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When You're Strange Reviews

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Jason Best
Movie Talk

DiCillo's film veers perilously close to hagiography. To those not under the singer's spell, [Jim Morrison] totters precariously between the charismatic and the ludicrous.

Full Review Source: Movie Talk

March 10, 2011
R. L. Shaffer

While fans of The Doors probably already know the story, this exploration of Jim Morrison's life and career is fascinating nonetheless.

Full Review Source: IGN DVD | Original Score: 7/10

October 16, 2010
Clint O'Connor
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Not many fresh insights, but riding along with The Doors is still a good time, whether you buy into the Jim Morrison mythology or not.

Full Review Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer | Original Score: B+

August 19, 2010
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall

Documents the Doors in a fairly straightforward way, telling their story with remarkable detail but never quite getting beneath the surface.

Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall | Original Score: 3/5

July 8, 2010
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

When You're Strange offers a worshipful but insightful portrait of the group...

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

July 6, 2010
David Gritten
Daily Telegraph

This is a far better bet than Oliver Stone's ghastly Doors movie.

Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph | Original Score: 3/5

July 6, 2010
Allan Hunter
Daily Express

The portrait of social change in Sixties America is sketchy but the film effectively states the case for Morrison as a charismatic, complex figure who lived fast, died young and left a lasting legacy.

Full Review Source: Daily Express | Original Score: 3/5

July 5, 2010

Refocuses some attention on the strange collection of individuals whose disparate musical influences made the band sound unique, if not always good.

Full Review Source: Scotsman | Original Score: 3/5

July 5, 2010
Peter Bradshaw
Guardian [UK]

Director Tom DiCillo is relatively incurious about the bands' mundane professional and romantic lives, perhaps for fear of importing an injurious Spinal Tap irony. But his film material of Jim Morrison is sensational.

Full Review Source: Guardian [UK] | Original Score: 4/5

July 1, 2010
Adam Woodward
Little White Lies

While the old adage says those who remember the '60s weren't really there, When You're Strange resurrects the spirit of the decade in a way that is at once intimate and universally familiar.

July 1, 2010
Juliet Buchan
The Skinny

With dynamic sound throughout, great visual and auditory storytelling and plenty of rare footage, it is easy to see why Depp claims to be proud of this nostalgic yet relatable representation.

Full Review Source: The Skinny | Original Score: 4/5

July 1, 2010
Kevin Harley
Total Film

This is a fan's film, with all the flaws that entails, but doubters might emerge converted.

Full Review Source: Total Film | Original Score: 3/5

June 30, 2010
Kim Newman
Empire Magazine

Essential for Doors fans, but enlightening to the uninitiated. A tantalising study of a troubled creator whose charisma still borders on the supernatural. Great music, too.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 4/5

June 30, 2010
Matthew Turner

Tom DiCillo's Doors documentary is decently paced and packed with previously unseen archive footage but it never scratches beneath the surface and doesn't tell Doors fans anything they don't already know.

Full Review Source: ViewLondon | Original Score: 3/5

June 30, 2010
Rick Kisonak
Film Threat

Who knew Krieger composed so many of the band's hits? Or that he picked up the electric guitar just six months before laying down his majestic tracks on the debut album?

Full Review Source: Film Threat

June 23, 2010
James Plath
Movie Metropolis

A hypnotic journey through the world of The Doors that chronicles their meteoric rise and fall in memorable fashion, using original footage.

Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Original Score: 8/10

June 21, 2010
Mike Scott

Fans, being fans, will appreciate the rare footage and the chance to hang with the band one more time. Unfortunately, there's very little by way of real revelation here.

Full Review Source: Times-Picayune | Original Score: 2.5/4

May 28, 2010
Chris Foran
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Doors weren't the embodiment of their time; they weren't even the most important rock act of their time. But When You're Strange shows why their music and iconography has lasted beyond their time.

Full Review Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Original Score: 2.5/4

May 13, 2010
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although Doors fans will drool over the prospect of the previously unseen footage, they are unlikely to find anything new here.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 3/5

May 6, 2010
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The vitality of crazed angel Jim Morrison is its driving force.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 3/4

May 6, 2010
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