I really liked this movie, but I really like the beats. If you don’t like the beats, you probably won’t like this either. If you really, really, truly, dislike the beats, as both writes and as a cultural story, then I probably won’t like you very much.
I can’t remember if I’ve ever seen Daniel Radcliffe in a movie where he wasn’t Harry Potter, but he was very good. I never needed to know that DanRad has such a hairy chest though. He really was good though. I’ve seen a fair amount of footage of Ginsberg, and there were just a few little moments where it was like, ah, yes, I see this.
Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr was distractingly good looking, which was great casting. Burroughs was fantastic. Honestly, it made me want to read Burroughs.
David Cross was Allen’s father, which is hilarious considering how he played Ginsberg in I’m Not There. Or at least I found that funny.
Reading about the beats you get pieces of this story — you hear the names, and know it was a murder, but the details don’t get filled in. You’re told that it was important, and influenced the writing that came afterwards, but the how never gets filled in right.
There’s excellent use of music. It’s mostly in period, but there are a few anachronistic choices. It uses TV on the Radio’s “Wolf Like Me” in a really fun adventure scene. The modern music compliments the jazz that the beats were inspired by when they were writing.
I really liked this. It was a lot of fun, and it felt like it gave me a really good view into what was happening.