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Kill Your Darlings (2013)


Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 131
Fresh: 99
Rotten: 32

Critics Consensus: 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.

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

Critics Consensus: 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.


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 17,613


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 … More

R (for sexual content, language, drug use and brief violence)
Drama , Romance , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
John Krokidas , Austin Bunn
In Theaters:
Mar 18, 2014
Box Office:
Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Kill Your Darlings

All Critics (131) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (99) | Rotten (32) | 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

Full Review… | December 2, 2013
Time Out
Top 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.

Full Review… | November 26, 2013
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top 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.

Full Review… | November 22, 2013
Detroit News
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | November 14, 2013
Seattle Times
Top 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.

Full Review… | November 14, 2013
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top 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.

Full Review… | November 14, 2013
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Few [Harry] Potter fans will be tempted to chance their luck while most adults will be left with fearsomely bright but relatively unlovable characters.

Full Review… | October 10, 2014
Birmingham Mail

The best thing about the enthralling, super-smart Kill Your Darlings is director John Krokidas's ability to capture the excitement of young men's minds on fire.

Full Review… | October 1, 2014

Kill Your Darlings is by no means perfect, but it's an ambitious and promising first film that gives a handful of young actors the chance to work with a director who has a great deal on his mind.

Full Review… | October 1, 2014
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A convincing, evocative drama that captures a key moment in history with aplomb.

Full Review… | September 3, 2014
Empire Magazine Australasia

Kill Your Darlings underwhelms on several fronts, but it's difficult to dislike a movie when you find yourself liking everyone in it.

Full Review… | August 18, 2014
Under the Radar of the most incompetent and flat-out interminable biopics to come around in quite some time...

Full Review… | August 10, 2014
Reel Film Reviews

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

Full Review… | June 28, 2014
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.

Full Review… | June 26, 2014

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

Full Review… | April 8, 2014
Movie Mezzanine

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

Full Review… | February 28, 2014
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.

Full Review… | February 7, 2014
FILMINK (Australia)

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

Full Review… | February 7, 2014
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.

Full Review… | December 24, 2013
Big Hollywood

A Bracing Look at the Beats

Full Review… | December 16, 2013
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.

Full Review… | December 15, 2013
2UE That Movie Show

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

Full Review… | December 11, 2013
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.

Full Review… | December 10, 2013
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.

Full Review… | December 8, 2013
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.

Full Review… | December 6, 2013

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

Full Review… | December 6, 2013
Radio Times

Audience Reviews for Kill Your Darlings


Personally, I could take or leave the Beat Movement. I like William Burroughs's work very much and Howl is a good poem but Kerouac is one of the most overrated authors of all time. On the Road bored me. The film version bored me even more so. Stephen T. Kay directed a nice little film in 1997 called The Last Time I committed Suicide that was written by Neal Cassady but apart from that, give me Charles Bukowski over the rest any day of the week. I don't get the hype surrounding Dane DeHaan either and I'm sorry, but Daniel Radcliffe still can't act. What should have been one of the more interesting and shocking stories from the Beat gang, soon turns into a headache inducing mix of unconvincing passion, poor impersonation and annoyingly spoiled children. It is however, beautifully directed and the attention to detail is faultless. Better editing and a whole new cast could have made all the difference.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer


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..

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.

Dan Schultz
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.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Kill Your Darlings Quotes

William S. Burroughs:
Show me the man who is both sober and happy, and I will show you the crinkled anus of a lying asshole.
– Submitted by Leon T (36 days ago)
David Kammerer:
We're the ones he needs, but never wants.
– Submitted by Frances H (51 days ago)
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...
Lucien Carr:
or they destroy you
– Submitted by Sheriea J (5 months ago)
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 (7 months ago)
Lucien Carr:
Another lover hits the universe, the circle is broken.
– Submitted by Sarah F (10 months ago)
Lucien Carr:
It's our duty to break the law. It's how we make the world a better place.
– Submitted by Sarah F (10 months ago)

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