James Franco stars as counter-culture revolutionary Allen Ginsberg, who recounts the road trips, love affairs and search for personal liberation that led to the most electrifying work of his career: the poem Howl. Meanwhile, in a San Francisco courtroom, Howl is on trial as prosecutor Ralph McIntosh (David Strathairn), defense attorney Jake Ehrlich (Jon Hamm), and a host of witnesses (Jeff Daniels, Mary-Louise Parker) debate the artistic merits of Ginsberg’s controversial work, and whether or not it should be banned from publication.
"James Franco’s performance should redefine his career.” -- Betsy Sharkey, LA Times
"Outstanding!" -- Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter
"Rhapsodically beautiful...Franco is the movie’s perfect center." -- David Edelstein, New York Magazine
"What Ginsberg’s poem might have sounded and felt like at the moment of its creation...It takes a familiar, celebrated piece of writing and makes it come alive." -- A.O. Scott, The New York Times