What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie features a lot of sex, drugs, and profanity. There are consequences to bad behavior, namely Jim Morrison's premature demise. Nevertheless, Morrison's life of excess and poetic death are romanticized if not glamorized. There are a few scuffles, some verbal domestic abuse, and sex scenes where the line between sex and abuse is blurry.
What's the story?
THE DOORS chronicles the rise and fall of the popular 1960's rock act. Legendary lead singer Jim Morrison (Val Kilmer) blows into Los Angeles in the mid 60's, shy at first with a head full of poetry. While attending UCLA film school, he meets keyboardist Ray Manzarek (Kyle MacLachlan), and, together with Robbie Krieger (Frank Whaley) and John Densmore (Kevin Dillon), form a band. They are not short on ambition, fancying themselves the mythmakers for the Age of Aquarius. As the band achieves success, Morrison indulges in excess, spiraling out of control, alienating lovers and band-members before meeting his inevitable end.
Is it any good?
This story of a tragic artist who lives fast and dies young could have come off as clichéd in less able hands. Oliver Stone had a string of hits in the early 1990's, and here his distinct style meshes seamlessly with the content. Though they may not add up to anything special in terms of plot, the scenes function well on their own, with longtime Stone collaborator Robert Richardson bringing 60's SoCal culture to life and, of course, the Doors providing the soundtrack. There is a lyrical quality to the film, non-linear and highly subjective.
Val Kilmer's performance is utterly convincing. Stone and Morrison seem to be cut from the same cloth, and it's hard to imagine anyone else telling (or living) so vivid a story.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the distinction one of the characters makes between using drugs to expand one's mind and using them to escape from responsibilities. Why do people use drugs? How has our knowledge of the long-term effects of these drugs changed since the 1960's?