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Parents' Guide to

Kill Your Darlings

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Docudrama digs into early Beat history with sex and drugs.

Movie R 2013 104 minutes
Kill Your Darlings Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 18+

More sex than plot

The acting was magnificent from all characters, and the casting was excellent. The drug use might be PG-13, and there's enough swearing to garner an R rating, but the sexual content is completely inappropriate for minors. The sexual acts—and there are many—were performed out of eroticism rather than love. Not one relationship portrayed in the film is a healthy one. The creativity of the Beats is shown here to be entirely drug-induced. I finished the movie feeling not inspired by artistry, as I'd expected, but feeling sorry for all of these men and how screwed up their lives were. I know great art is born out of longing or suffering, but this movie left me with no hope.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 14+

This title has:

Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (5 ):

Filmmaker John Krokidas delivers an impressive feature debut with this well-acted exploration of the young Beats, before On the Road, before Howl. The film depicts them just as they were meeting and starting to develop their New Vision of literature and the arts. DeHaan is perfectly cast as golden-haired, golden-bred Midwesterner Carr, who despite being the initial glue between his Columbia classmate Ginsberg and Kerouac and Burroughs, wasn't really a writer himself. A thinker and innovator and provocateur, yes, but as the movie reveals, he wasn't an artist.

Radcliffe does well as a foil to DeHaan's well-heeled WASPiness. Ginsberg is ever the outsider: a Jewish kid from Paterson, New Jersey, with no money and not much personal experience except for a mentally ill mother. The actors, as with the young men they portray, are wonderful contrasts: Radcliffe's Ginsberg a manic bundle of frenetic (drug-fueled) artistic energy and DeHaan the kind of actor who says so much with his eyes and the subtlest of gestures. Foster is fabulous as the perpetually high Burroughs, and Hall and Huston are memorable in their small but pivotal roles as Carr's obsessive friend-or-foe Kammerer and the handsome and bisexual Kerouac, respectively. Krokidas' drama doesn't follow these young artists for much time, but it does offer a fascinating take on the bizarrely interconnected lives of the Beats.

Movie Details

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