Mysterious Skin
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Two young men are haunted by similar events from their past, though the effects manifest themselves in very different ways, in this powerful drama from independent filmmaker Gregg Araki. In the summer of 1981, Brian (George Webster) and Neil (Chase Ellison) are both eight years old and playing on the same little league baseball team in a small Kansas town. One day, after a game, Brian blacks out after getting caught in a rainstorm, and five hours later he finds himself sitting in his basement with his nose bleeding and no memory of what happened to him. Over the years, the event --… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Gone is the gloomy nihilism of The Doom Generation and The Living End, replaced by a melancholy, but hopeful, affection toward people with the capacity to overcome tremendous psychological trauma."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
"Manages to deal with its raw, awful subject matter in ways that are both challenging and illuminating."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"[...] For a movie about something as painful as child sexual abuse, Mysterious Skin doesn't repel. There's an allure to the images, which are as carefully posed and framed as figures in a softly illuminated dollhouse."
‑ Noel Murray, The Dissolve
"a bizarre, beguiling coming-of-age drama"
‑ Jay Antani, Cinema Writer
""Mysterious Skin" is a devastating yet beautiful film that honors its fragile characters with vital respect."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Araki's best film in a long time."
‑ Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press
"This is a challenging and ultimately moving film that deserves to find a like-minded audience."
‑ Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News
"Contains a few flat notes of community participation, but Araki locates all the necessary surges of hopelessness and misguided desire, ending victorious in his quest to adapt Scott Heim's provocative novel."
‑ Brian Orndorf,
"treads harrowing ground without falling into the pit of cliché"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"Even with the numb dialogue and trite characterizations we've come to expect from Araki, Mysterious Skin might have worked with the right actor in the charismatic role of Neil."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
"The audience has gotten the point roughly 90 minutes before the characters do."
‑ Richard Nilsen, Arizona Republic
"The usual Araki elements are here (hustlers, rebels, uproar, the absurd), but now he appears to be working with focus and compassion."
‑ Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
"By exploring the taboo topic of paedophilia in a humanist manner that avoids sensationalising or heavy-handed verdicts, Araki's eloquent, sensitive film actually presents an indictment far stronger than any moral grandstander ever could."
‑ Luke Goodsell, Empire Magazine Australasia
"Araki's film is a wrenching examination of childhood trauma and abuse."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"This one clearly has more meat on the plate than Araki's earlier more shallow and sensationalistic films."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
More reviews for Mysterious Skin on Rotten Tomatoes

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