Chrystal (2004) - Rotten Tomatoes

Chrystal (2004)



Critic Consensus: Where Chrystal's going isn't always clear, but this slow-burning story proves effective -- and marks writer-director-star McKinnon as a multi-hyphenated talent to watch.

Movie Info

Actor Ray McKinnon (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) makes his debut behind the camera with Chrystal, a psychological drama written, directed, and produced by the long-time character player. The film stars Billy Bob Thornton as Joe, a man who returns home after a 16-year prison stint. Before his conviction, Joe was involved in a car wreck while being pursued by the authorities. Though he survived, Joe's wife Chrystal (Lisa Blount) suffered permanent injuries and the couple's young son was killed. While Joe seeks redemption, he must also contend with Snake (McKinnon), a drug dealer who is less than kind to the ex-con. Chrystal premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.

Watch it now


Lisa Blount
as Chrystal
Max Kasch
as Shorty
James Intveld
as Charlie Cato
Jimmy Intveld
as Charlie Cato
Kathryn Howell
as Miss Mabel
View All

News & Interviews for Chrystal

Critic Reviews for Chrystal

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (7)

Chrystal unravels a bit toward the end as it becomes more fable-like, but the performances make it worthwhile.

June 9, 2005 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Respectable piece of work is reasonably involving if not compelling.

May 27, 2005

It's meandering and uneven, but much of it is powerfully effective and affecting.

May 27, 2005 | Rating: 3/4

Even those impatient viewers who feel like they're watching paint dry will admit that the colors are beautiful.

April 23, 2005 | Rating: B

An oddly beautiful film.

April 7, 2005 | Rating: B+

A grand story of redemption, laced with barbecued wit and slopped with intrigue.

March 16, 2004

Audience Reviews for Chrystal

Ray McKinnon's Chrystal is a real undiscovered gem. Starring McKinnon's now-deceased wife Lisa Blount and Billy Bob Thornton, Chrystal is a startlingly real story of pain and redemption set in the "wild" backwoods of Arkansas. With its powerful themes and emotional scars, fans of Sling Blade should appreciate this film equally. It is no caricature. I loved the setting, characters, and issues, but the pace was uneven, At times I thought this was a brilliant film, and at others I thought it ponderous. The film is also "wild" in many senses; it features picturesque scenery and savage yet eerily accurate characters. Lisa Blount is wonderful; I'd like to see more of her roles. McKinnon is gifted also; I have seen him play a wide variety of characters. Chrystal's bluegrass musical background is a great addition and even steals a few scenes. This is a traumatic journey, not for the prudish or squeamish. It represents outstanding independent filmmaking.

Clintus Maximus
Clintus Maximus

Super Reviewer


A really great movie. It starts out a little weird, like you don't know what you're getting yourself into, but it is definately worth it. You become really invested in the characters (especially the dog!)

Sarah Prisbylla
Sarah Prisbylla

Super Reviewer

This movie was so boring! It never picked up. Do not waste your time.

Erin Collins
Erin Collins

Super Reviewer

Chrystal Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features