It deserves better than to be short-handed as “the movie where Harry Potter has gay sex;” it just doesn’t deserve a lot better. Co-writer/director John Krokidas explores the fact-based story of a young Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) matriculating at Columbia University in 1943, and quickly falling in with a radical-thinking group of friends, including Jack Keroac (Jack Huston), William Burroughs (Ben Foster) and a charismatic fellow named Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan). Strip away the “famous names before they were famous” gimmickry—sort of a Beat Generation Young Guns—and you’ve actually got a fairly solid period-piece coming-of-age story, complicated by the extreme stigma of being gay in 1940s America. The problem is that the narrative ultimately revolves around Carr’s involvement in the death of another man, David Kammerer, (Michael C. Hall), and while Krokidas connects it thematically to his other ideas, it’s actually the least interesting thing going on in the film. And as compelling as other individual elements may be, it’s hard to fully embrace a story that builds to such an anti-climax. (Scott Renshaw)
- Genres: drama
- Running Time: 95 min.
- Release Date: Friday, November 22,2013
- MPAA Rating: R
- Directed by: John Krokidas
- Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Elizabeth Olsen
- Watch the trailer