Although there is a lot of questionable behavior depicted in the movie, there are some insightful messages about the way artists don't often take the traditional path of college and education to success. Be aware that there's also messages about how free artists have always been with their views on sexuality and marriage and substance use.
A violent scene is repeated a few times from different perspectives, but the outcome is always the same -- a man is stabbed, bound, weighted, and then thrown in a river where he dies. A man tries to hang himself, but is unsuccessful in an almost comical way. A mentally ill woman is shown with bloody hands. A man threatens another more than once. An older man displays stalker-like behavior toward a much younger man.
Adults kiss at parties and clubs. Allen Ginsberg has sexual daydreams of Lucien Carr. Several references to sex and relationships (ranging from longing looks to caresses to full-on sex). Allen masturbates at a desk (viewers can see his bare bottom on a chair) and later has sex with Jack Kerouac -- bare chests, backs, buttocks, and thrusting are visible. A college-aged woman shows a man her bra then bends down to perform oral sex. Other scenes include passionate kisses and half-dressed characters.
Occasional language includes "f--k"; "s--t," "a--hole," "d--k," plus exclamations like "Jesus Christ!" and "Oh my God!"; and discriminatory use of the word "Jew" and the anti-Semitic term "Hymies."
Famous poets (some of whom are 18-19 in the film) do drugs including marijuana, speed, and nitrous oxide. They also smoke cigars and cigarettes and drink a lot. They believe being in an altered state helps their artistic output.