When You're Strange

Rated R 90 minutes 2010

Indie writer-director Tom DiCillo (Living in Oblivion, Box of Moonlight) takes a stab at rock documentary with this portrait of the Doors, which includes some choice archival footage but never gets past the standard mythology of the band codified by Oliver Stone's 1991 biopic. Hoping to preserve the Doors' moment in time, DiCillo decided not to conduct any interviews with the surviving members or their colleagues, yet his narration, read by Johnny Depp, is a familiar litany of 60s headlines and critical bromides (Jim Morrison as modern-day shaman, etc). 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.

Film Credits

Director: Tom DiCillo

Producer: Dick Wolf, John Beug, Jeff Jampol and Peter Jankowski

Cast: Johnny Depp

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