father." Gosling practically throws away Roy's sardonic response: "He kept forgetting, too." Set during the white glare and unforgiving winter in Montana, amid desperate people, The Slaughter Rule probes deeper into the complex nature of bonds between men than typical sports movies. The volatile friendships between Roy and Tracy Two Dogs (Eddie Spears) (who has his own father issues), and Gideon and his dependent buddy, Studebaker (well-played by New York City performance artist David Cale), are the aching heart of the film. These are men in various stages of life, striving to connect with others, but doomed by their own reliance on macho self-reliance, unconsciously expressed in coach Gideon's football credo, "Don't get hurt -- give hurt." Gosling is a young actor with heat, and he's made some very interesting career choices. Filmmakers Andrew J. Smith and Alex Smith deserve tremendous credit for their honest and thoughtful feature debut.
Village Voice
The lead performances could hardly be better. Dennis Lim
Hollywood Reporter
A coming-of-age tale that nicely exploits the ruggedness of rural Montana and the rough-hewn, often tenuous nature of male friendships in those parts. Kirk Honeycutt

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Virgil Films

Special Features

Closed Caption; "Afterthought" and commentary; "Snapshot Diaries" from The Sundance Film Festival; Never-before-seen footage

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ryan Gosling Roy Chutney
David Morse Gideon Ferguson
Clea Duvall Skyla Sisco
David Cale Studebaker
Eddie Spears Tracy Two Dogs
Kelly Lynch Evangeline Chutney
Amy Adams Doreen

Technical Credits
Alex Smith Director,Screenwriter
Andrew J. Smith Director,Screenwriter
Kristin M. Burke Costumes/Costume Designer
T. C. Chantler Sound/Sound Designer
Christopher Cronyn Co-producer
Eric Alan Edwards Cinematographer
Josh Fagin Associate Producer
Jay Farrar Score Composer
Felicia Fasano Casting
Kevin Goodman Associate Producer
Robert Hawk Associate Producer
John Johnson Production Designer
Jerry McFadden Executive Producer
Greg O'Connor Producer
Gavin O'Connor Executive Producer
Michael Robinson Producer
Brian Ross Musical Direction/Supervision
Mary Vernieu Casting
Brent White Editor

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. When I Stop Dreaming [10:54]
2. Howling at the Moon [10:42]
3. Second Wind [18:23]
4. Inside Trouble [14:22]
5. Tell Me You're Not From Around Here [5:34]
6. You're Going to Hear Stories About Me [11:56]
7. Everything Breaks [11:47]
8. What Would A King Do? [25:24]


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The Slaughter Rule 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't know why more people have not reviewed this movie-maybe because it's relatively unknown? Either way, this movie is on my favorites list. The Slaughter Rule has a depth of emotion and feeling that I rarely see in movies these days. The charecters all pulse with life and Ryan Gosling and Clea Duvall give AMAZING performances, as does David Morse, as a troubled, multi-faceted football coach. The cinematography is simply gorgeous. The directors make even something as bleak as a the aftermath of a Montana blizzard seem beautiful, and there are moments of such perfect clarity in this film that it almost breaks your heart. The relationships between the charecters are layered and intense and you feel for each of them. One of the saddest, and most hauntingly beautiful films I have seen in quite some time. This one will grab you and not let you go.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This obscure movie is a real sleeper. It has the feeling of the times and place in which I grew up. The matching of the soundtrack and movie is flawless.