"It's a heady flight into not just a particular poem but into the act of creativity itself, into how an artist breaks down barriers between himself and his art."
Hollywood Reporter - Kirk Honeycutt (01/21/2010)
"Intelligent and highly respectful of its central character and his titular landmark poem....It's also an intriguing hybrid of documentary, narrative and animated filmmaking..."
Variety - Todd McCarthy (01/21/2010)
"[E]ach of HOWL's individual parts is pretty good on its terms. Franco has Ginsberg's familiar intonation and mannerisms down." -- Grade:B
A.V. Club - Keith Phipps (09/23/2010)
"HOWL does something that sounds simple until you consider how rarely it occurs in films of any kind. It takes a familiar, celebrated piece of writing and makes it come alive."
New York Times - A. O. Scott (09/24/2010)
"[T]he directors' aim is true and occasionally hits its mark. Epstein and Friedman fuse elements of documentary, feature filmmaking, and animation to home in on how Ginsberg wrote HOWL, and why it made him famous."
Movieline - Michelle Orange (09/22/2010)
"[T]he film of HOWL, like its source material, is undeniably brave, committed and inventive."
Los Angeles Times - Michael Ordona (10/01/2010)
3 stars out of 4 -- "The film is above all about HOWL the poem. Ginsberg, played by James Franco with restraint and care, reads it as smoke fills a 1955 coffeehouse."
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert (09/29/2010)
3 stars out of 4 -- "James Franco delivers an impressive, beguilingly sensitive performance as the poet and Beat Generation avatar Allen Ginsberg in HOWL."
Washington Post (10/29/2010)
4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he hippest thing about HOWL is the way it conveys one poem's electrifying impact on its generation. You'll wish you could've been there to hear it yourself."
Total Film - Matt Mueller (04/01/2011)
3 stars out of 5 -- "The strongest strand is Franco's touching portrayal of the early years in '50s New York. He channels Ginsberg with deftness and sympathy..."
Empire - Adam Smith (03/01/2011)