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Kill Your Darlings (2013)

tomatometer

76

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 125
Fresh: 95 | Rotten: 30

Bolstered by the tremendous chemistry between Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan, Kill Your Darlings casts a vivid spotlight on an early chapter in the story of the Beat Generation.

66

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critic Reviews: 35
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 12

Bolstered by the tremendous chemistry between Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan, Kill Your Darlings casts a vivid spotlight on an early chapter in the story of the Beat Generation.

audience

61

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 17,044

My Rating

Movie Info

Daniel Radcliffe stars as Beat Generation icon Allen Ginsberg in this biopic set during the famed poet's early years at Columbia University, and centering on a murder investigation involving Ginsberg, his handsome classmate Lucien Carr, and fellow Beat author William Burroughs. The year is 1944. Ginsberg (Radcliffe) is a young student at Columbia University when he falls hopelessly under the spell of charismatic classmate Carr (Dane DeHaan). Alongside Carr, Ginsberg manages to strike up

R,

Drama, Romance, Mystery & Suspense

John Krokidas, Austin Bunn

Mar 18, 2014

$1.0M

Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (125) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (95) | Rotten (30) | DVD (1)

Daniel Radcliffe is back in a pair of nerdy specs as Allen Ginsberg in this sincere, heartfelt film about how the gay beat poet found his voice

December 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bursting with hipster attitude and New York atmosphere, the fact-based "Kill Your Darlings" is a coming-of-age chronicle that morphs into a crime story without missing a beat.

November 26, 2013 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You don't need to know the Beats to understand "Kill Your Darlings," you just need to know the twinkling promise, and dark turns, of life.

November 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Overall the movie seems to wander, like the worst excesses of free verse, needing a little structure to rein it in.

November 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Kill Your Darlings" is a true-crime murder mystery, a love letter to the wild-living artists of the Beat Generation, and a portrait of the artist as an adolescent.

November 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dramatizing a passion for the written word on film can be tricky, but in his feverish Kill Your Darlings, first-time director John Krokidas brings creative desire to life with vigor and emotion.

November 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A very well-made film that gives us a peek into the formation of several future gay icons.

June 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Windy City Times
Windy City Times

Lively and driven personalities are indeed what made the Beat Generation what it was, and what it continues to be. Kill Your Darlings seems content, however, to find superficial imitations of them.

June 26, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinemaphile.org
Cinemaphile.org

A good showcase for some of our most talented working young male actors, but not much more.

April 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Mezzanine
Movie Mezzanine

Hooked me from the first moment and kept me hooked all the way through.

February 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A strong and well observed fifties period piece, Kill Your Darlings brilliantly captures both the heady sense of privilege, and the decadent whiff of The Beat Generation's brief and blazing demimonde.

February 7, 2014 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

The film suffers from the same problems as last year's On The Road, namely an undue reverence towards its characters.

February 7, 2014 Full Review Source: Daily Record [UK]
Daily Record [UK]

A powerful and insightful film about two controversial young writers who were never satisfied with the status quo and sought to change it.

December 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

A Bracing Look at the Beats

December 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Illinois Times
Illinois Times

Kill Your Darlings weaved the mythical origins of the beat generation into a fiercely engaging drama about finding yourself amidst crises of identity, sexuality and art.

December 15, 2013 Full Review Source: 2UE That Movie Show
2UE That Movie Show

Daniel Radcliffe and star-the-making Dane DeHaan deliver superb performances that tap into their character's respective insecurities.

December 11, 2013 Full Review Source: ABC Radio Brisbane
ABC Radio Brisbane

It's less about the flesh and blood Carr than using his in-movie inner-conflict and alleged moral cowardice to underline the travails of an ascendent and newly liberated Ginsberg.

December 10, 2013 Full Review Source: The Ooh Tray
The Ooh Tray

Ultimately, it's oddly conservative fare; well played, handsomely mounted, but as inert as the books that its protagonists blithely hurl from the shelves.

December 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

The period recreation is impressive, but the tone is non-descript, despite the strong efforts from an obviously dedicated cast. No question, though, that Beat fans will love it a lot more than they did Walter Salles' inert On The Road.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: 3AW

Sexy and self-aware, with a 1940s-style Brat Pack feel ...

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Foster is wonderful as the watchful, weak Burroughs, at ease only when drugged, with a mouth like a cat's bum. But DeHaan is even better.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

It's much better than other attempts to dramatise the lives of the Beat generation like the recent On The Road.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Even though it's slightly too mannered, this true drama takes a clever approach to the beat poets long before they were famous.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Contactmusic.com
Contactmusic.com

Krokidas unflinchingly shoots even the film's most dramatic moments with an unusually shallow depth of field.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post

Revealing about the role played by violence, shame and denial at the birth of beat and of Ginsberg's career.

December 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

A kaleidoscopic historic present of youthful horseplay, frenzied ambitions for revolutionising the world of art and ideas, and polymorphous teenage desire.

December 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Audience Reviews for Kill Your Darlings

A decent drama with some performance from Daniel Racliffe and Dane DeHaan about this finding yourself movie, the story itself is quite interesting and they had a lot potential from the actors with Michael C. Hall brings the best performance from this movie while Dane DeHaan definitely look desirable in this movie.. Overall, I like it but it just kinda boring..
July 20, 2014
ajaymuthecooldevils
Sanjaya 丘耀文

Super Reviewer

A flawed if interesting account of the Beat Generation and how Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) is entranced by one of his classmates named Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan) and how the two meet with other gifted writers such as William Burroughs (Ben Foster) and Jack Kerouac (John Huston). Unfortunately, this movie's very detached and seemingly rushed screenplay mean that you have little to connection to the characters and the decisions they make, even if they can rattle off brilliant poetry at the flip of a switch. Radcliffe struggles convincing the audience that he is a young Ginsberg, while on the other hand DeHaan steals the show in a sure to be star making performance. This is really a melodrama at heart, and the way it is written and choreographed hints at being something special at times, but ultimately falls short of such expectations due to being in such a hurry to get to where it wants to go. Not bad, but not great either.
July 6, 2014
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

"Kill Your Darlings" may be a little more interesting to fans of Sir Alan Ginsberg, and don't get me wrong, it is a very enjoyable film, but seeing as I didn't know the type of film it was going in, I cannot really say it is a great picture. The film really is just about his friendships, love, and schooling. Going through the ups and downs of his life, you begin to feel a little disjointed from this actors life. When James Franco portrayed this character in the film "Howl," I believe it to be a much stronger performance and we actually got a glimpse through animation into that icons mind. Danielle Rancliffe and Dane Dehaan are however terrific together and their chemistry was beaming. The film may throw a few curveballs at you and make you feel a bit uneasy, but overall, it is a very well-made film. I recommend it to literature fans, but I honestly think you will not have much to see here if you do not appreciate the material it is based on. Well-written and well-acted, "Kill Your Darlings" is just a good movie in my opinion.
June 21, 2014
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs.

Mediocre Film, Didn't like it at all. A brave attempt at recreating the values of a previous generation, but the director seems to lose the courage of his convictions. The whole idea of the beat generation was that if you could dismantle the structure of communication and still have some worth, then anything was up for grabs. If poetry could give up rhyme and still have substance, then sex could give up its hetero prefix and still have love, and society could give up its mores and still find order. To such a message, the dull and plodding structure of standard film school does no homage. Nor do the film makers even seem aware of the message of the beat generation, putting in scenes of jazz, sex, drugs, and English class without seeming to understand their inter-relationships.

In the early 1940s, Alan Ginsberg is an English major in Columbia University, only to learn more than he bargained for. Dissatisfied by the orthodox attitudes of the school, Alan finds himself drawn to iconoclastic colleagues like Lucien Carr, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. Together, this gang would explore bold new literary ideas that would challenge the sensibilities of their time as the future Beat Generation. However, for all their creativity, their very appetites and choices lead to more serious transgressions that would mark their lives forever.
April 24, 2014
MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

    1. Allen Ginsberg: Somethings once you've loved them become yours forever. And if you try to let them go they only circle back and return to you. They become apart of who you are...
    2. Lucien Carr: or they destroy you
    – Submitted by Sheriea J (2 months ago)
    1. Allen Ginsberg: Be careful, you are not in Wonderland. I've heard the strange madness long growing in your soul, in your isolation but you fortunate in your ignorance. You who have suffered find where love hides, give, share, lose, lest we die unbloomed.
    – Submitted by Vy S (4 months ago)
    1. Lucien Carr: Another lover hits the universe, the circle is broken.
    – Submitted by Sarah F (7 months ago)
    1. Lucien Carr: It's our duty to break the law. It's how we make the world a better place.
    – Submitted by Sarah F (7 months ago)
    1. Lucien Carr: Are you a writer?
    2. Allen Ginsburg: No, I'm not.
    – Submitted by Ximena P (12 months ago)
View all quotes (5)

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