Howl

User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22

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User Reviews

  1. Nov 20, 2010
    4
    This is not a biopic about poet Alan Ginsberg, but a cinematic interpretation of the titular poem that caused a stir in the art and legal community. It unfolds in several scenarios: Ginsberg (James Franco) reads the poem to a coffee house crowd, the poem is illustrated through animation, he talks to Time magazine (an interview that was never published), there are highlights from the courtThis is not a biopic about poet Alan Ginsberg, but a cinematic interpretation of the titular poem that caused a stir in the art and legal community. It unfolds in several scenarios: Ginsberg (James Franco) reads the poem to a coffee house crowd, the poem is illustrated through animation, he talks to Time magazine (an interview that was never published), there are highlights from the court case that tried the poem as obscenity and a few glimpses into his relationships. If you're not looking for a straight narrative and appreciate artistic cinema, you might like this. Expand
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Adam Smith
    Feb 21, 2011
    60
    With a frustrating format and poor animation, it's still worth it for Franco and the chance to engage with a key work of poetry.
  2. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Oct 28, 2010
    75
    Howl mixes a number of story lines and aesthetic approaches: We get glimpses of Ginsberg's early days as a poet, including his relationships with Kerouac and Neal Cassady, as well as a depiction of the trial, where a parade of critics and professors pronounced Ginsberg's creation either a work of genius or irredeemable filth.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Nilsen
    Oct 21, 2010
    80
    This film is a wonderful act of imagination on its own.