Movie List
Loading ...
Find Theaters and Movie Times
Search Movies

Review: When You’re Strange

Doesn’t open any new Doors
By TOM MEEK  |  April 8, 2010
2.5 2.5 Stars

READ:Tom Meek's interview with Ray Manzarek of the Doors

If you’re a Doors fan, your inner Jim Morrison will be stoked by the vast archival footage in When You’re Strange. Be warned, however: this documentary doesn’t open any new doors, and, worse, it’s negligent in its history.

Director Tom DiCillo (Living in Oblivion) is an obvious fan, but he doesn’t know what to say about the band other than that they were great and envelope-pushing, so he interjects superfluous footage of Morrison cruising along a desert highway in a muscle car. The trippy scenes feel lifted right out of Oliver Stone’s 1991 bio-pic The Doors — which is ironic, because band member Ray Manzarek has tagged DiCillo’s vision “the true story of the Doors” and “the anti–Oliver Stone.”

About the smartest thing DiCillo may have done was to recuse himself as narrator. Johnny Depp brings a poetry to the task appropriate to the subject, and there are some great anecdotal nuggets (with Joplin and Jagger). But DiCillo, ever the meddler, just won’t let it break on through.

Editor's Note: In a previous version of this article, Ray Manzarek's name was misspelled as Ray Minaret. The correction has been made above.

Related: Review: A Single Man, Review: It's Complicated, Review: The Young Victoria, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Entertainment, Movies, Oliver Stone,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   HOLLYWOOD, RI-STYLE  |  July 30, 2014
    The 2014 edition will premiere more than 240 films (features, shorts and documentaries) from 62 countries and 34 US states.
  •   GLOBAL CINEMA, LOCAL FLAVOR  |  August 08, 2013
    The 17th annual incarnation of the Rhode Island International Film Festival begins its weeklong run on August 6. The festival, which boasts more than 200 films from 65 countries, is a celebration of the cinematic arts with a campus feel and a focus on all things Rhode Island.
  •   REVIEW: SAFE HAVEN  |  February 14, 2013
    Somewhere along the way Nicholas Sparks went from being just a bestselling author of preachy schmaltz to a full-on franchise (he produces the movies of his books).
  •   REVIEW: FUN SIZE  |  October 31, 2012
    Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice ventures onto the big screen in this hokey Halloween misadventure.
  •   REVIEW: TAI CHI ZERO  |  October 24, 2012
    Mashup, hodgepodge, or remix — call it what you will, this kung fu odyssey from former action star Stephen Fung offers intermittent pleasures and freaky twists.

 See all articles by: TOM MEEK