Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of The Grateful Dead 3.0 stars

Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of The Grateful Dead movie poster

Not unlike an actual Grateful Dead concert, Amir Bar-Lev’s candid doc runs just slightly over four hours. But don’t expect wall-to-wall concert footage. (If that’s your preference, Shout Factory released a splendid blu-ray edition of The Grateful Dead Movie.) Using never-before-seen footage and interviews, Bar-Lev’s warts-and-all approach fits a band that backed into fame in spite of itself. On a lighter note, the group had a habit of lacing the Craft Service beverage cart with a batch of acid so strong Jimi Hendrix wrote “Purple Haze" in its honor. Ever wonder what it’s like to film under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs? Clips from a turned-on appearance on Playboy After Dark and a planned documentary that some accuse Garcia of spiking to the point of sabotage are a scream to behold. If you’re not a fan of the Dead, chances are you’ve stopped reading this. But if you are, pack your Owsley Bear and edibles for what’s bound to be a long, strange, and — for grateful Dead fans — wonderful time at the movies. 238.

Scott Marks

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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