Kenneth Turan

Kenneth Turan is the film critic for the Los Angeles Times and NPR's Morning Edition, as well as the director of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. He has been a staff writer for the Washington Post and TV Guide, and served as the Times' book review editor.

A graduate of Swarthmore College and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, he is the co-author of Call Me Anna: The Autobiography of Patty Duke. He teaches film reviewing and non-fiction writing at USC and is on the board of directors of the National Yiddish Book Center. His most recent books are the University of California Press' Sundance to Sarajevo: Film Festivals and the World They Made and Never Coming To A Theater Near You, published by Public Affairs Press.

Pages

Movie Reviews
4:21 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Documentary Spotlights 'Wrecking Crew' Behind Hits of '60s, '70s

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 6:56 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:07 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Belfast Thriller '71' Combines Action And Emotional Authenticity

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 6:42 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Actor Jack O'Connell is one of Britain's rising stars. He starred in "Unbroken" and film critic Kenneth Turan says he's even better in the new film "71."

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:20 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Good Acting, Directing And Story Make 'McFarland USA' Effective

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 7:10 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Early in his career, in films like "Bull Durham" and "Field Of Dreams," the actor Kevin Costner specialized in playing athletes. Now in "McFarland USA" he's moved up to being a coach. Kenneth Turan has our review.

Read more
Movie Reviews
5:12 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Publishing Phenomenon 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Hits The Big Screen

Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 7:12 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Movie Reviews
4:21 am
Fri February 6, 2015

'Jupiter Ascending' Displays Wachowksi Siblings' Success, Weakness

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 10:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

"The Matrix" was brought to you in 1999 by a sibling filmmaking duo, the Wachowskis. Their late the sci-fi flick has a blockbuster cast, and film critic Kenneth Turan has a review.

Read more
Movie Reviews
5:36 am
Fri January 23, 2015

'Red Army' Profiles How Cold War Played Out On Ice

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 7:14 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Catch a ride to the movies and maybe you'll be catching "Red Army." It is a new documentary not about the Soviet military. It is actually the story of one of the most dominant hockey teams in the history of the game, and Kenneth Turan has that review.

Read more
Movie Reviews
5:11 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Movie Review: 'Song Of The Sea'

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 12:45 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Movie Reviews
4:03 am
Wed December 31, 2014

'A Most Violent Year' Captures You And Doesn't Let Go

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 11:12 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Movie Reviews
3:52 am
Thu December 25, 2014

'Unbroken' Skips Over Louis Zamperini's Post-War Struggles

Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 6:00 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Movie Reviews
4:18 am
Fri December 12, 2014

To Enjoy 'Exodus,' Don't Take It As Seriously As It Takes Itself

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 6:02 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The director Ridley Scott - his films include classics like "Alien," "Blade Runner," "Gladiator" - now turns his attention to ancient Egypt in a movie called "Exodus: Gods and Kings." Film critic Kenneth Turan has this review.

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:11 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Stalked By A Fiend Worse Than Any Elm Street Nightmare

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 12:42 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:48 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Mathematician's Story Is Dramatic Enough For The Big Screen

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 6:16 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now, a mathematician of that era was hardly glamorous in his day. But the story of Alan Turing is dramatic enough to find its way to the silver screen. Kenneth Turan has our review.

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:31 am
Fri November 21, 2014

'Hunger Games: Mockingjay' Opens Where 'Catching Fire' Ended

Originally published on Sun November 23, 2014 7:16 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The debate will continue during Thanksgiving week and beyond, but some people will give themselves a break with a movie that makes our political debates seem tame. Kenneth Turan reviews the latest in "The Hunger Games" series.

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:11 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Jon Stewart's 'Rosewater': The Serious Side Of Comedy

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 1:45 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
Movie Reviews
5:48 am
Fri November 7, 2014

'Interstellar' Is Christopher Nolan's Space-Time Epic

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 3:27 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Earlier generations of science-fiction films fretted about nuclear radiation or alien invasion. What powers Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" is a more up-to-date concern. Film critic Kenneth Turan has this review.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:57 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Review: Gyllenhaal's 'Nightcrawler' Is Pulp With A Purpose

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 6:42 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now to a movie review. Actor Jake Gyllenhaal has been in many memorable films - "Brokeback Mountain," "End Of Watch" - film critic Kenneth Turan, though, says "Nightcrawler" is the best work he's ever done.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:53 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Message From Documentary 'Citizenfour': Be Afraid (Of Surveillance)

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 6:03 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A new documentary, "Citizenfour" takes us, the audience, inside one of the biggest new stories of the past few years. Kenneth Turan has this view.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:43 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Starring In 'Fury': The Horrors That People Are Capable Of In War

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 6:21 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's talk about a different kind of power - the brutal power of an army at war. The movie "Fury" topped the box office over the weekend, and our critic Kenneth Turan has a review.

Read more
Music Reviews
3:53 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Journalist Gary Webb's Story Told In 'Kill The Messenger'

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 7:26 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:24 am
Mon September 29, 2014

'Equalizer' Devotes Time To Character Development, Graphic Violence

Denzel Washington stars as a retired intelligence officer in The Equalizer.
Scott Garfield Sony Pictures

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 6:17 am

When star Denzel Washington and director Anton Fuqua collaborated on 2001's Training Day, the film won Washington an Oscar and changed the trajectory of his career. Now they are together again.

The Equalizer is unapologetic in its excessive, frequently grotesque violence. But because it's got Denzel Washington as its star, it's more interested in character development than you might guess.

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:04 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Movie Review: 'Last Days In Vietnam'

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 6:57 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

So we tried to get into a movie the other night but couldn't get a ticket for the one we wanted. "Last Days In Vietnam" was sold out, which probably does not surprise LA Times and MORNING EDITION critic Kenneth Turan.

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:26 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Movie Review: 'God Help The Girl'

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 9:58 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

Stuart Murdoch is best known as the lead singer and songwriter of the Scottish band Belle and Sebastian. But now he's written and directed a movie which, no surprise, is a musical. Our film critic Kenneth Turan has this review of "God Help The Girl."

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:03 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Romance Fans Will Fall For Characters In 'If I Stay'

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 6:53 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Book Reviews
6:11 am
Mon August 18, 2014

'Giver' Fans Likely To Be Disappointed By Movie's Pace

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 3:44 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:26 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Movie Review: 'The Hundred-Foot Journey'

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 10:15 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Food and romance. That's the recipe in the new film "The Hundred-Foot Journey." Here's Kenneth Turan's review.

Read more
Movie Reviews
6:14 am
Fri August 1, 2014

James Brown Biopic 'Get On Up': Heroic Acting In A Disjointed Film

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Read more
Movie Reviews
6:09 am
Fri July 25, 2014

'Most Wanted Man' A Worthy Addition To Le Carre's Film Adaptations

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:14 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Movie Reviews
4:13 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Movie Review: 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes'

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 7:01 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It was 1968 on the calendar - or some future date in movie time - when Charlton Heston first told those dirty apes to keep their stinking paws off him. Out in theaters today is "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," the latest film in the epic saga of interspecies conflict. Critic Kenneth Turan has this review.

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:35 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Carney's 'Begin Again' Doesn't Match His Hit 'Once'

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 6:59 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

John Carney is an Irish writer and director. He brought us the landmark film, "Once" - a small independent movie that became a Broadway musical blockbuster that won eight Tony's. Carney now has a new movie out and Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has this review.

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:21 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Clint Eastwood Takes 'Jersey Boys' From Broadway To Movie Theaters

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 6:29 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And the musical based on the songs of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, "Jersey Boys," is one of the longest-running plays on Broadway. Today, the movie version arrives in theaters, and its director may come as a surprise. Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has this review.

Read more

Pages