6.5/10
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77 user 192 critic

Kill Your Darlings (2013)

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

Director:

John Krokidas

Writers:

Austin Bunn (screenplay), Austin Bunn (story) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,190 ( 54)
5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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 Mark Ethan ... Campus Guard
Zach Appelman ... Luke Detweiler
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 September 2013 (Croatia) See more »

Also Known As:

Ubij svoje najdraže See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$53,452, 18 October 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,029,949, 23 February 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Lucien Carr: First thought, best thought.
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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 »

Connections

Featured in Film '72: Episode dated 3 December 2013 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Look Back Into the Sun
Written by Carl Barât (as Carl Barat), Pete Doherty
Performed by The Libertines
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User Reviews

 
Getting to know the Beat Generation
27 March 2014 | by estebangonzalez10See all my reviews

"Another lover hits the universe. The circle is broken. But with death comes rebirth. And like all lovers and sad people, I am a poet."

I knew nothing about Kill Your Darlings going into this movie (which means I basically don't know anything about modern American literature because apparently these guys were famous poets that influenced their generation during the 50's with their literary work). Known today as the Beat generation, they basically rejected the moral standards imposed at the time and innovated in style while experimenting with drugs and sex. Many films based on their work have been adapted for for the big screen (Howl, On the Road, and Naked Lunch), but I haven't seen them, so I actually went into this film without knowing anything about these writers. The film serves as an introduction as to how these writers came together and influenced one another during their teenage years, and it is told from Allen Ginsberg's point of view. This biographical drama/thriller may not be entirely factual, but it is still a fascinating story, and once the film ended it made me want to know about who these people were. The film's main attraction is the excellent chemistry between Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan who give excellent performances (and after a while you actually forget Radcliffe is Harry Potter). The supporting cast is also strong, including Michael C. Hall, Ben Foster, and Jack Huston. I'm a huge fan of Elizabeth Olsen, but in this film her character wasn't given much to work with, but it makes sense considering the Beat generation is a male dominated movement. It ended up influencing the hippie movement in the 60's and popular rock bands like The Beatles. This film only focuses on the early stages of their lives, but it shows how these artists came to know each other and how Lucien Carr was the most influential figure in their formation.

The screenplay was co-written by director John Krokidas and Austin Bunn focusing on the early stages of Alan Ginsberg's (Daniel Radcliffe) life as he began studying at Columbia University which shaped his philosophical views on life. The turning point in his life was when he met his classmate, Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan) who taught him to question the orthodox methods of the school and introduced him to other future icons of the Beat generation: William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster), and Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston). Together they would hang out in night clubs exploring new literary ideas and basically rediscovering themselves. They were against moral boundaries and explored with drugs and sex. Alan and some of the others also dealt with their homosexuality, while some tried to hide it. Lu also introduced Alan to one of his mentors, David Krammerer (Michal C. Hall), who was obsessed with Lu and ultimately led to a tragic event.

The film succeeds mostly because of the great performances from the young cast and because it is actually an intriguing story. John Krokidas isn't a director I was familiar with, but he does a decent job with this film. The film does have a believable 40's style and it stays true to the period. It is really well paced as well and it begins to get more interesting once the crime takes place. Unfortunately the film does lack some structure and at times I felt like it was wandering off. The scenes with Allen's mother never were explored much, but we understand how it affected his life and his relationship with his father. The characters are sometimes a bit too clever and don't feel real at times. Still, I was engaged with this film thanks to the material which is very interesting and I enjoyed the performances very much. The film is ambiguous at times, but that is what will leave you thinking and wanting to learn more about these characters at the end. It is all over the place at times, but I was drawn in to the story and for a biopic it gets the job done.


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