Critics Consensus

Where Chrystal's going isn't always clear, but this slow-burning story proves effective -- and marks writer-director-star McKinnon as a multi-hyphenated talent to watch.



Total Count: 20


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,222
User image

Watch it now

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. While Joe seeks redemption, he must also contend with Snake (McKinnon), a drug dealer who is less than kind to the ex-con. Chrystal premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.


News & Interviews for Chrystal

Critic Reviews for Chrystal

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (4)

Audience Reviews for Chrystal

  • Feb 12, 2014
    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.
    Clintus M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 22, 2009
    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!)
    Sarah P Super Reviewer
  • Jul 12, 2007
    This movie was so boring! It never picked up. Do not waste your time.
    Erin C Super Reviewer

Chrystal Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features