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Kill Your Darlings (2013)

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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 22,993 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 65 user | 186 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Professor Steeves
Brenda Wehle ...
Permissions Librarian
Lenore Harris ...
DA Secretary
Mark Ethan ...
Campus Guard
Luke Detweiler


In the early 1940s, Allen Ginsberg is an English major at Columbia University, only to learn more than he bargained for. Dissatisfied by the orthodox attitudes of the school, Allen finds himself drawn to iconoclastic colleagues like Lucien Carr, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. Together, this gang would explore bold new literary ideas that would challenge the sensibilities of their time as the future Beat Generation. However, for all their creativity, their very appetites and choices lead to more serious transgressions that would mark their lives forever. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A true story of obsession and murder

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, language, drug use and brief violence | See all certifications »

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Official Sites:



Release Date:

19 September 2013 (Croatia)  »

Also Known As:

Amores asesinos  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$53,452 (USA) (18 October 2013)


$1,029,949 (USA) (21 February 2014)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


In 2008, while performing the Broadway play Equus, Daniel Radcliffe auditioned and got the part of Allen Ginsberg. Radcliffe went on to film the last two Harry Potter movies, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), and with him unavailable for filming, Chris Evans, Jesse Eisenberg, and Ben Whishaw were cast without Radcliffe. Shortly after, financing for the film fell through. When director John Krokidas started again with the film, he offered the role of Allen Ginsberg back to Radcliffe. See more »


The Columbia University library tour guide proudly identifies a book as a first folio edition of "Hamlet." There is no such edition. "Hamlet" was published in quarto editions (half the size of folio) during Shakespeare's life. The only folio editions of Shakespeare's work were the posthumous collections of his complete plays. See more »


[repeated line]
Lucien Carr: Leave!
See more »


Waltz No.7 in C Sharp Minor
Written by Johannes Brahms
Performed by Idil Biret
Courtesy of Naxos of America Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

The beat generation misses a beat
2 November 2013 | by (California) – See all my reviews

There is a great story to be told about the beat generation. This isn't it.

(Kill Your Darlings (2013) is a biographical drama about the early adult years of the beat generation stalwarts Allen Ginsburg (1926-97), Jack Kerouac (1922-69), and William Burroughs (1914-97). For those of you who don't know the details, Ginsburg achieved much acclaim for his literary works, including a National Book Award for "The Fall of America" (1974) and a Pulitzer Prize nomination for "Poems 1986-1992" (1995). He was famous for his support of homosexuality and his opposition to the Vietnam War. Kerouac is most famous for his classic "On The Road" (1951) and his later "Big Sur" (1962). Burroughs was a prolific author ("Junkie", "Naked Lunch") whose themes of death, drugs, and homosexuality can be seen in their beginning phases in this film.)

The whole idea of the beat generation was that if you could dismantle the structure of communication and still have some worth, then anything was up for grabs. If poetry could give up rhyme and still have substance, then sex could give up its hetero prefix and still have love, and society could give up its mores and still find order. To such a message, the dull and plodding structure of standard film school does no homage. Nor do the film makers even seem aware of the message of the beat generation, putting in scenes of jazz, sex, drugs, and English class without seeming to understand their inter-relationships.

There is a great story to be told about the beat generation. This isn't it.

75 of 111 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Unfair and One Sided Portrayal of Carr nellygrl
5/10: Disappointing, unbalanced and Radcliffe STILL can't act . . . tkksilvergun
Does Dane.. Casimira
kudos to Ben Foster . . . onebluesky-1
EXCITED FOR THIS AND Teeheehee gracani122
Chris Evans will murder the essence of Kerouac...period petermarshfilms
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