Critic Reviews



Based on 18 critic reviews provided by
When You're Strange, a documentary history of the Doors directed by Tom DiCillo, is for people like me who can stumble onto the scrappiest Doors video on VH1 at 3 a.m. and sit there, mesmerized.
Offers a worshipful but insightful portrait of the group - centered, of course, on its charismatic front man.
Rolling Stone
Unhappy with what Oliver Stone did to Jim Morrison and the Doors in his 1991 biopic? Here’s the doc for you.
The Hollywood Reporter
A must for Doors fans as the film attempts to disentangle the facts from the myths surrounding the legendary band.
Village Voice
DiCillo overburdens When You're Strange, which is narrated by Johnny Depp, with a cliché barrage of achronological news events, including an unconscionable use of Robert Kennedy's death agony, but the archival Doors footage he has assembled is anything but banal.
Like so many Doors chroniclers, DiCillo can’t help but fall under the singer’s spell; it’s understandable, but frustrating.
As usual, the three instrumentalists (Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Robby Krieger) take a backseat to their gorgeous front man, though their nimble, idiosyncratic playing has aged much better than his pretentious poetry.
The man inside that legend has yet to come into focus 40 years on. Morrison wanted the world and he wanted it now, and he got it. What When You’re Strange can’t admit is that he had no idea what to do next.
Director Tom DiCillo does his damnedest to make his documentary about The Doors unwatchable, but the subject matter is too compelling--and the vintage footage too electrifying--to be completely worthless.
The Lizard King is a bummer in When You're Strange, Tom DiCillo's disastrously inane documentary ode to reptilian rocker Jim Morrison and his mellower bandmates in the Doors.

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