Drama - Although the lead is Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, this
fact-based drama is definitely not for kids, with constant sexual and
homosexual content with nudity as well as drugs. The target is adult
moviegoers familiar with the work of its subject, poet Allen Ginsberg.
PROFANITY: 13 F-words; 5 S-words; 5 GD's; a few others. SEX/NUDITY: Gay sexual content with related nudity. VIOLENCE: Choking and stabbing. DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Constant alcohol, tobacco, pills, and other drugs. ACTION: None. COMEDY: Some drug humor.
Roger EbertFull Review Below Average Awash in period detail, handsome costumes and sepia tones, 'Kill Your Darlings' vividly brings Greenwich Village of the 1940s to life. Unfortunately, the content itself feels sadly conventional.
USA TodayFull Review Good No straightforward biopic, the ambitious Kill Your Darlings never shies from complicated matters, letting creativity vie with emotional upheaval, and exposing the contradictions and complex facets of human attraction.
Note: The rating
above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.
KILL YOUR DARLINGS is based on true events and characters.
For dutiful son ALLEN GINSBERG (Daniel Radcliffe), Columbia University is Mecca -- a portal to
art, intellect, culture, and freedom -- everything hometown Patterson, New Jersey is not. When
Allen is accepted into Columbia, his father LOUIS (David Cross), a working-class poet, urges him
to leave his emotionally ill mother NAOMI (Jennifer Jason Leigh) behind and head to New York
to go pursue his own creative dreams.
At Columbia, Allen finds stuffy tradition clashing with daringly modern ideas and attitudes --
embodied by LUCIEN CARR (Dane DeHaan), whom he first encounters shouting a scandalous
passage from Henry Miller atop a library study table. With his louche charm and androgynous
blond beauty, Lucien is an object of fascination for shy, unsophisticated Allen, and soon he is
drawn into Lucien's hard-drinking, reefer-smoking, jazz-clubbing circle of friends, including
WILLIAM BURROUGHS (Ben Foster), the dissolute scion of a wealthy family, and DAVID
KAMMERER (Michael C. Hall), an older hanger-on who clearly resents Allen's position as
Lucien's new sidekick. David apparently followed Lucien to New York, and now works as a
janitor despite his showy intellectual pretensions. Lucien uses his moody charisma to pit David
against Allen while never quite acknowledging his true feelings for either.
As their relationship deepens, Allen and Lucien realize they both share emotionally troubled
pasts and a passion for poetry. Eager to shatter literary and social conventions, Lucien is full of
grandiose manifestos -- but it's Allen whom he challenges to produce the work that will set the
world afire (and David who slavishly writes Lucien's school papers). While they're busy
competing for his favor, Lucien finds his interest drawn to JACK KEROUAC (Jack Huston), who's
older, tougher, and cockier -- a working-class ex-football player who shipped out with the
merchant marine, cohabits with sexy EDIE (Elizabeth Olsen) and -- to really up the ante -- writes
like a wildman. Jack's oversize persona could easily crush insecure Allen, but instead he
encourages Allen's poetry writing.
Along with toppling tradition, the "Libertine Circle" -- Lucien, Allen, Jack, and William, with
David Kammerer on the outside looking in -- do their best to subvert authority with reckless
adventures, enraging college deans and parents alike. For serious student and dutiful son Allen,
it's a liberating rebellion, but for obsessed, spurned David, to be excluded is devastating.
Devastating -- and deadly. David angrily confronts Lucien, and by the next morning, David's stabbed body has been found in the Hudson River. Lucien's in jail, held for David's murder. And
Allen -- begged by Lucien to help him compose his deposition statement -- is struggling to piece
together what actually transpired that night in Riverside Park. As Allen peels away Lucien's
story of self-defense, he faces a stark choice: to betray himself and lie to the district attorney,
supporting Lucien's innocence, or to write the truth -- and condemn his friend.
A true story of friendship, love and murder, KYD recounts the pivotal year that changed Allen
Ginsberg's life forever and provided the spark for him to start his creative revolution.