Mysterious Skin - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mysterious Skin Reviews

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September 2, 2017
Gregg Araki's most accessible film to date stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbett as two young men who experienced sexual abuse by their Little League coach over one summer in their early childhood. The ways that they deal with the repercussions for this are vastly different. Gordon-Levitt becomes an openly gay male prostitute in his early teens and Corbett reverts to living in a fantasy world where he thinks he has been the victim of an alien abduction. Michelle Trachtenberg plays Gordon-Levitt's best friend and Elisabeth Shue his mother. Mary Beth Rajskub is a fellow abduction believer that infiltrates the life of Corbett to devastating results. The culmination of these stories is told in both a graphic and tender fashion as we come to a genuinely heartbreaking conclusion that leaves no question for the viewer about the power of this film. While the subject matter is not fit for everyone it gives an honest and poignant portrayal of an often dismissed topic.
July 21, 2017
Deeply affecting, with great performances and beautiful score. I was simply left stunned by the film.
February 28, 2017
TV movie budget child abuse film which takes some interesting turns and has two world class actors but a bargain basement script.
February 22, 2017
One of the most difficult films to watch, however, it is positioned among the best. "Mysterious Skin" by the controversial director Gregg Araki, produces a magnificent work of which it is difficult to discuss and obtain a single verdict, because many different conclusions can come out. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, with the character of Neil McCormick protagonists this supreme melodrama, whose interpretation as well as that of the co-protagonist Bryan (Brady Corbet) show us what it is to make a really good, memorable, widely thought-provoking and f psychological-character study rather than deep. The rest of the cast, including Elisabeth Shue, Michelle Trachtenberg, Jeff Licon, Bill Sage, Chase Ellison, Billy Drago, Mary Lynn Rajskub, among others; Some more famous than others, and some with more appearances than the others, are also exceptional. Araki's film product sets the sad, gloomy, and very harsh experience of two eight-year-old boys, both team-mates from a Kansas township baseball team. The parallel histories that are shown, position Gordon-Levitt and Corbet in a mysterious atmosphere during their infancy in which diverse circumstances lead them to severe traumas with which not only their lives change, but they will suffer from so many changes during their adolescence due to the traumatic consequences that their childhood will have left them,having to face the challenge of having to deal a life full of bumps and obstacles full of why's, full of what is not clear, blureness, and the fact of living among what is disturbing and unknown.
Araki talks about pedophilia and the several of its impacts; he offers a wide and detailed discourse from the moment of trauma to its confrontation, always sowing doubts, but without being confusing, they incite the audience to think, to reflect and to act, trying to find possible answers and solutions; He also proposes a dense and difficult journey to assimilate, in which the determination is placed to get the audience to come in and live face to face the painful reality that many around the world pass through. It is funny when people commonly say that they are aware of what trauma is and what it can leave, they mention understanding hunger, pain, suffering and despair from many facets, but they seldom stop to wonder , What would happen if someone close lived such a thing, or worse, what would have happened if one by him or her self were under a situation like that one. It is most striking how many of the most questionable and uncomfortable topics are among the most recurrent in our society, including homosexuality, prostitution, violence, family break-up, drug abuse, among others, that we always prefer to turn around and cover our eyes. Many of the taboos that especially in this century have been intended to collapse leave many others still intact, and so it is not unfamiliar that there are those who react negatively towards this film. Yes, the positions are divided: you could love or hate this movie, but is that really the goal? Not quite; In fact, it goes beyond all that, the film is made to feel aberration, to feel compassion, to feel an infinite and disheartening pain, but also endowed with an air full of inspiration and hope.
"Mysterious Skin" arises from nihilism as a pessimistic way to cope with life, perhaps the innovation of Araki lies in not seeing the traumas as the end of the world, but as a melancholic and affective form of surpassing what could be in all senses the worst that could happen to anyone. The film is full of challenges, and on many occasions it is too revealing to the point that it puts itself under a terrible risk. Yes, the tape is full of darkness, but if we analyze in detail we find that it is very illuminated too, and indeed quite. You do need to be prepared to watch this film, because it is not easy. The audience must know that they will face explicit images, which are carefully placed, but they are still shocking and heavy; The story effectively manages to maintain a well-established basis of what is being talked about, so the issues do not falter. It manages to push away the clichés about homosexuality because the movie does not detach itself towards insanity and defines facts that explore the effects of events that can destroy anyone.
Disturbing while victorious, this Art-house product aims to make this story as realistic as possible, using magnificent minimalist cinematographic resources that bring you closer to the eighties and the nineties, and not for this minimalism the special effects are left behind, indeed, these are recurrent and very well elaborated, fitting opportunely when they are required. Photography is luxuriant, there are exuberant shots that denote the knowledge of good handling in many of the scenes. Music is embracing, it is more than powerful. Robin Guthrie and Harold Budd produce as always, a soundtrack that manipulates you and takes you away and that works as a key in this movie because the dream that envelops you is meant to feel which could be a long, soft nightmare, sweet, but blunt and endless.
"Mysterious Skin" is a devastating but sublime and charming film that honors its fragile characters with vital respect. Excellently the film, through the novel that represents, is challenging and like most movies that are good, it is not made for the audience to wait or demand something, but quite the opposite, the film demands something from you. One could cover or even flee from it, but those who watch it with attention and seriousness, are and will be sent undulating between their thoughts.
98/100
December 16, 2016
You really need to see this movie. The Critics Consensus is, well, spot on too.
½ October 27, 2016
Holy crap! The first thing that pops into my head when I think of how truly divine this film was. Probably one of the top performances given my Joseph Gordon Levitt. This film captures you entirely and leaves you with a feeling that is quite indescribable. This movie portrays the harsh and cruel reality that most people aren't accustomed to. It really crawls under your skin and brings up the most uncomfortable subjects. Amazing film from Araki in a while. Highly recommend, this film will change the way you see a young man on a street one day.
½ August 5, 2016
Wreszcie jaki? interesuj?cy film o pedofilii.
½ June 27, 2016
really didn't enjoy this deeply disturbing movie and it's content that left a lot of loose ends about the aliens and the pedophiles among family issues.
½ January 18, 2016
Try not to kill yourself while watching this. JGL is great but Brady Corbet's performance is so underrated. Top 5 most psychologically disturbing films and to an extent that's necessary, and I feel they were true to the brutality of the theme without exploiting it for the most part. The violent rape scene is completely unnecessary though.
October 6, 2015
Brilliant acting, terrific directing, and a heart-touching story really make Mysterious Skin one of the greatest movies I've ever seen.
September 20, 2015
Manages to deal with its raw, awful subject matter in ways that are both challenging and illuminating.
½ September 14, 2015
great movie,with excellent performances,I think every parent should watch this,it's just disturbing to know there's guys like the one in the movie out there,molesting and abusing kids,oh,and I'd love for homophobics that compare pedophiles with gay people to watch this and think a little more about what they say...
½ August 31, 2015
Deeply disturbing, but hella powerful.
½ July 21, 2015
JGL shows great diversity in his portrayal of a boy sexually abused early in childhood. Another abused boy interprets his experiences as alien abduction, and that whole part of the plot is brilliantly thought out.
½ June 30, 2015
A provocative coming-of-age film that is both harrowing and challenging to the viewers.
½ June 4, 2015
WARNING: NOT FOR THE EASILY DISTURBED. Joseph Gorden-Levitt is incredible in this unfortunately realistic depiction of the effects of sexual abuse.
½ June 2, 2015
33%
Saw this on 19/12/14
Child molesting, obscene homosexuality involving kids and many more of the American bullshits are idolized for most of the film's duration. Besides, there's no suspense or mystery, anyone with a decent brain can guess the film's mystery 10 minutes into it. Despite the good performances, the film is unbearable and hardly memorable.
May 15, 2015
Gregg Araki's finest moment as a filmmaker arrives in the most surprising way. Based on Scott Heim's powerful novel, this movie is one of the most potent films ever made about sexual abuse. Two children are sexually molested at the same age and the film follow each of these boys into their young adulthood. Gordon-Levitt and Corbet give brutally realistic performances as Araki explores the absolute devastation that childhood sex abuse causes for the victim. This movie is unflinching, graphic and powerful. It is not an easy view, but an important one. This was my pick for best film of 2005. It also gave me some hope that Araki was more than a twisted cinematic prankster. Sadly, he has not even come close to making a film this good again.
½ April 26, 2015
after an uncomfortable opening 20 mins i decided this wasn't for me. binned
½ April 21, 2015
The "twist" is painfully obvious right from the start but the rest of the film is so mesmerising it hardly seems to matter; the cinematography, score, acting and story are all delivered with expertise.
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