• Howl
    2 minutes 42 seconds
    Added: Jul 15, 2010


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Howl Reviews

Tom Huddleston
Time Out
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This is a bold, inspiring piece of work, putting experimental techniques in the service of a heartfelt, insightful and surprisingly audience-friendly work of art.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/5

February 23, 2011
Tom Long
Detroit News
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It's sweet stuff, a portrait of an artist in turmoil, under fire and laying himself bare. Howl captures Howl beautifully.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B+

January 28, 2011
Todd McCarthy
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Admirable if fundamentally academic.

Full Review Source: Variety

January 3, 2011
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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What could have been a trivial exercise in nostalgia instead becomes a powerful case for the cathartic power of art.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 3/4

October 29, 2010
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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Epstein and Friedman didn't write the film as much as assemble it, using actual interview quotes and court transcripts. And while the loose structure takes some getting used to, it's ultimately effective and at times thrilling.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 28, 2010
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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Howl is a disappointingly mundane movie about a vibrant, iconoclastic subject.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2/4

October 22, 2010
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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It's about literature itself, the ways in which it works on the reader and the folly of applying some objective standard of decency and meaning to words on a page.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: 4.5/5

October 22, 2010
Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
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The film forces us to face what a powerful poem "Howl" remains. That poetry isn't just pretty language, it has the ability to make us think about our lives, even to change our lives.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 4/5

October 21, 2010
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Despite James Franco's smart performance as poet Allen Ginsberg, this film rings hollow.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 14, 2010
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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The language of that poem, which periodically pours out from the screen, is the best thing in the movie.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: B

October 8, 2010
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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The result, though clearly flawed, is passionate and ambitious, celebrating that long-gone era when a book of verse could spark a revolution in consciousness.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

October 8, 2010
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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The best thing about the film Howl is the poem Howl.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail

October 8, 2010
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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How do you make poetry cinematic? "Howl,'' a new film about beat writer Allen Ginsberg, asks that question without realizing the question is backward. It should be: How do you make cinema poetic?

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2/4

September 30, 2010
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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It's well-crafted, but I wish the film showed us an additional dimension or two of the central figure, who once said the great challenge in writing, any kind of writing, is "to write the same way you are."

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 30, 2010
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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The bold, outspoken man of later days is seen here as still a middle-class youth, uncertain of his gayness, filled with the heady joy of early poetic success, learning how to be himself.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

September 30, 2010
Dana Stevens
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By the time this movie's over, you've spent an hour and a half just working your way through the words of "Howl" and some related source material, and that turns out to be a surprisingly satisfying thing to do.

Full Review Source: Slate

September 24, 2010
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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An exemplary work of literary criticism on film, explaining and contextualizing its source without deadening it.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

September 24, 2010
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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Howl is a movie with no clear narrative. It pushes boundaries and feels like one man's fever dream. But all those traits would certainly make Allen Ginsberg happy.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/5

September 24, 2010
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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A film of passion and ambition, but one whose success is intermittent at best.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

September 23, 2010
Keith Phipps
AV Club
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Happily, Ginsberg's words still cut recklessly through the years.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B

September 23, 2010
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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Allen Ginsberg's revolutionary 1956 poem ''Howl'' -- a literary manifesto for the Beat Generation -- gets a great reading from modern-day beatnik-star James Franco, playing the poet with bebop passion.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B-

September 22, 2010
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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There is no defining story of lasting importance here, so the directors opted for a small narrative, a lot of drawings and snippets of the trial. It's filled with graphics, but doesn't really amount to much of a film or an illumination of the man's life.

Full Review Source: New York Observer | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 22, 2010
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
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A Beat Generation biopic that makes you sympathize with the Man? That's just unholy.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 2/5

September 22, 2010
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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Splendid as Franco's literal characterization and overheated line readings can be, art director Eric Drooker's literal-minded animated interpretation of "Howl" are as sodden as a cold latke -- as well as a distraction.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

September 21, 2010
Laremy Legel
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Howl is very, very, good. Worth seeing if you love writing, if you've ever written, if you're intrigued by the creative process as a whole.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: A

June 14, 2010
Andrew O'Hehir
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It's done pretty well as a poem up till now, and more than once during Franco's reading, I simply closed my eyes and listened.

Full Review Source:

January 28, 2010
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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Milk meets Pink Floyd the Wall. Says everything it has to say in the first 20 minutes, then keeps repeating itself.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2/4

January 23, 2010
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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The filmmakers don't get everything right but their passion for Ginsberg's genius and their excitement over trying to deconstruction a literary master work is contagious. A more perfect film might have been just a teensy-weensy dull.

January 22, 2010
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