Critic Reviews

65

Metascore

Based on 36 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
90
The New York Times
Mr. Krokidas deftly shows how the ambition to write is entangled with other impulses.
87
It transcends the usual biopic limitations to tell a specific story about some well-known people with larger, universal implications.
80
Though it begins as a murder-mystery, Kill Your Darlings may be best described as an intellectual moral maze, a story perfectly of its time and yet one that still resonates today.
80
They flail and they thrash, and Krokidas' film is just like them - as jazz-inflected and freewheeling as the Beat poetry these guys were about to unleash on the world.
75
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.
75
It's much more lively than “On the Road,” last year's snoozy adaptation of the Kerouac novel that presented fictionalized versions of some of the same characters.
75
Far more coherent than last year's aimless "On the Road" and more sharply focused than 2010's "Howl," it centers on a youthful Ginsberg finding his nascent artistic voice.
75
That Ginsberg is played by Daniel Radcliffe might come as a shock, but the shock wears off as the movie rolls on and you realize you're in very good hands.
75
Kill Your Darlings is a tale of inspiration, then, but also a tale of jealousy, obsession, homophobia, and homicide. It's a whirlwind. Even if it doesn't all hang together, it's worth the ride.
75
Kill Your Darlings is more coming-of-age story than murder mystery, but its characters are so well drawn and complex the emotional weight carries a suspense all its own.
70
Directed with an assured sense of style that pushes against the narrow confines of its admittedly fascinating story, John Krokidas' first feature feels adventurous yet somewhat hemmed-in.
70
There's a limber, freewheeling aspect to the storytelling that echoes the rule-breaking literary form of the Beat writers.
60
Unlike Walter Salles's recent adaptation of On The Road, which embraced the Beat philosophy with a wide and credulous grin, Kill Your Darlings is inquisitive about the movement's worth, and the genius of its characters is never assumed.
60
Unfortunately, Kill Your Darlings doesn't know what to do with Radcliffe and DeHaan, good as they are; there's little sense of how they fit into a larger framework, or what bearing, if any, it might have on its more famous subjects' later output.
60
As for Ginsberg himself: Should we be more impressed that Radcliffe so confidently portrays an actual icon, or that he banishes all memories of the fictional one he's portrayed before? Both accomplishments suggest that he's got real talent, and a future that's already taking him well past Harry Potter.
58
Well shot and well made, Kill Your Darlings is a very competently constructed effort on a whole, but there's an emptiness and familiarity at its core that it cannot transcend.
50
An overmatched star and a scarcity of eccentricity sink this hip-lit origin story from director John Krokidas.
50
Something is missing here, like a clear perspective.
50
Despite its general intelligence and worthy performances, Kill Your Darlings makes it difficult to see how the Beats ever caught on.
40
Kill Your Darlings is an undernourished and over-emphatic film.
40
There's a heart here, but with all the superficial noise, it's hard to hear it beating.
38
Kill Your Darlings presents a minor prelude to a major literary movement.

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