Kill Your Darlings Movie Review

Kill Your Darlings  kill_your_darlings_xlg

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Elizabeth Olsen, Jennifer Jason Leigh, David Cross

Directed by: John Krokidas

Rated: R

Run Time: 104 mins

Genre: Drama/ Biography/ Romance

Opens November 8th


By Lisa Minzey of The Reel


Another film opening this week is also based on a true story but featuring some more notable figures from a different generation. “ Kill Your Darlings” recounts the event surrounding the murder of a University professor and the “Beat Generation” students entangled with its circumstances. The names may sound familiar, but not sure where you may have heard them? Allen Ginsberg (poet & one of the leaders of the Beat Generation of the 1950's). Lucien Carr (another founder of the Beat Generation during the 1940’s and editor of the United Press International). Jack Kerouac (poet & author of “On the Road”, another member of the Beat Generation). William S. Burroughs (poet & author, also member of the Beat Generation). With playing such notable figures in American literature, can this group of young actors deliver a performance deemed worthy of these men?


Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliff) was a young man that shouldered the burdens of his world. His mother Naomi (Jennifer Jason Leigh) was suffering from some mental illness, convinced that her husband Louis (David Cross) was out to get her. To escape the madness that infected his homelife, Allen applied and was accepted into Columbia University.


Once he arrived at Columbia, Allen met a young man full of interesting ideas and mischievous spark, Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan). Forcing the freshman to open his mind and creative genius- loose, Lucien introduced Allen to his inner circle of friends Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston), William Burroughs (Ben Foster) and pseudo his paramour English professor David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall). Allen and Lucien when teamed together were a force to be reckoned with between university pranks, literary and philosophical rants and the drug hazed, alcohol induced benders. It wasn’t until Lucien was arrested for David’s murder that the “Beat Generation” group unraveled, leaving Allen to piece the truth about the night’s event and uncover the truth about the nature of David and Lucien’s relationship. Will Allen be able to survive college, his family and his new inner circle of friends?

Anytime a film deals with notable or historical figures there is bound to be some stretching of the truth in terms to tell an interesting story. “Kill Your Darlings” is a quote by William Faulkner used in writing to expand on your creativity and not get too caught up in in using personal favorite elements.  This film delves into that creative genius using amazing cinematography, musical score and selections to help tell a complex story with convoluted emotions. The performances are fantastic as each actor delivers a powerful character to support the story. Parents be forewarned that this film is not for small or young kids as it does have strong sexual themes and scenes and heavy drug use. If you’re a fan of any of these literary figures, be sure to check out “Kill Your Darlings” when it opens at Harkins Camelview 5 starting Friday November 8, 2013.