Sixteen years after joe plunged the family car off the road with his wife chrystal & their young son inside joe returns from prison seeking what was lost on that night. The thing he needs most is the hardest to ask for - h... more »is own redemption. Studio: First Look Home Entertain Release Date: 08/05/2008 Starring: Billy Bob Thornton Lisa Blount Run time: 106 minutes Rating: R« less
Billy Bob Thornton is one of my favorite actors and he did not disappoint in this gritty drama. Worth a watch if you are a fan!
David M. (KingofGarageSales) from FAYETTEVILLE, AR Reviewed on 3/5/2016...
If Billy Bob Thornton has made a bad movie I have yet to hear of it. Including this one.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Absorb this film about crime, betrayal, loss, guilt, redempt
Jessica Lux | Rosamond, CA | 12/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This story is so much about the setting, in the Ozark Mountains, where growing pot is one of the few ways to make enough money to keep your land, where men drink and drive as long as they avoid the downtown area, where rednecks clear out the fish fry for a fight in the parking lot, and where a bluegrass jamboree is a way to while away a humid evening. The scenery is beautiful, but everyone's isolation is tragic. The bar fight is one of the best scenes, with no professional moves, just a heck of a lot of slapping, kicking, and stumbling. There is nothing suave about the bar fight. The realism was beautiful, especially as Thornton's character let his arch enemy get a riled up while Thornton himself remained steady.
The movie starts out slow, but the action in the middle is powerful, and the ending is a sucker punch to the gut. The characters are vivid and true. This is a haunting tale about loss, guilt, and redemption. "
"you can't preach the virtue of diversity and then try to en
Eddie Lancekick | Pacific Northwest | 01/21/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was skeptical when watching this film, but boy am I glad I did. This is one of those stories that touches the heart, maddens the mind, and numbs the nerves as we follow some people into their life and times in the Southern back woods of the South.
Yes, it's SET in the South, but the movie doesn't push on us Rebel flags, old Chevy Pickups, and Fried Catfish. The movie simply uses that as the backdrop for the various THEMES that we are introduced to, which all bundle up into one notion: Life is not fair.
Joe is back on his little homestead, after spending over 15 years in the pen for running dope back in the day. His wife, who now seems half gone mentally but still holds onto a strong spirit and singing talent barely acknowledges he's back. Joe goes about trying to build something again, but can you after so much time has past? Old wounds re-open, to show us some wounds never fully heal.
Betrayal, Mistrust, sleazy cousins, and a new beginning will all be seen by the time you're done watching it. Again, I was skeptical but now think this is truly a great American "tale". A good cast of performers including Billy Bob Thornton as Joe."
Wing Lee | Toronto, Ontario | 10/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is kind of similar to Undertow and Monster's Ball. It deals with violence, crime, tragedy, forgiveness, redemption, and reconcilation. It's a great vehicle to showcase the relatively unknown Lisa Blount who managed to upstaged the rather low-key Billy Bob Thorton. Blount plays the title character who was traumatized and physically damaged by the car accident that took the life of her little boy. Her husband Joe(Thorton) was to blame for the tragedy, because he was smuggling drug in the car, and ended sentenced to prison for twenty years.
During the time when Joe was absent, Chrystal lives alone with her dog Precise in an isolated farm, and she occasionally offers herself sexually to the local boys. She's constantly haunted by the death of her son, and still angry at Joe when he came home. They no longer connect emotionally and sexually. At one point, Joe ask her," Am I still your husband?" She responded angrily and said,"If you just want my P****, just come and get it....". He's trying to seek her forgiveness and start over again, but the worst thing was that she can no longer have children.
The local marajuana dealer named Snake(Ray McKinnon, director and writer of this film) tried to persuade Joe to grow marajuana on his farm, but he declined, and things get nasty and physical between the two. Meanwhile, a travelling blind musicologist named Kalid is in town to gather research for his book, and becomes friend with Chrystal who used to be a good singer. This subplot allowed the film to feature many beautiful songs that resembles Songcatcher and some of the Bluegrass music featured in You Can Count On Me. Things gets even more ugly when Snake and his gang chased Chrystal and Kalid into the woods and want to gang rape her. Fortunately, Joe was hiding in the woods and rescued them. Will Chrystal be able to reconcile with Joe and let go of the the shadows of the past?
Overall, the performances are very good, and the actors delivered their lines with impressive southern accent. This film is obviously very low budget, one would wonder how they could get Billy Bob Thorton to be in it. I loved the soundtrack, and I also was quite touched by Lisa Blount's performance, despite not having seen her previous works."
Joshua Miller | Coeur d'Alene,ID | 05/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Oscar Winner Billy Bob Thornton (Best Adapted Screenplay, Sling Blade) gives one of his best performances in "Chrystal" a massively overlooked and under rated movie that captures the southern atmosphere and elivers a compelling and sometimes funny movie. Thornton plays Joe, who sixteen years before drove his wife Chrystal (Lisa Blount) and their young boy off a cliff. Joe came out of the wreck fine and went on to serve a 16 year prison term. Chrystal is mentally unstable and has become, virtually, the town hooker. The little boy was never found, not a trace. When Joe is released from prison, he returns to the home he shared with Chrystal and begins staying on the porch and reuniting with some old friends. Chrystal, meanwhile, befriends a blind writer named Kalid (Harry Lennix, of The Matrix films). Now, even though Thornton is spectacular; Blount makes the kind of first impression actresses like Amy Adams did in "Junebug". She really overshadows all of the other actors who are much better known then herself. She plays the deeply disturbed Chrystal to a T. I'm surprised she didn't nab an Oscar nomination. I'm not sure why this film was so "under the radar" because it truly is a marvelous film. There are times when the film stumbles a bit and the character Snake (who I was surprised to find was played by writer/director Ray McKinnon) overstayed his welcome but if you are in a video store you should really rent this movie.
GRADE: A- "
Hypnotic and engaging
cookie | 10/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I admit, I rented this DVD because I am a Billy-Bob fan, but I watched the whole rather slow moving story because I was immediately grabbed by the music. I have read the above reviews and agree with the positive ones so I won't repeat what they said. I only want to add that the (local) music is haunting and hypnotic, a good representation of that 'high lonesome' mountain sound that graces "O brother..."and "the songcatcher". If there were a soundtrack I would buy it."