Jimi Plays Monterey is also a short film directed by D. A. Pennebaker documenting the same performance as the album, also released in 1986. It is notable for containing several interviews with rock stars, and containing an art piece by Denny Dent during the performance of "Can You See Me".
In Rolling Stone, David Fricke said Jimi Plays Monterey preserves Hendrix's wild playing and playful humor onstage, writing that the show it documents is "still a revelation, an orgasmic explosion of singing feedback, agitated stretches of jazzy improvisation and recombinant R&B guitar".Robert Christgau called it "peace-and-love-and-egomania at its most far out" in The Village Voice, appreciating its digital mastering and historical value, although he lamented some of the performances themselves: "Jimi speeds alarmingly, Mitch Mitchell keeps tripping over his sticks, and 'Like a Rolling Stone' is patently hokey." In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Richie Unterberger gave the album four-and-a-half out of five stars and felt the band was in "fine, lean, fiery form". Paul Evans gave it three-and-a-half stars in The Rolling Stone Album Guide (1992).