Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

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  • Summary: Narrated by Johnny Depp, award-winning writer-director Tom DiCillo’s riveting film uncovers historic, previously unseen footage of The Doors and provides new insight into the revolutionary impact of their music and legacy. “When You’re Strange” is the first feature documentary to tell their story. (Rhino Records) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 18
  2. Negative: 3 out of 18
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The Doors lit rock 'n' roll fires for only 54 months, having formed after Morrison met Manzarek in 1965, when both were UCLA film students. We get a sense of them as bandmates as they hang around backstage or rehearse, garage-band-style.
  3. 75
    A sometimes insightful, sometimes absurdly devotional but steadily engaging film.
  4. 60
    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.
  5. Like so many Doors chroniclers, DiCillo can’t help but fall under the singer’s spell; it’s understandable, but frustrating.
  6. Reviewed by: Randy Lewis
    Distressingly short on creative spark or historical illumination.
  7. When You're Strange is a remedial Doors class, taught by a professor who sounds as if he's doing voiceovers for car commercials.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. jiml
    Apr 18, 2010
    Great use of the rarest, but marvelously restored film of Morrison and the Doors. The film goes far in showing genuine life and times without any new film shot whatsoever. No interviews but actual content from a great variety of sources. 100 minutes of a very original documentary chronicling a very unique talent and phenomenon. Expand
  2. Oct 18, 2010
    An excellent reflection of Morrison and the Doors. Johnny Depp's excellent narration makes you listen to every word as we roll through this entertaining documentary. Expand
  3. Sep 22, 2010
    I'll tell you what's strange... Finding an actor who looks exactly like Jim Morrison and making him do all kinds of weird crap that's worthy of the cheesiest Unsolved Mysteries dramatizations. Other than that I enjoyed it. Expand