When You’re Strange

Rated 2.0

An honest and enlightening documentary about the Doors that is able to get past the mythos and hero worship of Jim Morrison would make an excellent movie. Tom DiCillo’s PBS doc When You’re Strange is not that film, as most of it is soaked in Johnny Depp’s narration, which reads like boomer narcissism-porn—“By late 1970, the dream that had stirred an entire generation officially ends.” “The youth movement faded away, never to reappear.” Naturally, most of the songs are set to montages of the Vietnam War, the civil-rights movement and the Kennedy assassinations, as though these events were even tangentially related to the Doors’ brand of psychedelic blues-rock. When You’re Strange does feature a few compelling live performances, and the archival footage of Jim Morrison will satisfy some Doors cultists, but the boomer solipsism overshadows the music.