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Mysterious Skin (2004)

Unrated | | Drama | 24 June 2005 (USA)
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A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth.

Director:

Gregg Araki

Writers:

Gregg Araki (screenplay), Scott Heim (novel)
5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chase Ellison ... Neil (age 8)
George Webster ... Brian (age 8)
Rachael Nastassja Kraft Rachael Nastassja Kraft ... Deborah (age 12) (as Rachael Kraft)
Lisa Long ... Mrs. Lackey
Chris Mulkey ... Mr. Lackey
Elisabeth Shue ... Mrs. McCormick
David Lee Smith ... Alfred
Bill Sage ... Coach
Riley McGuire Riley McGuire ... Wendy (age 11)
Ryan Stenzel Ryan Stenzel ... Stephen Zepherelli
Joseph Gordon-Levitt ... Neil
Richard Riehle ... Charlie
Michelle Trachtenberg ... Wendy
Brady Corbet ... Brian
Larry Marko Larry Marko ... Old man with scar
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Netherlands

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 June 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Piel misteriosa See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,425, 8 May 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$697,181, 31 July 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Sundance Channel Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Emile Hirsch and Daniel Kountz auditioned for the role of Neil. See more »

Goofs

When Neil looks in his fridge in 1991, cans of Diet Coke and Sprite are visible which are of post-1991 designs. See more »

Quotes

[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

The Dead Next Door (1989) Film Clip Courtesy of Amsco Studios/Tempe Entertainment See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2005 film reviews generally list a 99 minute run-time. The British Board of Film Classification, bbfc.co.uk, rated the uncut 105m 19s film as 18 on 5/20/2005. The 3/20/2006 "Unrated Director's Edition" Strand Releasing DVD has a 104m 59s run-time, but its case lists a 99m length; it is also anamorphic 853x479 pixels format (1.78:1 aspect) but the case lists Letterboxed. The Internet Movie Database technical specifications list a 107 min Sundance Channel Library Print, but on Sundance.com Sundance TV lists a 105 minutes run-time. See more »

Connections

References Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Catch the Breeze
Written by Neil Halstead
Performed by Slowdive
Courtesy of Creation Records Ltd./SBK Records
Under license from SINE a division of Sony Music Entertainment (UK) Limited/EMI Film & Television Music
Used by permission of EMI Blackwood Music Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A disturbing, raw film with a powerhouse story and great acting
24 July 2005 | by MovieManMenzelSee all my reviews

"Mysterious Skin" is a movie that I heard very little about. Never saw the trailer, never saw a poster nothing. Until one day I was just looking up movies online and I came across this film. I looked up the website, watched the trailer, and said I want to see this. So I didn't get around to it when I lived in California since it came and went very quickly however the film did show up in a little theater about 5 miles from my house so I figured I have to check this film out and so I did.

"Mysterious Skin" is the story of two boys Brian (Brady Corbet) and Neil (Joseph Gordon Levitt). Brian can't remember what happened to him when he was younger but he knows something bad happened. Neil on the other hand remembers every second of what happened and has let that take control of his life. The story continues to show Brian as a nerdy kid trying to find out what happened to him and Neil turns into a hustler. But in the end the horrifying truth comes out and their lives are changed forever.

When this film ended, I just stood there and said wow that was really messed up and I felt depressed. The story is so raw and graphic. I don't think I saw anything this graphic since I first saw "Irreversible" a few years back. The movie feels so real and the events that occur to these two kids seem so common in today's society. I think it really hits home and that's why this film works so well.

The lead performances by Brady Corbet and Joseph Gordon Levitt are terrific. Both are extremely believable and well acted. It's nice how they each played a character so different from one another. After watching Levitt in this film, "Manic" and "Latter Days," I am pretty convinced that the guy is one hell of an actor although he needs to stick to the independent films. And the same thing goes for Brady Corbet who starred in my favorite film two years back called "Thirteen." Also I feel it's necessary to comment on Michelle Trachtenberg here who played Neil's partner in crime Wendy. I really don't like Mrs. Trachtenberg probably because I saw her in the god-awful "Euro Trip" and in "Buffy" however in this movie she was pretty good. I think she played the supporting role well.

Gregg Araki was both the writer and director on the film. I must say the man knows how to make a graphic and disturbing film. The movie at times is hard to watch because of how disturbing some of the scenes are. I haven't seen any of Mr. Araki's other films but I have been reading online and have heard that this is his masterpiece. I can't really say that I liked the film because this isn't a movie you come out of and say oh yea that was wonderful! You kind of come out of the theater saying man that was really f*cked up, kind of like the movie "Thirteen" although this movie is much more graphic. It's a great work of art as far as film goes and tells a deep and disturbing story well. The thing like I mentioned above that makes the film work is that this type of stuff happens in the world today which again is why "Thirteen" worked. It's shocking and disturbing but it's only that way because it feels and seems real.

In the end, I think it's a really good movie with powerful performances and a great story. The movie is not for the weak hearted. I myself felt a bit disturbed by the film. The subject matter isn't very happy and neither is the story. The film is extremely graphic and raw. Some of the more disturbing scenes seem to run on for a long time which means that the film is working on its audience. I can't really pick a target audience for this film but if you like movies that are real and raw then you should check this out. This is a great movie that I think many would not be able to handle but for the few who can I think it really delivers.

MovieManMenzel's final rating for "Mysterious Skin" is a 9/10.


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