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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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Chrystal unravels a bit toward the end as it becomes more fable-like, but the performances make it worthwhile."
‑ Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times
"Even those impatient viewers who feel like they're watching paint dry will admit that the colors are beautiful."
‑ Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News
"A sometimes audacious, occasionally downright brilliant, always watchable work that somehow just misses being wholly successful."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Looks and feels authentic in a way only a Southern director is likely to achieve."
‑ Lawrence Toppman, Charlotte Observer
"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."
‑ Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone,
"Respectable piece of work is reasonably involving if not compelling."
‑ Todd McCarthy, Variety
"An oddly beautiful film."
‑ Bob Longino, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"While some of the low-key atmospherics are effective, and Thornton suffers with exquisite quietude, some important scenes unfortunately are clumsily staged."
‑ David Kronke, Los Angeles Daily News
"An affecting melodrama that's deep-fried in Southern heritage right down to its ribs."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"Triple threat writer/actor/director Ray McKinnon renders a strange tale set in the beauty of the Ozarks."
‑ Boo Allen, Denton Record Chronicle (TX)
"It's meandering and uneven, but much of it is powerfully effective and affecting."
‑ Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle
"A grand story of redemption, laced with barbecued wit and slopped with intrigue."
‑ Duane Byrge, Hollywood Reporter
"No slam against the O Brother ,Where Art Thou? soundtrack but Chrystal could give it a run for its money."
‑ Jonathan W. Hickman, Entertainment Insiders
"Moves at a virtually glacial pace, dramatizing its story less than entombing it...lacks the radiance it obviously aspires to."
‑ Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion
"... a masterful and assured movie about the ways broken people try to mend connections and carry on."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
More reviews for Chrystal on Rotten Tomatoes