Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. This thoughtful, troubling drama is leagues above the sensationalistic stuff Araki peddled in earlier films.
  2. A gorgeous, heartbreaking and utterly convincing work of art.
  3. The film's content is adult – and for the first time in Araki's career, so is the director.
  4. 88
    At once the most harrowing and, strangely, the most touching film I have seen about child abuse.
  5. 88
    Not for the squeamish, but it is a beautifully crafted and thoughtful film that genuinely provokes.
  6. Mysterious Skin dawdles more than it flows, but it comes alive whenever Araki, hovering between tragedy and voyeurism, reveals how sex can tear lives to pieces.
  7. 83
    Invigorating, blistering and chilling.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 89 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 39
  2. Negative: 4 out of 39
  1. Oct 31, 2012
    People can't face the truth. Araki didn't create the alien idea. It is 0% fictional. Maybe the most incredible story of the last 10 years. The movie is perfect on itself. Full Review »
  2. PaulaS.
    Aug 1, 2008
    One of the most harrowing and strangely touching movies I've seen in many years. The writing and acting are equally terrific.
  3. Feb 23, 2013
    Mysterious Skin is the story of two boys and an event one summer, that changed their lives forever. Both had different reactions to it and both had their whole lives consumed by it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Neil, and does an outstanding job. Neil is a male prostitute, cold and heartless on the outside, but lonely and miserable on the inside. JGL does a great job of portraying both to the audience. Be warned thou, this is one graphic film, not for the faint of heart. There are a lot of raw scenes featuring Neil, in fact, I don't think I've ever seen someone get undressed as many times in one movie as JGL does in this one. As for the film, it starts out strong, then in the middle, it seems like your typical, weird, indie flick. Don't turn it off just yet, because it gets better and better, building up to one of the strongest endings I've seen in a long time. This isn't something that hasn't been done before, but a combination of a great cast, top notch acting, and a brutally graphic depiction of events, makes it unique and something that you're going to want to see. Full Review »