You should be prepared for some high-minded pretension, lots of self-consciously arty shots, and long stretches of apparently profound nothingness.
| Original Score: 2/5
Ah, James Franco: actor, director, writer, conceptual artist, soap opera star! What can't he do? Answer: Make a cohesive, coherent film about a great American writer.
The technique - and this movie is about nothing if not technique, both Crane's and the filmmaker's - isn't particularly successful.
| Original Score: 2/4
Despite earnest attempts, Mr. Franco can't bring the fervency of Crane's poetry to life in the extensive recitations.
It's a pensive and heartfelt movie, assuming that you let yourself get caught up in its moody-minimalist, more-visual-than-verbal style.
| Original Score: B-
The Broken Tower feels unique as a young man's tribute to an adventuresome, doomed soul.
| Original Score: 3/5
Sincere, amateurish, and misguided.
James Franco's film is tonally flat and a little too impressed with its own elliptical construction.
Though clearly besotted with Crane's poetry, the writer-director-star never achieves full immersion in the man's life or work; the sense is of people playing a very cerebral game of dress-up.
Not a heady experience like many of the semi-experimental 1960s films he emulates. Instead, it's mostly a tedious chore, much akin to listening poetry you don't much like.