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Chrystal (2004)



Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 1,191

My Rating

Movie Info

Actor Ray McKinnon (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) makes his debut behind the camera with Chrystal, a psychological drama written, directed, and produced by the long-time character player. The film stars Billy Bob Thornton as Joe, a man who returns home after a 16-year prison stint. Before his conviction, Joe was involved in a car wreck while being pursued by the authorities. Though he survived, Joe's wife Chrystal (Lisa Blount) suffered permanent injuries and the couple's young son was killed.



Aug 30, 2005

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All Critics (21) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (4)

Chrystal unravels a bit toward the end as it becomes more fable-like, but the performances make it worthwhile.

June 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Respectable piece of work is reasonably involving if not compelling.

May 27, 2005 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's meandering and uneven, but much of it is powerfully effective and affecting.

May 27, 2005 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
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Even those impatient viewers who feel like they're watching paint dry will admit that the colors are beautiful.

April 23, 2005 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An oddly beautiful film.

April 7, 2005 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A grand story of redemption, laced with barbecued wit and slopped with intrigue.

March 16, 2004
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A sometimes audacious, occasionally downright brilliant, always watchable work that somehow just misses being wholly successful.

September 1, 2005 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

While some of the low-key atmospherics are effective, and Thornton suffers with exquisite quietude, some important scenes unfortunately are clumsily staged.

June 10, 2005 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

No slam against the O Brother ,Where Art Thou? soundtrack but Chrystal could give it a run for its money.

April 23, 2005 Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders | Comment (1)
Entertainment Insiders

Looks and feels authentic in a way only a Southern director is likely to achieve.

April 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Charlotte Observer
Charlotte Observer

An affecting melodrama that's deep-fried in Southern heritage right down to its ribs.

April 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Moves at a virtually glacial pace, dramatizing its story less than entombing it...lacks the radiance it obviously aspires to.

April 16, 2005 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

This would have been a better movie if it was just the Chrystal and Joe story... without some of the side bar events that don't advance the story.

April 15, 2005 Full Review Source:

Triple threat writer/actor/director Ray McKinnon renders a strange tale set in the beauty of the Ozarks.

April 13, 2005 Full Review
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

... a masterful and assured movie about the ways broken people try to mend connections and carry on.

April 8, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

A two-hour film that contains a story that could have been smoothly detailed in thirty minutes.

March 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

A harrowing and indelible evocation of loss and the fragility of life.

March 16, 2004

If the as well-performed, better directed star-filled Levity is worth only 50 screens in its widest release, you'd have to think that Chrystal is headed for similar territory.

March 3, 2004 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Chrystal

Ray McKinnon's Chrystal is a real undiscovered gem. Starring McKinnon's now-deceased wife Lisa Blount and Billy Bob Thornton, Chrystal is a startlingly real story of pain and redemption set in the "wild" backwoods of Arkansas. With its powerful themes and emotional scars, fans of Sling Blade should appreciate this film equally. It is no caricature.

I loved the setting, characters, and issues, but the pace was uneven, At times I thought this was a brilliant film, and at others I thought it ponderous. The film is also "wild" in many senses; it features picturesque scenery and savage yet eerily accurate characters. Lisa Blount is wonderful; I'd like to see more of her roles. McKinnon is gifted also; I have seen him play a wide variety of characters. Chrystal's bluegrass musical background is a great addition and even steals a few scenes. This is a traumatic journey, not for the prudish or squeamish. It represents outstanding independent filmmaking.
February 12, 2014
Clintus M.
Clintus Maximus

Super Reviewer

A really great movie. It starts out a little weird, like you don't know what you're getting yourself into, but it is definately worth it. You become really invested in the characters (especially the dog!)
March 22, 2009

Super Reviewer

This movie was so boring! It never picked up. Do not waste your time.
July 12, 2007

Super Reviewer

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