Top 5000
Down 268 this week

Mysterious Skin (2004)

NC-17  |   |  Drama  |  24 June 2005 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 54,087 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 245 user | 135 critic | 32 from

A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth.



(screenplay), (novel)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


The 10 Most Immersive Worlds in Cinema

Highly immersive cinematic worlds can carry a movie, and we've rounded up the best of the best.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 44 titles
created 14 Nov 2011
a list of 24 titles
created 10 Dec 2011
a list of 22 titles
created 11 Sep 2012
a list of 31 titles
created 22 Jul 2013
a list of 32 titles
created 22 Sep 2014

Related Items

Search for "Mysterious Skin" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Mysterious Skin (2004)

Mysterious Skin (2004) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Mysterious Skin.

User Polls

5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Manic (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Lyle Jensen is subject to sudden and violent outbursts, and he is committed to the juvenile wing of the Northwood Mental Institution. Several other youths are there with a variety of ... See full summary »

Director: Jordan Melamed
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Bacall, Zooey Deschanel
Brick (2005)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A teenage loner pushes his way into the underworld of a high school crime ring to investigate the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend.

Director: Rian Johnson
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas, Emilie de Ravin
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Jordan White and Amy Blue, two troubled teens, pick up an adolescent drifter, Xavier Red. Together, the threesome embark on a sex and violence-filled journey through an America of psychos and quickiemarts.

Director: Gregg Araki
Stars: James Duval, Rose McGowan, Johnathon Schaech
Nowhere (1997)
Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Follows a day in the lives of a group of high school kids Los Angeles and the strange lives they lead.

Director: Gregg Araki
Stars: James Duval, Rachel True, Nathan Bexton
Kaboom (2010)
Comedy | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A sci-fi story centered on the sexual awakening of a group of college students.

Director: Gregg Araki
Stars: Thomas Dekker, Haley Bennett, Chris Zylka
Hesher (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young boy has lost his mother and is losing touch with his father and the world around him. Then he meets Hesher who manages to make his life even more chaotic.

Director: Spencer Susser
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Devin Brochu, Natalie Portman
Latter Days (2003)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A promiscuous gay party animal falls for a young Mormon missionary, leading to crisis, cliché, and catastrophe.

Director: C. Jay Cox
Stars: Wes Ramsey, Steve Sandvoss, Mary Kay Place
Weekend II (2011)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After a drunken house party with his straight mates, Russell heads out to a gay club. Just before closing time he picks up Glen but what's expected to be just a one-night stand becomes something else, something special.

Director: Andrew Haigh
Stars: Tom Cullen, Chris New, Jonathan Race
The Lookout (2007)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Chris is a once promising high school athlete whose life is turned upside down following a tragic accident. As he tries to maintain a normal life, he takes a job as a janitor at a bank, where he ultimately finds himself caught up in a planned heist.

Director: Scott Frank
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeff Daniels, Matthew Goode
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Female born, Teena Brandon adopts his male identity of Brandon Teena and attempts to find himself and love in Nebraska.

Director: Kimberly Peirce
Stars: Hilary Swank, Chloë Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard
Get Real (1998)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A tenderly romantic coming-of-age story as two boys in a British school fall in love.

Director: Simon Shore
Stars: Ben Silverstone, Brad Gorton, Charlotte Brittain
Kids (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A day in the life of a group of teens as they travel around New York City skating, drinking, smoking, and deflowering virgins.

Director: Larry Clark
Stars: Leo Fitzpatrick, Justin Pierce, Chloë Sevigny


Cast overview, first billed only:
George Webster ...
Rachael Nastassja Kraft ...
Deborah (Age 12) (as Rachael Kraft)
Riley McGuire ...
Ryan Stenzel ...
Larry Marko ...


Brian Lackey is determined to discover what happened during an amnesia blackout when he was eight years old, and then later woke with a bloody nose. He believes he was abducted by aliens, and N. McCormick, a fellow player on Brian's childhood baseball team, may be the key as to exactly what happened that night. As Brian searches for the truth and tries to track him down, Neil McCormick takes up hustling and moves to New York, in attempts to forget childhood memories that haunt him. Together, the two of them uncover the terrible truth of the scars they share. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Two boys. One can't remember. The other can't forget.




NC-17 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

24 June 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Piel misteriosa  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$17,425 (USA) (6 May 2005)


$697,181 (USA) (29 July 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Sundance Channel Library Print)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


To prepare for his role, actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt spent a week visiting cities and towns in Kansas where the book is set. Scott Heim, author of the original novel, guided him around the locations and had him meet the actual people on whom the characters are based. See more »


The scene of Neal running in downtown New York after leaving his john with AIDS is actually Downtown Los Angeles. See more »


[first lines]
Brian: [narration voice-over] The summer I was 8 years old, five hours disappeared from my life. Five hours. Lost. Gone without a trace.
Brian: [narration voice-over] Last thing I remember I was sitting on the bench at my Little League game. It started to rain. What happened after that remains a pitch black void.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Night of the Living Dead (1968) Directed by George Romero Originally distributed by the Walter Reade Organization See more »


Referenced in Indie Sex: Censored (2007) See more »


Written by Elizabeth Fraser, Robin Guthrie, Simon Raymonde
Performed by Cocteau Twins
Courtesy of 4AD Records Ltd.
Used by permission of Universal-Polygram Int. Publishing, Inc. o/b/o Universal/Momentum Music 3 Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Very strong movie with difficult content
26 April 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I had high hopes for this film, since I have been a big fan of the novel on which it is based. The film exceeded my expectations in every way. Although quite faithful to the book (with many lines of dialogue and narration moving straight from Scott Heim's poetic prose), the movie has more drive and focus and pulls you so far into the troubled characters. Credit for the movie's strength goes all around -- director Araki put his mark on the story without taking it over. He got uniformily good performances (and somehow managed to direct scenes that any reader of the book would have thought completely unfilmable). Kansas has never looked better, or more sinister. The music is used well throughout.

And the acting is terrific. The two youngest leads, Chase Ellison and George Webster, were entirely convincing in their scenes (and I hope they feel proud of their work, seeing as how there's no way they'll get to see this movie until sometime next decade). Michelle Trachtenberg and Jeff Licon have fairly thankless roles, playing characters who are somewhat less clear and crucial in the film than their characters were in the book. But they don't sweat that, they just play what the screen play has them do, and they excel. Licon, especially, I think, although Trachtenberg is at a disadvantage, as her part is really pretty small.

And for me, at least, I think Mary-Lynn Rajskub, Brady Corbet, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt give about as good performances as one can give. Rajskub is so good that she gives the other actors in the film a space to react that is almost visible. Corbet is quiet and intense; if his performance sometimes lacks motivation, it is probably deliberate, as his character is struggling with identity and memory. And as for Gordon-Levitt, man, that guy can act. I really have a hard time thinking of any acting performance ever that has affected me as much.

It is a difficult story, although I felt it ends hopefully. Hopefully, you will agree. Content is very strong, although perhaps not NC-17 strong. Not for kids. Adults, if you can get past the 2nd scene, you can get through it, but there is a lot of outlawed sexuality and violence. It is painful to watch at times, but to me at least, that's because the actors and the director managed to immerse me in the characters.

234 of 296 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Will Neil molest boys too? erina1
the scene where the old man is going down on joseph chicakolla
Why wasn't levitt nominated for a Oscar elechien-431-722260
Did any victims/survivors watch this? bluebutterfly199280
5 films you cant stop thinking about.... miawallace888
great films you never want to watch again winston9109
Discuss Mysterious Skin (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: