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Kill Your Darlings Reviews

Cath Clarke
Time Out
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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 Source: Time Out | Original Score: 3/5

December 2, 2013
Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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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 Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 3/4

November 26, 2013
Tom Long
Detroit News
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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 Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B

November 22, 2013
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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Overall the movie seems to wander, like the worst excesses of free verse, needing a little structure to rein it in.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 14, 2013
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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"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 Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

November 14, 2013
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
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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 Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

November 14, 2013
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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"Kill Your Darlings" occupies some in-between place, with young, intelligent actors working hard at being gritty as their director makes sure we see every ounce of effort.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 3.5/5

November 8, 2013
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Kill Your Darlings is a tale of inspiration, then, but also a tale of jealousy, obsession, homophobia, and homicide. It's a whirlwind.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

November 8, 2013
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
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A stylish-looking story that often presents the players as self-congratulating caricatures, overly proud of their own cleverness.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 7, 2013
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
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A lukewarm Radcliffe, plus a wandering script, make for a fair-to-middling movie, but the raw material of this dark corner of Beat history remains fascinating.

Full Review Source: Newsday

November 7, 2013
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Ultimately ... two points of emphasis must be pared down to one, and this is where "Kill Your Darlings," arriving at the fork in the road, makes the wrong turn.

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

October 31, 2013
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
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Though based on fact, the film is awash in delicious and difficult ambiguities.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 31, 2013
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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That Ginsberg is played by Daniel Radcliffe might come as a shock, but the movie rolls on and you realize you're in very good hands.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

October 31, 2013
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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This debut feature by New York University graduate John Krokidas outpaces most dramatic films about Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William S. Burroughs, pushing back the legend enough to consider them as people.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

October 31, 2013
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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Director and co-writer John Krokidas doesn't have a very fluent gift for period re-creation - everything seems stagy - and most of the actors, playing divas of various stripes, overact.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: C+

October 25, 2013
Michael Sragow
Orange County Register
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This vibrant portrait of a legendary New York bohemia in the 1940s transcends its flaws by evoking genuine feeling for poets in their youth.

Full Review Source: Orange County Register | Original Score: B+

October 24, 2013
Christy Lemire
RogerEbert.com
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A sort of Muppet Babies version of the Beat poets ...

Full Review Source: RogerEbert.com | Original Score: 1.5/4

October 18, 2013
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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The only thing it really kills is about an hour and a half.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2/4

October 18, 2013
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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Krokidas develops a nice rhythm - crucial for any film about the Beat movement - even if the composition feels a bit too meticulous.

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

October 17, 2013
Bilge Ebiri
New York Magazine/Vulture
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Kill Your Darlings wants to be a young man's movie, but it's all "cinema du papa," as the French New Wave used to call it.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

October 17, 2013
A.A. Dowd
AV Club
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The saving grace of Kill Your Darlings is its sordid romantic angle, a narrative thread that pulls the film away from wink-wink allusions and into more serious emotional territory.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B-

October 17, 2013
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Sex, lies, betrayal and murder set among the gods of the Beat Generation. That's Kill Your Darlings, a dark beauty of a film that gets inside your head and stays there.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 3/4

October 17, 2013
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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From the incense-soaked bohemian off-campus parties to the source music by Jo Stafford and the Andrews Sisters, the period atmosphere evokes style. But something is missing here, like a clear perspective.

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

October 16, 2013
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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The excellently acted, fact-inspired "Kill Your Darlings" is a consistently interesting origin story with impressive period details ...

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

October 16, 2013
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
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"Kill Your Darlings" ... feels like it is trying too hard. Far too conventional underneath all the trappings, you wish it would howl.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

October 16, 2013
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
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[A] brash, bristling, highly watchable film.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

October 16, 2013
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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This multi-faceted tale - part murder mystery, part coming-of-age story, part intellectual disquisition of a socio-literary movement - is well-shot, assuredly directed and sharply written by Krokidas and Austin Bunn.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3/4

October 15, 2013
Eric Hynes
Time Out New York
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There's a heart here, but with all the superficial noise, it's hard to hear it beating.

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

October 15, 2013
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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Mr. Krokidas deftly shows how the ambition to write is entangled with other impulses. The emergence of Allen's poetic vocation is almost a subplot in a story about guilt, lust, friendship and murder.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4/5

October 15, 2013
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
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A captivating look at an American literary giant in those years before he was ready to howl.

Full Review Source: TheWrap

October 14, 2013
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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Radcliffe - hair permed into Ginsbergy college curls, full of vitality - holds the emotional center as a young artist in art and in life.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly

September 14, 2013
Scott Foundas
Village Voice
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An unquestionable improvement over last year's paint-by-numbers On the Road, but it still falls victim to the kind of idol worship that has made most movies about the Beats hard to take.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

September 14, 2013
Jordan Hoffman
Film.com
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There is a chemistry between [Radcliffe and DeHaan] that is more than just sexual.

Full Review Source: Film.com | Original Score: A-

January 30, 2013
Justin Chang
Variety
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A mysterious Beat Generation footnote is fleshed out with skilled performances, darkly poetic visuals and a vivid rendering of 1940s academia in Kill Your Darlings.

Full Review Source: Variety

January 22, 2013
David Rooney
Hollywood Reporter
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And the Beat goes on, this time in a syncopated study that sheds light in particular on the young Allen Ginsberg.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

January 22, 2013
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