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Mysterious Skin (2004)

NC-17  |   |  Drama  |  24 June 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 54,088 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)
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5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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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?


Gregg Araki said in an NPR interview that he shot all of the scenes with the child actors in such a way that they did not know the sexual context of their abuse scenes, and only during editing did he make the movie appear to show children being abused or witnessing abuse. See more »


When Coach records the voice of Neil he presses the Rec and Play button simultaneously on his tape recorder, but you can clearly see how the Play button flips right back again thus making the recording impossible. 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 »


References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »


O Come All Ye Faithful
Performed by Tom Meredith, Cydney Neal, Arlo Levin, Isaiah Teofilo
See more »

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User Reviews

A Masterpiece
22 May 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Araki has abandoned the nihilistic day-glo world of L.A teens to create his first truly great film. Indeed, by any standards, this film is magnificent. It follows two boys; one of whom was abused as a child and the other who believes that he was abducted by aliens' from childhood to their troubled later lives. The film has a visual beauty that pulls the viewer in even though the subject matter is both difficult and painful. The director pulls no punches in confronting the viewer with the horror of the situation but neither does he exploit it for tabloid style sensationalism. From the superb performances, the excellent and intelligent script, through to the inspired direction and stunning 'shoegazer' soundtrack this is a splendid film. I left the cinema deeply moved by what I had seen and can now only hope that Araki continues to work at this level of quality. Something quite special and a work of art

123 of 156 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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