Kill Your Darlings

2013

Kill Your Darlings

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.

77%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 149

60%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 19,055
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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 friendships with aspiring writers William Burroughs (Ben Foster) and Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) that would cast conformity to the wind, and serve as the foundation of the Beat movement. Meanwhile, an older outsider named David Krammerer falls deeply and madly in love with the impossibly cool Carr. Later, when Krammerer dies under mysterious circumstances, police arrest Kerouac, Burroughs, and Carr as potential suspects, paving the way for an investigation that would have a major impact on the lives of the three emerging artists. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kyra Sedgwick, David Cross, and Michael C. Hall co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Cast

Daniel Radcliffe
as Allen Ginsberg
Dane DeHaan
as Lucien Carr
Ben Foster
as William S. Burroughs
Jack Huston
as Jack Kerouac
Elizabeth Olsen
as Edie Parker
Michael C. Hall
as David Kammerer
Kyra Sedgwick
as Lucien's Mother
Jennifer Jason Leigh
as Naomi Ginsberg
David Cross
as Louis Ginsberg
John Cullum
as Prof. Stevens
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News & Interviews for Kill Your Darlings

Critic Reviews for Kill Your Darlings

All Critics (149) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (114) | Rotten (35)

  • 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.

    Dec 6, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Revealing about the role played by violence, shame and denial at the birth of beat and of Ginsberg's career.

    Dec 5, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • A kaleidoscopic historic present of youthful horseplay, frenzied ambitions for revolutionising the world of art and ideas, and polymorphous teenage desire.

    Dec 5, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • 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

    Dec 2, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Cath Clarke

    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.

    Nov 26, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Nov 22, 2013 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Kill Your Darlings

  • Jul 16, 2016
    An energetic tale of literature, obsession, and murder.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 20, 2014
    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 & Super Reviewer
  • Jul 06, 2014
    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 S Super Reviewer
  • Jun 21, 2014
    "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 P Super Reviewer

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