Clay Enos/Sony Picture Classics
'Kill Your Darlings' stars Ben Foster (l.) as William Burroughs, Daniel Radcliffe (c.) as Allen Ginsberg, and Dane DeHaan (r.) as Lucien Carr.

Daniel Radcliffe is the primary reason to see 'Kill Your Darlings'

'Kill Your Darlings' is too stage-y but Radcliffe, playing Allen Ginsberg, is the best thing about the movie.

Daniel Radcliffe’s performance as the young Columbia undergrad Allen Ginsberg is the best reason to see “Kill Your Darlings,” a sordid Beat Generation true-crime drama set in 1944. His Ginsberg, a very tentative iconoclast, is about as far removed from Harry Potter as you can get. (Harry and Ginsberg both wear glasses, that’s about it.)

The crime is the murder of David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall), an old friend of William Burroughs (Ben Foster), by Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), a Columbia student who is fond of reciting Henry Miller from atop his classroom desk. Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) shows up, of course. What would a Beat movie be without him?

Director and co-writer John Krokidas doesn’t have a very fluent gift for period re-creation – everything seems stagy – and most of the actors, playing divas of various stripes, overact. Grade: C+ (Rated R for sexual content, language, drug use, and brief violence.)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Daniel Radcliffe is the primary reason to see 'Kill Your Darlings'
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today