Kill Your Darlings

Rated 2.0

Kill Your Darlings is the second bad Allen Ginsberg biopic this decade, and while it improves upon 2010's strident Howl, it's still a static and flimsy drama. Daniel Radcliffe is unconvincing as the college-age Ginsberg, who leaves a miserable New Jersey family life to attend Columbia University, where he meets many of the aspiring poets who would come to form “The Beats.” None of the actors are bad, but there is the distinct impression of young men playing dress-up, and first-time director John Krokidas relegates Ben Watson's droll William S. Burroughs and Jack Huston's rough-hewn Jack Kerouac to glorified cameos. Instead, Krokidas focuses on a phony, bourgeois sidecar about the homosexual Ginsberg's puppy love for a troubled student (Dane DeHaan), which demythologizes the poet without humanizing him. The only thing a Ginsberg biopic can't be is square, and Kill Your Darlings is as square as they come.