Daniel Radcliffe in Kill Your Darlings - reviews

Kill Your Darlings

'Intoxicating' film about young Beat poet Allen Ginsberg features Daniel Radcliffe's best performance yet

LAST UPDATED AT 07:33 ON Fri 6 Dec 2013
What you need to know

Critics have praised the former Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe for his "best post-Potter performance" in the Beat generation biopic Kill Your Darlings. John Krokidas's film, which opens in UK cinemas today, stars Radcliffe as a young Allen Ginsberg.

Set during Ginsberg's college years at Columbia University, it focuses on his infatuation with a charismatic fellow student, his friendships with other fledgling Beats including Jack Kerouac and William S Burroughs, and a murder that would change their lives.

The film co-stars Dane DeHaan (In Treatment) and Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire) with appearances by Jennifer Jason Leigh and Elizabeth Olsen.

What the critics like

Daniel Radcliffe gives "the most complex and interesting performance of his career to date" as the young, closeted Allen Ginsberg, says Kate Muir in The Times. And it's the quality of the performances that make this film as punchy, spirited and watchable as it is.

This vibrant, insightful film about writers and writing, features "Daniel Radcliffe's best post-Potter performance", says Damon Wise in Empire. It is one of the most intoxicating, absorbing and handsome explorations of what it really means to be inspired.

Kill Your Darlings is at once a lurid true-crime chronicle and a coming-out story, says AO Scott in the New York Times. Its achievement is to give a modern audience "a taste of that terror, and also of the thrill and intoxication that went along with it".

What they don't like

"Sometimes you wish director John Krokidas would kill the cliches" - clanking typewriters, jump-on-the-library-table carpe diem speeches and everyone dressed for a retro GQ shoot, says Cath Clarke in Time Out. But still, this is a sensitive, intelligent snapshot of a writer finding his feet.  · 

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