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Mysterious Skin (2004)

NC-17  |   |  Drama  |  24 June 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 54,683 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 246 user | 137 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth.



(screenplay), (novel)
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5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
George Webster ...
Rachael Nastassja Kraft ...
Deborah (age 12) (as Rachael Kraft)
Riley McGuire ...
Ryan Stenzel ...
Larry Marko ...


Brian Lackey is determined to discover what happened during an amnesia blackout when he was eight years old, and then later woke with a bloody nose. He believes he was abducted by aliens, and N. McCormick, a fellow player on Brian's childhood baseball team, may be the key as to exactly what happened that night. As Brian searches for the truth and tries to track him down, Neil McCormick takes up hustling and moves to New York, in attempts to forget childhood memories that haunt him. Together, the two of them uncover the terrible truth of the scars they share. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Two boys. One can't remember. The other can't forget.




NC-17 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

24 June 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Piel misteriosa  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$17,425 (USA) (6 May 2005)


$697,181 (USA) (29 July 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Sundance Channel Library Print)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Gregg Araki said in an NPR interview that he shot all of the scenes with the child actors in such a way that they did not know the sexual context of their abuse scenes, and only during editing did he make the movie appear to show children being abused or witnessing abuse. See more »


When he arrives in Brighton Beach on a December night in 1991, Neil is seen noting where the closest subway stop is. The Brighton Beach station sign shows a Q in a yellow circle and a Q in a yellow diamond. But the "Q diamond" train was operating on that line for only a few years starting in the early 2000s. Prior to that, the Brighton Beach stop serviced the "Q circle" and the D trains. See more »


[first lines]
Brian: [narration voice-over] The summer I was 8 years old, five hours disappeared from my life. Five hours. Lost. Gone without a trace.
Brian: [narration voice-over] Last thing I remember I was sitting on the bench at my Little League game. It started to rain. What happened after that remains a pitch black void.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Night of the Living Dead (1968) Directed by George Romero Originally distributed by the Walter Reade Organization See more »


Referenced in Indie Sex: Censored (2007) See more »


I Could Do Without Her
Composed and Produced by Dag Gabrielsen
Pianist: Alex Lacamoire
See more »

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User Reviews

Gave me goosebumps
16 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

Amazing. I was expecting another sexually charged adrenaline infused dark comedy a la Doom Generation or an ironic look at relationships in the post-modern world like Splendor. Instead I found a more mature, calmer tale. Still funny, but muted, dark but based on the darker parts of human nature in reality... The performances were unbelievable. Joseph Gordon-Levitt came across with a combination of grit and beauty, anger and happiness that reminded me of Colin Farrell. The cockiness of youth, the sadness of child abuse, and a realistic recognition of prepubescent sexuality. The opening sequence reminded me of something in my youth - nothing specific it just left me with this certain feeling. I hope this is a sign of things to come....

74 of 115 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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