Kill Your Darlings (2013)
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A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs.
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Famous poets (some of whom are 18-19 in the film) do drugs including marijuana, speed, and nitrous oxide. They also smoke cigars and cigarettes and drink a lot. They believe being in an altered state helps their artistic output.
Occasional language includes "f--k"; "s--t," "a--hole," "d--k," plus exclamations like "Jesus Christ!" and "Oh my God!"; and discriminatory use of the word "Jew" and the anti-Semitic term "Hymies."
Although there is a lot of questionable behavior depicted in the movie, there are some insightful messages about the way artists don't often take the traditional path of college and education to success. Be aware that there's also messages about how free artists have always been with their views on sexuality and marriage and substance use.
Adults kiss at parties and clubs. Allen Ginsberg has sexual daydreams of Lucien Carr. Several references to sex and relationships (ranging from longing looks to caresses to full-on sex). Allen masturbates at a desk (viewers can see his bare bottom on a chair) and later has sex with Jack Kerouac -- bare chests, backs, buttocks, and thrusting are visible. A college-aged woman shows a man her bra then bends down to perform oral sex. Other scenes include passionate kisses and half-dressed characters.
A violent scene is repeated a few times from different perspectives, but the outcome is always the same -- a man is stabbed, bound, weighted, and then thrown in a river where he dies. A man tries to hang himself, but is unsuccessful in an almost comical way. A mentally ill woman is shown with bloody hands. A man threatens another more than once. An older man displays stalker-like behavior toward a much younger man.
Parents need to know that Kill Your Darlings could potentially appeal to hardcore Harry Potter fans eager to see anything star Daniel Radcliffe does. But this is not an appropriate movie for young teen fans of The Boy Who Lived. It's a candid docudrama depicting the early friendship between Beat Generation poets Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac with Lucien Carr, who killed an older man who may or may not have been his lover. Graphic sex and substance abuse (alcohol, drugs, cigarettes) are all heavily referenced or visible throughout the movie, as is strong language ("f--k," "a--hole," derogatory terms for Jewish people) and a murder that's shown with additional details throughout the movie. Mature high-schoolers who do see it will learn more about the Beat Poets, how they met, what they believed, and how interconnected their lives were both intellectually and romantically.