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67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

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6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: Jamie is a boorish, insensitive American twentysomething traveling in Chile, who somehow manages to create chaos at every turn. He and his friends are planning on taking a road trip north to experience a legendary shamanistic hallucinogen called the San Pedro cactus. In a fit of drunkennessJamie is a boorish, insensitive American twentysomething traveling in Chile, who somehow manages to create chaos at every turn. He and his friends are planning on taking a road trip north to experience a legendary shamanistic hallucinogen called the San Pedro cactus. In a fit of drunkenness at a wild party, Jamie invites an eccentric woman -- a radical spirit named Crystal Fairy -- to come along. What is meant to be a devil-may-care journey becomes a battle of wills as Jamie finds himself locking horns with his new traveling companion. But on a remote, pristine beach at the edge of the desert, the magic brew is finally imbibed, and the true adventure begins. Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Jul 26, 2013
    88
    Part drug comedy, part psychological drama, the movie is slight, but only superficially so. As the closing credits role, we’re left not with a sense of a day at the beach, but of what might be swimming out there, in the dark of the abyss.
  2. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Jul 10, 2013
    83
    For a moment, Crystal Fairy looks like it’s going to be a real fish-in-a-barrel satire, its rifles aimed at two very easy targets. But once a coked-out Cera invites Hoffmann on his road trip, a voyage he hopes will culminate with the consumption of a psychotropic cactus, the film gains a ramshackle quality that’s difficult to resist.
  3. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Jul 5, 2013
    80
    The film is often beautiful and appealingly light. Every clear-eyed insight into why pushy people insist on pushing is matched by loose ensemble humor and lyric reveries.
  4. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jul 11, 2013
    70
    Even with shaggy, semi-improvised projects like Crystal Fairy, there’s a need for some kind of conclusion, and Silva devises one that’s simultaneously terribly contrived and by far the most powerful scene in the movie.
  5. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jul 26, 2013
    70
    It’s the kind of movie that takes you by surprise. By the time it’s done, the honesty of the performances and the depth of character that’s revealed is exhilarating.
  6. Reviewed by: Bill Stamets
    Jul 19, 2013
    63
    Chilean writer-director Sebastian Silva re-creates a youthful road trip with a head trip at the end in Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus, more character sketch than psychedelic sojourn.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jul 11, 2013
    12
    Anything can happen when Michael Cera wanders around Chile without a script on a mission to get high on mescaline. Or, in the case of Crystal Fairy, nothing could happen, too.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 6
  2. Negative: 2 out of 6
  1. Jul 13, 2013
    10
    This is a comedy-drama masterpiece. This is with Pacific Rim the best movie of 2013 so far.Michael Cera is so great in this one and everyone else too.
  2. Dec 26, 2014
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. "Crystal Fairy" is a road trip taken by two of the ugliest Americans to ever trod a cinematic foreign country. Their goal: Mescaline and spiritual discovery – or closer to the truth, themselves.

    Comedy star Michael Cera, Jamie, showcases trademark Allenesque neuroses, whining and flat affect in a role based on the experiences of Director Sebastián Silva. The reversal is Silva was a native while Cera is an interloper of whom it is asked, "Did you travel to (beautiful) Chile just for the San Pedro (the cactus harvested for Mescaline)?" The answer is a resounding yes, and there is nothing he won't do to get it, including stealing cactus from a lonely, mentally challenged woman.

    Gaby Hoffman, Crystal Fairy, is a pontificating Sixties throwback who wanders about in the nude and chastises people about their food choices (while drinking Coke). She's also an unwanted (by Cera) barnacle clinging to the trip which includes three native brothers. (The scenes of the brothers trying to look like they're not gawking at the nude Hoffman in a hotel room are hilarious.)

    Cera's performance is admirable but his usual one-note. Hoffman easily outshines him.

    The improvised dialogue adds immediacy and verisimilitude while masking the bitter subtext; Neo-Colonialism and Financial Imperialism. Like "Tony Manero" (a film crediting thanks to Silva), United States' influence and interference lightly greases this story's wheels.

    Unlike "Tony Manero," "Crystal Fairy" adds character arcs: Cera departs his obnoxious head to find self-acceptance and a heart recognizing Fairy's inner beauty; Fairy discovers her healing powers cannot reanimate a dead animal and the world just might not end in 2012. She also finds acceptance of the sexual abuse leading her to a life as a strap-on wearing Dominatrix.

    The Chilean brothers are antithetical to the Gringos. Their portrayals are a given as they're natives of the country of the film's origin, but their counterpoint makes Cera and Hoffman all the more ridiculous.

    To say "Crystal Fairy" is a comedy (stoner or otherwise), twisted love story or angry gringo-invective is to sell the film short. This is a sweet, abstract film with multiple layers and a few very fine moments. The film plants itself in the psyche – much like Mescaline. Giving in to the film's charms results in a feeling you actually tripped along.

    Multiple viewings may help in understanding off-the-cuff lines delivered sotto voce. And the abrupt, unsatisfying ending is a shortcoming. There is a movement to cut to black and end films with ambiguity. To feed post-viewing conversation and debate? Whether lazy, uninspired, unmotivated or ill-advised, an ambiguous ending cheats the audience. ("The Birds" notwithstanding.)

    A welcome respite to noisy, tent-pole, superhero entertainment, joining this troupe on the road is definitely worth the ninety minute trip – straight or high.
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  3. Dec 28, 2013
    6
    The movie is slight to a fault, but it's a kick to see Michael Cera finally cut loose a bit. It is to the film's credit that although almostThe movie is slight to a fault, but it's a kick to see Michael Cera finally cut loose a bit. It is to the film's credit that although almost nothing happens, the actors are never less than engaging. Expand
  4. Aug 18, 2013
    4
    Michael Cera's movie characters are typically awkard nebbish types, so he must have been thrilled to play this obnoxious, pushy boor. He teamsMichael Cera's movie characters are typically awkard nebbish types, so he must have been thrilled to play this obnoxious, pushy boor. He teams up with 3 brothers in Chile for a road trip (literally) to ingest mescaline. Along they way they encounter a free spirit named Crystal Fairy (Gabby Hoffmann) and her name sums up her hippie/new age personality. The conflict between these 2 lead characters is pretty much all there is for plot. It's shot in a sloppy, handheld style with aimless direction. Basically, it's a showcase for Cera to act an Expand
  5. Aug 15, 2014
    2
    Michael Cera executed the role poorly , as always. There is close to no character development and the film will just be forgotten like allMichael Cera executed the role poorly , as always. There is close to no character development and the film will just be forgotten like all other drug comedies. Expand
  6. Nov 13, 2014
    2
    "Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus" 10 Scale Rating: 1.5 (Terrible) ...

    The Good: Nothing, really. Well, OK ... Michael Cera stepping
    "Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus" 10 Scale Rating: 1.5 (Terrible) ...

    The Good: Nothing, really. Well, OK ... Michael Cera stepping out of his comfort zone was good to see.

    The Bad: Pretty much everything. Typically a group of people wandering through the desert in a drug induced stupor is an entertaining premise ... if it's funny. Too stupid for words and chock full of rambling dialogue that feels like it was made up on the fly, "Crystal Fairy" fails at every level in trying to become a cult classic. "Fear and Loathing" it's not.
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