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Magic Trip

HD   R Closed Captioning

Alex Gibney & Alison Ellwood

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About the Movie

In 1964, Ken Kesey, the famed author of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” set off on a legendary cross-country road trip to the New York World’s Fair. He was joined by “The Merry Band of Pranksters,” including Neal Cassady, the American icon immortalized in Kerouac’s “On the Road.” Kesey and the Pranksters intended to make a documentary about their trip, but the film was never finished and the footage has remained virtually unseen. With MAGIC TRIP, Oscar®-winning director Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood were given unprecedented access to this raw footage to create a documentary of this extraordinary piece of American history.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 60
  • Fresh: 42
  • Rotten: 18
  • Average Rating: 6.3/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Fans of the subject matter, especially students of the Beat era, will find this revisionist reconstruction indispensible; others will share the same tedium claimed by some of the principals on the bus. – John Anderson, Variety, Sep 16, 2011

Rotten: Gibney and Ellwood struggle to create context for or make much sense of the vibrant hodge-podge of material that they excavated from the archives of Kesey, who died in 2001. – Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, Aug 11, 2011

Fresh: The backstory behind the film is as compelling as the events it depicts. – Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter, Aug 4, 2011

Fresh: It's the movie "Yellow Submarine'' should have been but didn't know how to be. – Mark Feeney, Boston Globe, Sep 1, 2011

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Kool-Aid Acid Test the Movie

Have just been re-reading Kool-aid acid test--this was the movie waiting decades to be seen-If your a fan of the book -the beginning of The Grateful Dead, then you'll understand and appreciate this movie.If you fall in that camp you'll love it. Captures a incredible period of change in the US. What stuck me most was Kesey's moment of understanding about fear, and how so many were in fear during that era because fundamental change was happening to society. So much like our newly reformed world of fear- it makes me understand today is the undercurrent of change, which the squares still fear.

I miss Kesey

I have the uncut/unedited footage of this amazing story on several discs I bought from Ken's son's website.I am glad that they decided to put some narration to it and give it a little structure,although structure was the last thing my heroes needed! I just love these stories and the people. This isnt going to be everyone's cup of tea, but you are either on the bus or in between!


The first time i read the elertric Koolaid acid test which this movie is based off of i said i wish they would make a movie about this. The book is great this movie is great. You should watch it!!! Can't wait to buy it.

Magic Trip
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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2011

Customer Ratings