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


John Krokidas


Austin Bunn (screenplay), Austin Bunn (story) | 1 more credit »
3,906 ( 205)
5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Radcliffe ... Allen Ginsberg
Dane DeHaan ... Lucien Carr
Michael C. Hall ... David Kammerer
Jack Huston ... Jack Kerouac
Ben Foster ... William Burroughs
David Cross ... Louis Ginsberg
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Naomi Ginsberg
Elizabeth Olsen ... Edie Parker
John Cullum ... Professor Steeves
Brenda Wehle ... Permissions Librarian
Erin Darke ... Gwendolyn
Craig Chester ... Businessman
Lenore Harris Lenore Harris ... DA Secretary
Mark Ethan ... Campus Guard
Zach Appelman ... 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 »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Chris Evans, Jesse Eisenberg, and Ben Whishaw were originally cast in the lead roles. See more »


Jack Kerouac, upon his arrest, contacts his father and we hear an American accent on the line. Kerouac's parents were French-speaking Quebecois and it took Jack until his late teens to fully master English, which he spoke with a slight Québec lilt; it is thus unlikely his father and he would have spoken in English, much less in a General American accent. See more »


Allen Ginsberg: [upon William Burroughs offering him a joint] Uhm, no thanks, I don't do the cannabis.
William Burroughs: Show me the man who is both sober and happy, and I will show you the crinkled anus of a lying asshole.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The first part of the end credits run over the top of photographs of the real Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Lucien Carr and William S. Burroughs. See more »


The Pioneers (M83 Remix)
Written by Kele Okereke, Russell Lissack, Gordon Moakes, Matt Tong
Performed by Bloc Party
Published by Warner Brothers Music Corp.
Courtesy of Universal Music Group
See more »

User Reviews

Boring, unbelievable characters - except Radcliffe's Ginsberg
28 December 2014 | by jm10701See all my reviews

William Burroughs is the most boring person who ever lived. Lucien Carr and Jack Kerouac are close behind. Allen Ginsberg is interesting for two reasons.

First, he was a surprisingly ordinary, unremarkable, and unpretentious person, as open and honest and honorable as he knew how to be; not a great poet or a great anything else, but great at being himself. Second, Daniel Radcliffe plays him in this movie. Radcliffe is amazing.

I was never a Potter fan, but I saw some of the movies. Radcliffe made no impression on me at all. But he's made some interesting choices since that ended, and I wanted to see what he's like outside of that tedious Potter world. So Radcliffe is the reason I watched this, but I immediately forgot who he was. He thoroughly and convincingly becomes the Ginsberg character in this movie, and he makes that character far more interesting and complex than the real Ginsberg was.

Every second he's on screen is marvelous because of him and only because of him. Nothing else about this movie is worth watching. Performers I've liked previously (Foster, Hall, DeHaan) are flat and dumb here. Only Jennifer Jason Leigh and David Cross, as Ginsberg's parents, are halfway believable and seem almost like real people. All the rest are just annoying posers.

For this story to work (I could care less that it's true) Carr MUST be a charismatic character, and he's not charismatic at all in this movie. He's just a jerk. And he's ugly. That anybody would have looked at him twice or paid attention to a word he said is completely unbelievable - except Burroughs, who was a spoiled, self-obsessed moron and even more obnoxious than Carr himself.

So I love Allen Ginsberg because he was so extraordinarily ordinary; and I love Daniel Radcliffe as Ginsberg in this movie, but that's all I love about it.

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Release Date:

19 September 2013 (Croatia) See more »

Also Known As:

Kill Your Darlings See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$53,452, 20 October 2013

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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