Magic Trip

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"A drug-fuelled road trip in the 60s"
  • R
  • 2011
  • 1 hr 47 min
  • 6.8  (1,661)
  • 59

Magic Trip is an insightful documentary that takes viewers on a fascinating journey into the heart of the 1960s counterculture movement. The movie explores the iconic road trip undertaken by author Ken Kesey and his band of misfits, who set out on a cross-country adventure in a brightly painted school bus dubbed "Further." The journey was meant to be an exploration of the American continent as well as a journey inward, with the passengers embarking on a self-discovery mission fueled by copious amounts of LSD.

Narrated by Stanley Tucci, the film features newly discovered footage from the original bus trip, which was thought to have been lost forever. The movie also features interviews with some of the key figures of the era, including Timothy Leary, Wavy Gravy, Neal Cassady, and Allen Ginsberg, along with Kesey's family and friends.

The movie takes us on a wild ride through the back roads of America, accompanied by a diverse cast of characters. The original bus trip was a kaleidoscope of color, sound, and hallucinogenic imagery, with the group encountering numerous challenges and obstacles along the way. From police harassment to internal conflicts, the journey was far from smooth sailing. However, the passengers remained committed to their mission, using the trip to explore the limits of their minds and probe the mysteries of the human experience.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the movie is its exploration of Kesey's creative process, which was heavily influenced by his experiences on the road trip. We learn that Kesey was not just a passenger on the bus but was also using the journey as research for his forthcoming novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The novel would go on to become a classic of twentieth-century literature, and the film shows how Kesey's experiences on the road trip helped to shape the book's characters and themes.

Through its portrayal of the 1960s counterculture, the movie highlights the tension between individualism and conformity that defined the era. While Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters were committed to forging their own path and questioning mainstream values, they were also keenly aware of the social and political challenges of the day. The Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement were just two of the issues that dominated the national conversation, and the film shows how Kesey and his friends grappled with these complex and urgent issues while on their journey.

Overall, Magic Trip is a captivating, visually stunning, and thought-provoking documentary that offers a unique window into a pivotal moment in American history. It showcases the power of collaboration, self-exploration, and the pursuit of creative expression that defined the 1960s counterculture movement. Through its use of newly discovered footage and insightful interviews, the movie brings this moment to life with all its vibrancy and energy, and reminds us of the transformative power of human connection and the imagination.

Magic Trip is a 2011 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 47 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8 and a MetaScore of 59.

Magic Trip
Where to Watch Magic Trip
Magic Trip is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Magic Trip for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 47 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (1,661)
  • Metascore