5 December 2013 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Daniel Radcliffe shines as Allen Ginsberg in a film that takes a deeper look at the birth of the beat generation

Kill Your Darlings is the third film recently about the beat generation, after Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's Howl (2010) and Walter Salles's On the Road (2012). This movie by John Krokidas is superior to both, with Daniel Radcliffe giving an intelligent and considered performance as the young Allen Ginsberg.

There is admittedly some of the same self-consciousness and 50s beat preciousness with polo-necked guys nodding life-affirmingly to live jazz. But it's also revealing about the role played by violence, shame and denial at the birth of beat and of Ginsberg's career. These ignited the poetry, and the film suggests that the poetic impulse is at least initially a flight impulse; an impulse away from a horrible real-world mess to a vantage point from where the mess can be artistically controlled, »

- Peter Bradshaw

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