Howl - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Howl Reviews

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September 24, 2010
An ambitious and admirable film from documentarians Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, Howl is inspiring, frustrating, and compelling. But finally, it doesn't come together.
| Original Score: C
October 26, 2010
Howl is one of the most artless art films ever made.
January 15, 2013
Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman attracted Hollywood talent, had an epic poem and a classic culture clash as their subject and still produced a corpse from it.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
October 7, 2015
Still, the biggest problem with "Howl" is the fact that none of its parallel narratives build to much of a climax.
April 6, 2011
A docu-drama which has 'aren't we a clever little art house production' tattooed through every frame.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
September 30, 2010
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
March 10, 2011
The film's jigsaw construction initially lends an air of freshness and unpredictability, but as the film moves forward the lack of any overarching thematic structure or emotional dynamism becomes a problem.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
September 12, 2010
Did Friedman and Epstein not notice that by having Franco reveal the meaning of each word and phrase, they're just as bad as the district attorney who filed the case?
October 29, 2010
You can attach many labels to Howl. Cinematically Enthralling is not one of them. Too bad, because James Franco is excellent.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
January 22, 2010
The end result is dramatically inert, a showcase for James Franco's technically adept but entirely unilluminating impression of Allen Ginsberg.
October 15, 2010
The poem "Howl" is a great work of the imagination, but the movie is oddly unimaginative.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
February 23, 2011
Like one of those ghastly Vanity Fair black and white photo spreads where hot young actors dress up and pose as bygone icons.
September 26, 2010
Like the counterculture icon that penned the poem that serves as the title to Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's film, Howl is one odd bird.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 28, 2010
Though there's nothing really wrong with Franco's performance, there's not much right about it, either. It just lies there, and its inertia inevitably renders the film a big meh.
January 3, 2011
Admirable if fundamentally academic.
January 23, 2010
Milk meets Pink Floyd the Wall. Says everything it has to say in the first 20 minutes, then keeps repeating itself.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
October 1, 2010
An ambitious but flawed misfire.
February 25, 2011
There are ways to put poetry on the screen, but this drama-documentary about the Beat versifier Allen Ginsberg fails to find them.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
January 31, 2010
It's a mixture of styles that may have worked well if concentrated on one over another. Instead the subject matter struggles to find a distinct voice.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
September 25, 2010
Unfortunately, films like Howl come closer to fluffy biopic than topical docudrama
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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