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5,628 Ratings

Mysterious Skin

Directed by Gregg Araki
United States, 2004
Drama, Cult


Based on the 1995 novel of the same name by Scott Heim, this haunting story of childhood sexual abuse follows two very different young men—one a smooth-talking hustler, the other a shy student obsessed with UFOs—as they cross paths years after a fateful night with their little league coach.

Our take

Gordon-Levitt began his reign as indie cinema’s leading man in this collaboration with New Queer Cinema pioneer (and all-around troublemaker) Gregg Araki. An incendiary, bizarro yet sensitive tale of the American heartland’s dark secrets, and one of the best coming-of-age films of the noughties.

Mysterious Skin Directed by Gregg Araki
For a movie premised on sexual trauma, Mysterious Skin is often disconcertingly sexy—and its eroticism has a surprisingly bracing effect.
October 26, 2005
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Mr. Gordon-Levitt . . . conveys the dimensions of Neil’s damaged personality with ferocious understatement. A lesser actor — and a less confident filmmaker — might have made him into a psychological case study, but the power of the character comes not from his status as a victim but from his resilient individuality.
May 06, 2005
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Though only two major roles removed from his stint on the dire NBC sitcom 3rd Rock From The Sun, Joseph Gordon-Levitt already seems like something special, a remarkably engaged and daring performer who appears willing for anything.
May 03, 2005
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