The Slaughter Rule

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German title The Slaughter Rule
Original title The Slaughter Rule
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 2002
length 112 minutes
Director Alex Smith ,
Andrew J. Smith
script Alex Smith,
Andrew J. Smith
production Gavin O'Connor ,
Greg O'Connor ,
David O. Russell
music Jay Farrar
camera Eric Alan Edwards
cut Brent White

The Slaughter Rule (too dt. The rule of Carnage ) is an independent film, which can be classified in the genre of drama. The Slaughter Rule was released in 2002 and stars Ryan Gosling as high school football player Roy Chutney and David Morse as football coach Gid. The film explores Roy's exploration of his own conception of masculinity and the relationship between him and his trainer Gid Ferguson. The US premiere took place on January 11, 2002 at the Sundance Festival . There The Slaughter Rule was also nominated for the Grand Jury Prize.


Roy Chutney is a football player on his high school team and doesn't have a particularly good relationship with his mother. Although he and his father have not seen each other in years and have become estranged, he is emotionally devastated after his death. Shortly thereafter, he was also struck off the football team at Blue Springs High School, even though the sport is his life. Now she spends her free time drinking beer with her best friend Tracy Two Dogs and begins a romance with the waitress Skyla. However, Roy's style of play impressed Gideon Ferguson during his time on the school football team and he then puts together a six-person football team, which he coaches. Gid tries to win Roy for the team and Roy, reinforced by Gid's belief in him, eventually joins the team. By playing football with the team, Roy regains his confidence. He also realizes that sport alone cannot resolve his questions about the future and his relationship with Skyla. A friendship develops between Gid and Roy, which moves to the limits of a male friendship when he realizes that Gid needs him to fill the empty space in his life that someone has left behind. Roy begins to wonder what role Gid's apparent homosexuality and joining the team have to do with each other.


The sports drama The Slaughter Rule received mostly positive reviews. The Rotten Tomatoes website , which deals with movie reviews, scored 73% for the movie. However, the public opinion showed that only 45% of the cinema viewers liked the film. In the Internet Movie Database was The Slaughter Rule rated 6.1 out of ten. At Metascore, the film hit 65/100.

“Except for a creepy romance between Inside a Skinhead star Ryan Gosling and the squabbling Clea DuVall, not much happens - except for a lot of training. Everyone has their parcel to carry, from Gid's guilt for the mysterious death of a football player to a cinema audience sitting for over two hours in front of an inspiring football movie. "

- Christopher Null :

“Ryan Gosling's portrayal of Roy Chutney could hardly be better, because the strength of a young Tim Roth crackles here . David Morse, who has been playing idiosyncratic characters for decades, is also huge and at the zenith of his career. "

- Dennis Lim : Village Voice

“The Smith brothers made an impressive directorial debut with this psychological drama about the teenager Roy. Alex and Andrew Smith take an actual story from their past to illustrate what is the first to be lost. Another good choice was the barren landscape of Montana, which is present as a frozen place littered with botched life. But the real strength of the film lies in the outstanding performances of the experienced Morse and the young actor Gosling. "

- Ken Fox : TV Guide

“The Slaughter Rule is an over-excited drama about a small town coach with a tortured appeal to high school boys. The viewer sympathizes with the pain of the trainer, which makes sense. But the film is also afraid of passing judgment, which makes it more sensitive than honest. It must be admitted that small towns can be cruel, but grown men should keep their hands off boys. "

- Mick LaSalle : FILM CLIPS


The filming of the film was carried out mainly in the US state of Montana and the cities of Centerville and Great Falls there. Great Falls High School was also one of the locations.

The title of the film is derived from the Slaughter Rule , an alternative to the better known Mercy Rule . This regulation is used, for example, in football and ensures that the sporting competition is terminated prematurely. The rule is used when one of the teams leads with a very high point difference and should avoid humiliation of the team behind.

Soundtrack to the film

The soundtrack was compiled by Jay Farrar and released on the Bloodshot Records label. The following tracks are on the soundtrack:


Independent Spirit Awards 2003

  • Nominated:
    • John Cassavetes Award

Sundance Film Festival 2002

  • Nominated:
    • Grand Jury Prize / Dramatic

Santa Fe Film Festival 2002

  • Won:
    • Milagro Award

Stockholm Film Festival 2002

  • Won:
    • FIPRESCI Prize

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Playing length of the film
  2. Percentage rating at
  3. Point evaluation at IMDb
  4. Christopher Null: Not much happens. (No longer available online.), February 8, 2013, archived from the original on January 23, 2015 ; Retrieved February 9, 2013 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Dennis Lim: Gosling's performance couldn't be better. In: Metacritic . CBS Corporation , January 7, 2003, accessed February 8, 2013 .
  6. Ken Fox: The strength is the acting. In: Metacritic . CBS Corporation , accessed February 9, 2013 .
  7. Mick LaSalle: overwrought drama. In: Metacritic . CBS Corporation , accessed February 9, 2012 .
  8. Mercy rule. Retrieved April 20, 2013 .
  9. Soundtrack for the film., accessed February 9, 2013 .
  10. ↑ Film soundtrack on, accessed February 9, 2013 .