Mysterious Skin

Watch Mysterious Skin

"Two boys. One can't remember. The other can't forget."
  • NR
  • 2004
  • 1 hr 39 min
  • 7.6  (75,631)
  • 73

Mysterious Skin is a 2004 coming-of-age drama film directed by Gregg Araki and based on the novel of the same name by Scott Heim. The film tells the story of two boys, Neil and Brian, who both experienced a traumatic event together when they were young. Neil (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is now a teenage male prostitute, working in order to escape his troubled home life. Brian (played by Brady Corbet), on the other hand, has become a withdrawn and introverted young man, unable to connect with anyone after the incident in his past.

The movie begins with Neil being questioned by his therapist about his current job and lifestyle, and it is through Neil's flashbacks that we learn about the events that shaped him. We then switch over to Brian, who is now a young adult and spends his time working at a bookstore in his small town in Kansas. Brian is haunted by the memories of his childhood and spends his nights researching the phenomenon of alien abductions, convinced that he himself was abducted as a child.

The two main characters do not interact until later in the film, but their intertwined pasts and struggles with their trauma are constantly present throughout the story. The movie explores themes of trauma, shame, guilt, and the need for human connection.

Director Gregg Araki's significant style is demonstrated through his use of brightly colored, almost artificial visuals and a somewhat surreal storyline, but he tackles the serious subject matter with empathy and gravity. He allows the actors to shine in their roles and fully express the emotional pain and inner turmoil of their characters.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's performance in particular is hailed as one of his best, with his portrayal of the conflicted and troubled Neil earning him critical acclaim. Brady Corbet also delivers a moving performance as Brian, perfectly capturing the character's internal struggles and anxieties.

Mysterious Skin is not an easy watch, dealing with heavy and dark themes, including child sexual abuse. However, the film is widely praised for its emotional depth and realistic portrayal of trauma, and it avoids exploiting its tough subject matter for shock value. Instead, it presents the story in a thoughtful and artistic way, giving viewers a glimpse into the damaged psyche of two young men struggling to come to terms with their traumatic pasts.

Mysterious Skin is a 2004 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 39 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 73.

Mysterious Skin
Where to Watch Mysterious Skin
Mysterious Skin is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Mysterious Skin for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 39 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (75,631)
  • Metascore