Kill Your Darlings - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Kill Your Darlings Reviews

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Cath Clarke
Time Out
December 2, 2013
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 | Original Score: 3/5
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Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
November 26, 2013
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 | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
November 22, 2013
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 | Original Score: B
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
November 14, 2013
Overall the movie seems to wander, like the worst excesses of free verse, needing a little structure to rein it in.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 14, 2013
"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 | Original Score: 3/4
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
November 14, 2013
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 | Original Score: 3/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
November 8, 2013
"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 | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 8, 2013
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 | Original Score: 3/4
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Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
November 7, 2013
A stylish-looking story that often presents the players as self-congratulating caricatures, overly proud of their own cleverness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
November 7, 2013
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.
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
October 31, 2013
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 | Original Score: 2/4
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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
October 31, 2013
Though based on fact, the film is awash in delicious and difficult ambiguities.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
October 31, 2013
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 | Original Score: 3/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
October 31, 2013
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.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
October 25, 2013
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 | Original Score: C+
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Michael Sragow
Orange County Register
October 24, 2013
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 | Original Score: B+
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Christy Lemire
RogerEbert.com
October 18, 2013
A sort of Muppet Babies version of the Beat poets ...
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
October 18, 2013
The only thing it really kills is about an hour and a half.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
October 17, 2013
Krokidas develops a nice rhythm - crucial for any film about the Beat movement - even if the composition feels a bit too meticulous.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Bilge Ebiri
New York Magazine/Vulture
October 17, 2013
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.
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A.A. Dowd
AV Club
October 17, 2013
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 | Original Score: B-
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 17, 2013
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 | Original Score: 3/4
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
October 16, 2013
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 | Original Score: 2/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
October 16, 2013
The excellently acted, fact-inspired "Kill Your Darlings" is a consistently interesting origin story with impressive period details ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
October 16, 2013
"Kill Your Darlings" ... feels like it is trying too hard. Far too conventional underneath all the trappings, you wish it would howl.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
October 16, 2013
[A] brash, bristling, highly watchable film.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
October 15, 2013
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 | Original Score: 3/4
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Eric Hynes
Time Out
October 15, 2013
There's a heart here, but with all the superficial noise, it's hard to hear it beating.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
October 15, 2013
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 | Original Score: 4/5
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Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
October 14, 2013
A captivating look at an American literary giant in those years before he was ready to howl.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
September 14, 2013
Radcliffe - hair permed into Ginsbergy college curls, full of vitality - holds the emotional center as a young artist in art and in life.
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Scott Foundas
Village Voice
September 14, 2013
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.
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Jordan Hoffman
Film.com
January 30, 2013
There is a chemistry between [Radcliffe and DeHaan] that is more than just sexual.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Justin Chang
Variety
January 22, 2013
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.
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David Rooney
Hollywood Reporter
January 22, 2013
And the Beat goes on, this time in a syncopated study that sheds light in particular on the young Allen Ginsberg.