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Mysterious Skin

Mysterious Skin

2004
Drama
1h 45m
Based on the acclaimed novel by Scott Heim, Mysterious Skin explores the hearts and minds of two very different boys who come to find the key to their future happiness lies in the exorcism of their collective demons. (Tartan Films)
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Mysterious Skin

2004
Drama
1h 45m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 65.19% from 2186 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(2186)
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Rated 21 Oct 2007
79
65th
Disturbing and unpleasant to watch, which is almost the whole point. It doesn't have a punchline, it just ends after a long suffering. Like life.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
85
90th
If you've got patience (and a tad bit of tolerance), this movie is pretty rewarding. I say patience because it doesn't really pick right up. The tolerance part has to do with the fact that there are sex scenes (of the homosexual persuasion) in bunches. It seems as though they're overused, because they basically beat a dead horse. The movie gets very good in the second half and the ending is very touching.
Rated 28 Aug 2007
7
57th
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of my favorite actors in the business, and this film shows you why, playing his part to near perfection. A good if disturbing film...
Rated 10 Oct 2013
88
88th
This is an incredible movie wearing the skin of a really good one. I don't know if that makes sense. I really like it but it feels like it needed just a little push to make it something truly special. The subject matter is something seriously unique and worth exploring, and the way it's tackled is fine and everything, and the ending's perfect....I guess I don't know.
Rated 28 Nov 2011
87
90th
Now this is what I want to see from Araki - using his ability to capture teenage recklessness and interesting sense of tone to back up an unflinching look at a dark story. Corbet and Gordon-Levitt play their parts to perfection, two inspired performances that drive the heart of the film. A strong, slow burn.
Rated 21 Oct 2007
80
83rd
This movie tackles some difficult subjects but does it well.
Rated 26 Feb 2009
80
69th
Pedophilia is disturbing in itself, but Mysterious Skin tackles a whole lot of other controversial subjects on the side, and does so in a manner that's actually sincere, not exploitative. Gordon-Levitt's character is well-written and acted: he is flawed, real, interesting and likable in a way that isn't solely based on victimizing him to the max and fishing for pity points from the easily manipulated members of the audience. That's kind of refreshing.
Rated 13 Sep 2008
80
67th
Deeply disturbing and hard to sit through at times. Although it is worth it for the performance from Joseph Gordon-Levitt alone.
Rated 28 Apr 2014
8
98th
the genius of this film is that it tells a story of child abuse using an audiovisual language specific to the '90s, or at least a murky, uncomfortably nostalgic approximation of such. irrespective of content, his characters remember (or half-remember) key moments of their childhood in a way that texturally and tonally hits very close to home, at least for my generation.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
23
10th
So poorly written and directed. What stupid and annoying characters. I couldn't stand them for one second.
Rated 07 Nov 2010
69
62nd
A harrowing yet magical film that follows the contrasting lives of two child abuse victims. For me, this film was only faulted in that Gordon-Levitt was not in every scene. I was aching to explore his character further to the point I was angry every time we left his story. Although I found our other protagonist somewhat lacking in comparison, the character did grow and much of my negativity was redeemed with a heart wrenching- but not sentimental finale with the two boys. An important film.
Rated 01 Feb 2007
7
68th
Really hard to watch (in a good way). Joseph Gordon-Levitt shows real promise here.
Rated 22 Feb 2010
92
87th
One of those movies you can't really forget when you switch off the TV. A powerful movie with such a volatile content. The results of beeing raped in the childhood weigh so heavy on their little shoulders. They have to face those demons their whole live. Araki did a great job and tell this sad sad story very insightful.
Rated 13 May 2008
95
86th
touching gay view with ufo sauce, "heteros" you are not alone!
Rated 23 Jul 2009
78
87th
Wonderful and moving about the different destinies of victims of abuse.
Rated 05 Sep 2012
89
96th
Gordon-Levitt owns his role and it is perfectly clear why this launched him to where he is now. Also the soundtrack is crazy good.
Rated 18 Aug 2010
95
99th
Uncompromisingly honest in its portrayal of child abuse yet also a mystifying poetic reverie, sifted through a sheen of lazy-day childhood nostalgia. Araki's best.
Rated 03 Jun 2008
90
97th
very good portrait of how the same childhood trauma can produce very different outcomes.
Rated 25 May 2011
95
99th
Feeling vulnerable, it's coz of the end scene.
Rated 26 Feb 2007
80
68th
If film is all about emotional impact, this is a genius film. It's stuck with me.
Rated 02 May 2007
100
98th
Disturbing and hard to shake not only is Joseph Gordon Levitt amazing but the usually radiant Elisabeth Shue while still good here has replaced the gleam in her eye with something like resignation. It's sad but if you make it through it you'll be a better person.
Rated 28 Oct 2007
99
99th
Lovely movie
Rated 22 Jul 2010
85
69th
Powerful and Melancholy. Araki's best and most mature film.
Rated 12 Nov 2012
84
89th
Unsettling and uncomprimising. JGL is excellent, but Brady Corbet deserves praise too. Backdropped by a quality soundtrack and Araki's dark direction, "Mysterious Skin" makes for compelling, uncomfortable viewing.
Rated 17 Oct 2010
35
90th
"Pop iconography typically signifies the alienation of Araki's characters from the world, but in Mysterious Skin it ushers in their salvation." - Ed Gonzalez
Rated 12 Apr 2007
75
89th
Very good.
Rated 21 Jul 2007
71
68th
This film does a good job of capturing teenagers; they're angsty, they look like actual teenagers, and they're not precocious or clever in the way that dishonest movies often make all teens out to be. A depressing film, and made me feel a little dirty.
Rated 08 Aug 2007
85
58th
Gordon-Levitt and Corbet are stunning in the depths they reach for their respective performances, but it appears they suck out the acting ability in the rest of the cast, as everyone else delivers a merely competent performance. There is a slow burn to the last scene, which can become somewhat tedious, but that last scene is so powerful and heartbreaking that it makes up for this in spades. When Brian rests his head on Neil's shoulder, you can practically feel your heart breaking.
Rated 24 Jan 2012
70
70th
Not unpleasant... but IT IS a guilty pleasure!
Rated 13 Jan 2024
76
76th
filmin kendi güzel ama soundtrack'i daha da güzel.
Rated 19 Jan 2023
75
79th
Somehow the creators have succeeded in finding a sort of light approach to the ridiculously difficult subject of pedophilic abuse. This movie has a tone of voice that doesn't remind me of any other movie. Gordon-Levitt is a total rockstar in here, great work.
Rated 03 Nov 2009
100
93rd
Right after watching it, I felt as if someone had ripped my heart out of my chest...
Rated 09 Sep 2011
81
68th
DISTURBING
Rated 08 Apr 2013
96
87th
A brutally honest movie about the consequences and damages of pedophilia. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is more than scary good.
Rated 22 Mar 2011
80
82nd
I'd hit it.
Rated 28 Jan 2021
5
31st
Rated 21 Jan 2010
80
83rd
Ciekawy i intrygujacy
Rated 17 Nov 2007
70
33rd
Really good film. I was lucky enough to see it at a director's screening & Gregg Araki & Brady Corbet were really fascinating. (Brady was 14 when they filmed.) Definitely worth watching.
Rated 28 Apr 2016
72
68th
Better than the book, & how often can you say that? Well, I've said it several times, still, it's the exception. Not a big fan of Araki, but this is great & JGL's performance elevates it above & beyond.
Rated 09 Jan 2013
75
49th
Harrowing, but brilliant in many ways. First time I realised that Gordon-Levitt was more than his 3rd Ropck from the Sun charac
Rated 17 Dec 2008
100
76th
NO MORE TALKING!!!
Rated 09 Jun 2009
93
43rd
Hard to tell. Well-acted by some and terribly by others. The story can occasionally be rushed and unnecessary. I don't know. A startling performance by the lead but other than that, falls a little flat.
Rated 12 Aug 2013
90
89th
Fuck.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
66
29th
this movie leaves nothing to mystery. we see all, they bare all and at moments you feel a little puke in your mouth, good soundtrack
Rated 18 Dec 2009
59
34th
Quite disturbing at times, but beautifully enacted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Not my kind of movie though.
Rated 16 Jun 2015
63
82nd
#14#, ratings, story, cast
Rated 20 Aug 2010
82
85th
A disturbing, difficult film whose no-holds-barred take on taboo subjects was a potential minefield of problems, but which instead succeeds triumphantly on the strengths of the highly authentic feeling it establishes and the painfully realistic and open performances from its two leads. Araki seems to have some real talent as a director and storyteller; he is fearless about what he wants to show, and demands the same commitment from his actors. One of the most real feeling films I can recall.
Rated 23 Apr 2024
100
82nd
It's not often you'll find films made like poems, every scene and sequence like verses and stanzas.
Rated 28 Nov 2011
80
89th
Totally fucked up.
Rated 30 Dec 2019
93
53rd
The lifelong trauma of child molestation that reverberates deeply into the psyche of the victim. The lead actor should be commended in bringing that to life on the silver screen. His acting was excellent. MY SCORING: 99-96=Great; 95-90=Very good; 89-85=Good; 84-80=So-so; 79-70=Boring; Below 70=Forget it.
Rated 28 Sep 2012
4
87th
So painfully sad. Corbet's character broke my heart into a million pieces.
Rated 01 Jan 2008
75
50th
A haunting story of shattered innocence. One of the best soundtracks ever (thanks to the Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie and ambient maestro Harold Budd).
Rated 25 Dec 2012
84
85th
One of the best closing lines ever.
Rated 20 Aug 2013
3
73rd
Good grown-up drama but feels a little too unreal.
Rated 12 Oct 2009
75
50th
Araki lost me in the first half -- no one in Kansas speaks with a drawl, and they sure as hell don't say "You're not in Kansas anymore!" to say nothing of the glib tone -- but the second half delivers an emotional punch.
Rated 04 Jun 2010
90
95th
A faither of a movie.
Rated 19 Nov 2010
91
82nd
A blunt, realistic, disturbing portrait of teenagers and child abuse. Every reaction is honest, every note rings true. It doesn't shy away from reality, but in fact captures it bravely, even if we don't want to see. Commendable work. No doubt this is what put Gordon-Levitt on the map, he's perfect here.
Rated 29 Jan 2019
39
31st
Too self-consciously arty by a mile, and very poorly structured--starting with the writing, and continuing through to the plot arc. Still, Gordon-Levitt has some good moments, and Brady Corbet is great.
Rated 19 May 2008
100
88th
One of my favourite movies
Rated 21 Oct 2011
88
88th
The two young leads shine in this unsettling drama. It really will make you squirm, it's touching and terrifying in equal measures. It pulls no punches in its storytelling and the often over-visualisation of taboo subjects really pays off, it really makes the film very real and brings it down to a very human level.
Rated 03 Dec 2014
85
92nd
Very good movie about how different people deal differently with a traumatic experience and how are mind plays tricks on us to makes sense of such trauma's.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
72
26th
Nowhere near as good as critics said. Levitt does give an excellent performance and Chloe from 24 is funny as a girl who thinks Aliens abducted her.
Rated 04 May 2007
76
69th
gregg araki is like larry clark lite but this movie isnt that bad compared to his other ones
Rated 24 Apr 2010
93
78th
Sad and beautiful story although I was not really comfortable watching it : still it does get an A for an amazing plot line and wittingly portrayed
Rated 31 Oct 2016
84
79th
84.000
Rated 01 Aug 2014
95
78th
"I wish there was some way for us to go back and undo the past. But there wasn't. There was nothing we could do. So I just stayed silent and trying to telepathically communicate how sorry I was about what had happened. And I thought of all the grief and sadness and fucked up suffering in the world, and it made me want to escape. I wished with all my heart that we could just leave this world behind. Rise like two angels in the night and magically... disappear."
Rated 14 Aug 2007
82
82nd
Powerful
Rated 26 Jan 2009
70
54th
OK movie.
Rated 06 Feb 2010
94
77th
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbet deliver thrilling performances in an absorbing tale about sexual abuse.
Rated 27 Feb 2008
61
68th
eng
Rated 25 Dec 2010
69
65th
not sure
Rated 08 Jul 2007
75
34th
Disturbing, disturbing, disturbing. This movie reminds me of how thankful I am that I didn't grow up in a small town in the MidWest!
Rated 01 Aug 2009
82
68th
Very cool movie. Original. Well put together.
Rated 20 Nov 2020
60
35th
This drama -- really, a horror film -- deserves a trigger warning due to its very stark portrayal of a serious crime and the trauma it leaves behind. It was uncomfortable the whole way through, although that was its intent. Still, it was thought-provoking, and something that will likely haunt me for a while.
Rated 16 Dec 2008
85
94th
A dark movie which, although it makes for uncomfortable viewing, is unforgettable. There is nothing Gordon-Levitt can't do.
Rated 17 Nov 2022
75
83rd
Sert 1 film. Çocuk yaşta cinselliği keşfeden 2 genç, birbirlerini aramaya başlar. Bu arada, gençlerin hayatını da gözler önüne koyuyor. Joseph Gordon-Levitt ilk başrolü olan film, Gregg Araki'nin en etkileyici filmi. Fakat biraz uzun. Bazı sahneler kısalabilirdi. UFO meselesi de içindeki korkuların dışa vurumu. İçindeki suçu başkalarında bulmak. Zevk mutluluğunu da bırakmamak. Filmin sonunda, Brian ve Neill'in yaşadıkları gece. Gidelim buralardan. Dayanamıyorum.
Rated 30 Apr 2011
90
93rd
One of the most emotionally draining, painfully heartwrenching movies I've ever seen. Harrowing, yet beautiful. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbet are astounding in their roles. Unforgettable.
Rated 26 Feb 2017
4
77th
(Innehållsbeskrivningen till vänster har ju blandat ihop två personer. Och nog är det lite märkligt att tala om den här filmen utan att nämna att den behandlar temat pedofili). Stark film... Det här är dock inte en film man tar med en dejt till eller en film som får en att känna att livet är okay, tvärtom. Filmen gjorde mig stundtals fysiskt illamående och jag hade en "knut" i magen långt efter att jag lämnat biografen. Estetiken, ämnesvalet och min egen reaktion påminner om Bo
Rated 14 Nov 2009
70
64th
Overall Enjoyment: 25/40, Plot/Themes: 15/20, Cinematography/Direction: 10/20, Acting/Writing: 20/20 Very well made but disturbing movie. The acting is superb, especially by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I can't score it higher, because it pulls of such disturbing imagery so well that it's just hard to find it enjoyable.
Rated 19 Jun 2022
99
98th
Brilhante. Absolutamente brilhante. Como trata as lembranças encobridoras, como é cuidadoso nas cenas de abuso, como insere fatos típicos daquela época como AIDS, obsessão por OVNIS e satanismo, como é inigualável em retratar a homossexualidade em cidade pequena, como é sensível e brutal ao mesmo tempo. É tudo em cada centímetro brilhante. Na Mubi.
Rated 01 Jan 2009
70
54th
Pretty disturbing film. The story of how two boys mentally cope with getting abused by their coach. Gordon-Levitt is making the progression from child actor to grown up easily and if he keeps making brave choices like this he could be extremely big. Great performances by all the cast
Rated 14 Jul 2009
84
86th
Amazing performance of Joseph Gorden-Levitt
Rated 14 Nov 2023
78
60th
The film opens with the gentle snowing of colorful cereals unto the head of a laughing child. This single instance of gleeful innocence, tragically, juxtaposes the entirety of the movie. Levitt delivers a solid performance and elevates the script, essentially becomes the saving grace of what could have been tasteless and solely held up by shock value. Heavy themes are tackled, but always in earnest. Mysterious Skin mostly leave you wondering if anything will ever be ok again.
Rated 23 Sep 2011
70
70th
Requires an enormous amount of tolerance, but the balance has been handled with care and I think that overall it's paid off.
Rated 02 Jun 2011
77
72nd
Phenomenal performance from Gordon-Levitt. This film ventures where few films dare to tread.
Rated 20 Aug 2008
90
88th
#822 - 20 Agustos 08 - 02:47am. & bu filmden cikan herkes gibi soyleyecegim tek bir sey var: " bu konuda hakkinda konusmak istemiyorum." anlatilmak yasanir turunde, incelenmesi gerekilen filmlerden biri. sigur ros'un muzikleriyle onemli bir film.
Rated 02 Aug 2008
70
42nd
A very unpleasant watch with a muddled, unsure theme. Saved by excellent performances by the young cast. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is amazing. If this had been an actual review, I'd have pitched up the score (this *is* a good movie), but this was in no way enjoyable.
Rated 03 Apr 2019
83
86th
This movie is fantastic at creating a very specific mood and sense of place, in no small part due to its excellent Shoegaze soundtrack. The unflinching portrayal of trauma, sexuality and abuse will definitely put people off, but the film has much more to offer than pure shock value. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is terrific as one of the two leads.
Rated 23 Jul 2010
95
95th
Extremely disturbing. It was very difficult to watch the first 20 minutes. However, the superb acting made it worthwhile. I cried so fucking hard at the end. One of the best films I've ever seen
Rated 04 Oct 2009
64
47th
Quite disturbing at times, but beautifully enacted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Not my kind of movie though.
Rated 29 Jan 2009
75
86th
Nice
Rated 24 Jul 2011
84
82nd
Benefiting from an appealing and committed cast, particularly Gordon-Levitt, and from solid source material, this is gregg araki's best movie in years. He's still not a great filmmaker but Mysterious Skin has fewer of the authorial markers that make his films so irritating -- cinematic inside jokes, a kneejerk, adolescent desire to shock and nothing else, and a tiresome nihilism -- among them -- than anything he's done since the homocore 90s.
Rated 01 Jun 2015
90
91st
Such a dark but honest examination into child abuse. JGL shows how great of an actor he was capable of being way before working with Christopher Nolan. I really loved the dream-like state the movie sometimes goes into and the Shoegaze rock soundtrack was fitting.
Rated 17 Mar 2011
50
40th
I thought that the premise for the narrative was a bit too conventional, but otherwise a fine film. From some of the other reviews I get that some felt that it was disturbing, but I didn't feel that at all.
Rated 06 Jan 2013
35
10th
3+ might want to skip this one
Rated 13 Jul 2009
86
67th
Disturbing material, but actually a really great film.
Rated 01 Aug 2014
95
93rd
A genuinely devastating film, with some nice structural ideas and an honest look at complicated experiences. full review @ lbxd
Rated 01 Apr 2016
68
89th
. . .
Rated 20 Nov 2009
94
97th
Unbelievable. Original story, FANTASTIC acting and great dialogue make up for the shoddy direction. Joseph Gordon Levitt is my hero
Rated 30 Oct 2009
70
20th
UNcomfortable!

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