The Doors - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Doors Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 21, 2013
Jim Morrison: This is the strangest life I've ever known.

"The Ultimate Story of Sex, Drugs & Rock 'N' Roll"

The Doors is about the best movie I could imagine being made about Jim Morrison and The Doors. Although the film may be named The Doors; it would probably make more sense if it were titled Jim Morrison, because that's really what this film is about. The sad fact is that Jim Morrison was The Doors and although the other three had amazing talent, they always seemed to be left in the shadow of Morrison. This film captures that aspect of the band extremely well. 

Oliver Stone attacks the story of Jim Morrison as he would any other story, with the most controversial topics that came up in Morrison's life. Although with Morrison as his subject, it really wasn't too hard to find controversy. Whether it be Morrison experimenting with acid and peyote, getting black out drunk, screwing every girl that came to his concerts, rebelling against authority, or possibly showing his privates at a concert; Jim Morrison is controversy.

Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison makes complete sense. Kilmer looks the part and when I say that, I mean it. He looks like Jim Morrison in a way I've only seen from one other biopic and that was Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash in Walk the Line. Kilmer does do a good job in a very complicated and difficult role. The supporting cast fills in around him nicely as well.

The Doors is a movie I really enjoyed as a Doors fan. I also love how Oliver Stone created the perfect drug infused, alcoholic, opinionated atmosphere that I would have to believe surrounded Morrison his whole life. If you're a fan of The Doors, this is an absolute must watch. For everyone else, it may still be worth a look, as it is a great music biopic. 
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2010
A good, psychedelic movie about the band the Doors, Kilmer is good playing Morrison, one of his best roles. I liked this movie.
Super Reviewer
October 2, 2010
Oliver Stone's Biopic on The Doors is somewhat an imperfect attempt at telling the story of the legendary rock band of the same name. I say imperfect because most of the events that happen in the film are exaggerated. Some of the original members have claimed that Oliver Stone has ignored their input when they were making the film for his creative liberty. What we have here is a semi fictional biopic with the facts twisted around to make the story seem more dramatic. Some events in the film never did happen. This a film that is a perfect example of what happens when you sacrifice truth for fiction. But I guess it doesn't really matter as long as the film is entertaining. The film is definitely an awesome journey through the 60's. A nostalgic piece of psychedelic rock and peace and love abound in this film as Oliver Stone takes us on an unforgettable journey of the legendary rock band. The cast that he has assembled here is great especially Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison. Kilmer deliver delivers the best performance of his career in The Doors. Val Kilmer did his own vocals for Doors songs and thats one of the high points of the film. Despite the flaws, Kilmer's acting saves this film. This isn't the best biopic on a band, but it definitely isn't the worst. The thing that may be conflicting is the fact that the film focuses more on Jim Morrison than the band itself. As far as I'm concerned, This film should have been titled differently. Besides for Kilmer the rest of cast do a fine job at portraying the real people. Even if it's not 100% accurate, and it's most definitely not, The Doors is still a pretty interesting film to watch and enjoy. I thought the film was good, but flawed, but by no means terrible. Stone is still able to paint a vivid portrait of the 1960's, and succeeds fairly well in doing so. If you're a Doors fan, check this one out. But just remember that Oliver Stone fictionalized most of the story to make this film more dramatic. If it wasn't for Val Kilmer awesome portrayal of Jim Morrison, this film would be a total faillure but it isn't.
Super Reviewer
April 4, 2010
Kilmer and Ryan weren't the right cast, but the actual movie was well written and definitely right in its assessment.
Super Reviewer
March 29, 2010
First hour is pretty cool then I get lost in the drugs. I've read that JIm Morrison's portrayal was overblown and out of proportion but I wasn't there, I'm just reading shiz. "The End" performance was awesome, Oliver Stone was solid in the 80's, fell off in the 90's. JFK, sucks, The Doors, slucks, Natural Born Killers, no thanks, Nixon, bucks, U-Turn, ducks, Any Given Sunday, trucks and trucks. All piles up to suck compared to his 80's stream of solid films.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2010
Maybe I'm partial to this film because I love the band and the time period, but I really do think that it is an overlooked gem. While it's not a flawless biopic, it is extremely entertaining and fun. You see the emotional downfall of Jim Morrison as well as the effect of his music on the world. It's a sad, but true interpretation of his life and I appreciate Oliver Stone for going that route.
Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2008
Fanboy movie.
Super Reviewer
February 19, 2007
A well played part by Val Kilmer, whom I'm not usually a huge fan of.

As I understand it from others, the story was told from a biased point of view. I am a fan of The Doors, but not so much that I know whether or not this is true.

Entertaining, insightfuly, this is Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' roll without a doubt.
Super Reviewer
½ August 3, 2006
Perhaps my rating is a bit inflated since this movie does have a number of historical/technical inaccuracies, but then again, Oliver Stone only wanted to showcase a certain side of Jim Morrison to begin with- the side heavily focused on in the film. Morrison wasn't really always that drunk, beligerent, and obnoxious, but the charisma was spot on. Val Kilmer gives the best performance of his career here. He's (just about) spot on in voice (talking/singing), appearance, and mannerisms as JM. The rest of the cast is really good, but not nearly as good as Kilmer. The music and cinematography are also immediate highlights, especially since Vilmer's singing (close-up shots) is virtually indistinguishable from Morrison's (long shots). Yes, this movie is very bloated, over-indulgent, and very pointed in it's depiction of Jim and the band, but it's a hell of a lot of fun (even when it's murky).
Super Reviewer
July 30, 2007
Jim Morrison seems like he was a prick. Val Kilmer shows that he can do a good impression of him.
Super Reviewer
June 26, 2007
Stone doesn't focus enough on the cultural context of the 60s that not only inspired Jim's lyrics, but led an entire nation to devote themselves to his music.
Super Reviewer
September 24, 2007
Super Reviewer
June 6, 2007
The movie itself wasn't all that great, and the fact that I'm not a Doors fan didn't help matters. But Val Kilmer was perfectly cast as Jim Morrison. It's worth seeing just to watch him.
Super Reviewer
½ May 20, 2007
I don't like The Doors, so I'm a bit biased, but Val Kilmer does a decent impersonation of the pompous, arrogant, self important twat in a biopic that's rather too steeped in hero worship. Nicely shot and a good sense of period though.
Super Reviewer
½ November 8, 2006
Val Kilmer is uncannily convincing as Jim Morrison but, as usual with the women in Oliver Stone's film.
Super Reviewer
November 5, 2006
A great-looking movie that's pretty easy to forget.
Super Reviewer
March 13, 2006
I think Val Kilmer really is Jim Morrison, but he's no Batman.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
April 19, 2012
It's an Oliver Stone-directed, Robert Richardson-filmed biopic about "The Doors". ...Wow, just hearing that description is making me get a little bit high, so one can only imagine what the actual film is like. Well, actually, it's surprisingly not that ridiculously intense, which is surprising, because even before "Natural Born Killers", one of history's most effective drug trip films that had nothing to do with drug trips, Oliver Stone couldn't even make a film about the conspiracies behind JFK's assassination without tripping you out a bit. Well, to be fair, as good and intriguing as that film is, after over three hours of just talking about John F. Kennedy getting shot, it doesn't even matter if the film is all that dull, you're still going to start hazing out a bit. Hey, say what you will about how trademark his style is, Stone is quite the versatile director, as far as, if nothing else, runtime is concerned, because he'll make a mammoth 3+ hour long epic about people just talking about someone getting shot, and then turn around to make a biopic on just about the entire career of a big time, controversial rock band, and yet it doesn't even make it past 140 minutes; in fact, the "special" edition - if you want to call it that - is shorter. Hey, I guess that's what you get "when you're strange" like Oliver Stone; and yes, all of that was only leading up to a forced reference to a song by The Doors, and people are likely to not even get it, which is a shame, because although I'm not off-the-walls fan of The Doors, every bit counts, in terms of getting people to listen to classic music. Of course, if you only know the song, just because you saw this film, then forget you, you dirty cheater, but still, good for you, because this film is still fairly good, yet kept from really hitting, thanks to a fair couple of bad trips (Acid reference definately intended) along the way.

As I said, Oliver Stone's big trademark is his hyper-stylized and unconventional storytelling that throws you, sometimes a little too far, into the story, much like a meditative film does, but where those films were your just your run-of-the-mill movies, only with a good couple of new tricks, this is Stone's "actual" meditative film. It's not as hyper-stylized as some of his other work, though it is stylized art, and it's art that prevails as first priorty in Stone's direction, leaving storytelling to find itself crafted into some kind of meditation. That's cool and all, but, as I've said time and again, meditative storytelling is heavily flawed, drying up the story to the point of making it slow and rather pretentious, as it, seemingly in an unpreventable manner, wears its being unconvential on its sleeve by sacrificing some key notes in traditional storytelling, like development and some later exposition. Well, sure enough, this film, out of the gate, fails - nay - neglects to give us insight into the actual aura and purpose of our characters, and as things progress, exposition feels like an afterthought, leaving the film disjointed and also kind of confusing in a way. Still, while meditative storytelling is something that we see too often, no one really has that type of extremely distinct style that Oliver Stone has that fits this subject matter so startlingly perfectly, it's unreal, though still to a fault, because with all of this over-meditation over substance, after a while, you just have to wonder what in the world this film's point is. Of course, then you just realize that it doesn't really serve much more of a purpose outside of fulfilling Oliver Stone's destiny to make a film about The Doors, because although someone could definately do it better, virtually no one else could fit the bill more. However, while that only taints the film - seeing as the subject matter is so specifically designed for Oliver Stone to the point of only being tainted by his all-too fitting overstyle -, it is, at the same time, why the film is still rather rewarding, which isn't to say that it stood too major of a chance of descending to mediocrity or even lower, though it is to say that for everything that the film boasts what is wrong with Oliver Stone, it boasts volumes what is good about good ol' Stoned Stone.

To be perfectly honest, The Doors was pretty blasted far from the greatest classic acid rock band, though it still put out some pretty good hits, and enough to make for a strong soundtrack that's both enjoyable to hear in this film and actually fits its tone, just as much as it fit the band's tone. Something just as fitting is, of course, Robert Richardson's cinematography, which is as stunning as it always is, especially in the Oliver Stone films, but also feels more fitting than ever, as its lush glow, bouncing color and sweeping, sometimes dizzying staging catches your eye and really brings the film's themes to life brilliantly, adding to its surrealism and emphasizing the tone of the film to a level that's relatable to the point of sucking you in and creating an immersive experience. Still, calm down kids, because watching this doesn't really get you high, but not for lack of trying, because although its meditative, surrealistic stylistic choices only hurt it as a film, being so fitting to the point of being overbearing, it still fits this subject matter like a glove while still really captivating you, leaving for you stick with the film, more often than not. Sure, Stone is a little bit too perfect to be making a film like this, and the film is left weaker than it should be because of it, but if someone had the guts to take on a biopic about The Doors and still make it this meditative, chances are, it would fall flat even harder, because, at the end of the day, Stone has such a deep understanding of this subject matter and how to execute it that the final product comes out as heavily flawed, but still enjoyable, because it's so very fitting, and with a fair deal of golden moments that grow more and more prominent as the film progresses. Sure, like just about every other Oliver Stone biopic, it's dubious as all get-out from a story point of view, yet as far as capturing the subject and its compenents in a highly believable fashion, whether it be during the moments of known fact or likely fiction, and his performers really help with that believability. Most of the performers don't just look their parts, but really know how to embody them, as well, with Val Kilmer, like the actual Jim Morrison, recieving almost all of the attention, and rightfully so. Kilmer nails Morrison's charismatic and very trippy presence as a visionary, a talent, a strange rebel and a human, flawed and strong, and does it all with a transformative presence that further sells you on Morrison's strengths and, especially, his flaws, making a compelling lead that neither earns too much of your affection, nor too much of your disdain, only investment in him as a human.

At the end of the trip, Oliver Stone seems a little bit - nay - way too fitting for a film of this type, maybe not pumping it with superfluous ultra-style, but still too much style to the point of tainting development, exposition and general storytelling with an overly meditative and rather pretentious aura that holds back the final product; and yet, it's also that very style that helps make the film as good as it is, as it fills it with stunning, gripping imagery and tones that fit the themes of the film perfectly, uniquely and authentically, with across-the-board sharp, charismatic and transformative performances - particularly that of Val Kilmer - intensifying the gripping tone that ultimately leaves "The Doors" to stand as a generally fascinating, trippy and immersive meditative study on the rise and fall of the revolutionary classic band, as well as its notorious frontman.

3/5 - Good
Super Reviewer
½ November 7, 2010
It gives the 1980s 'Scarface' a run for its money in terms of excessive excess portrayed on screen. Val Kilmer is pretty amazing in the central role, its not realistic, but that wasn't the point for Oliver Stone. Its a little too long and it becomes repetitive at times but its crazy energy allows it to be more entertaining than your usual biopic.
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