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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

The Rover is a bleak film set in a very particular future. It's 10 years after a world-wide economic collapse, and the Australian outback is populated by unhinged people exhausted by heat and despair.

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Next on this Friday morning, our film critic Kenneth Turan has this pitch for a baseball movie.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: You can see the stuff "Million Dollar Arm" throws at you from miles away, but that doesn't stop it from being genially enjoyable. It's an example of the pleasant things that happen when a better class of people work on Disney family films.

Ida is a Polish film about a young woman who was raised as an orphan in a convent. She's planning to take her vows as a nun when she discovers she's Jewish and her parents were killed by the Nazis.

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A new movie called "Locke" lists a dozen actors in its credits, but only one of them appears on screen. Our film critic Kenneth Turan says that's what makes this film special.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: "Locke" sounds contrived, and it is. It may even sound boring, but that it is not. "Locke" is a real-time drama that takes place inside a moving BMW during the 85 minutes it takes construction foreman Ivan Locke, played by Tom Hardy, to make a nighttime drive from Birmingham to London.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "LOCKE")

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Let's compare two documentary films about two wartime Secretaries of Defense. Errol Morris directed "Fog of War," about a Pentagon leader in the Vietnam-era. And Morris's new film focuses on Donald Rumsfeld, Defense Secretary during the war in Iraq.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE UNKNOWN KNOWN")

DONALD RUMSFELD: There are no knowns. There are known unknowns. There are unknown unknowns. But there are also unknown knowns. That is to say, things that you think you know that it turns out you did not.

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The photographs of Vivian Maier first entered the public eye five years ago, and the art world was astounded. Her midcentury street scenes captured vivid portraits of city life. But it was difficult to get a portrait of Maier herself; she was almost unknown. Now there's a new documentary, called "Finding Vivian Maier."

Kenneth Turan has this review.

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Now, Shailene Woodley's character in the movie "Divergent" is part of a huge trend in books and films these days: a young risk taker who's unafraid to break the rules. From Harry Potter to "Twilight's" Bella Swan to Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games." Film critic Kenneth Turan says even though "Divergent" is about a risk taker, the film takes no risks at all.

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The performer Elaine Stritch began her career on stage decades ago in New York. Now nearing 90 years old, she's left the Big Apple for Michigan, to be near family. She's been on Broadway, TV and she's known for her voice. To understand her legend, Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan recommends a new documentary. He has a few words to describe this legend.

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The Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film will be handed out in a couple weeks. And though Romania's "Child's Pose" is not one of the finalists, film critic Kenneth Turan says its as good as any of them.

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Book fans can be pretty picky about how Hollywood treats their favorite reads. And Hollywood can sometimes disappoint. Marc Helprin's "Winter's Tale" has been a favorite of readers since it was published in 1983. Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has a review of how well it works as a movie.

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Book fans can be pretty picky about how Hollywood treats their favorite reads, and Hollywood doesn't always hit the mark. Mark Helprin's "Winter's Tale" has been a favorite of readers since it was published in 1983. Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has a review of how well it works as a movie.

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Director Claude Lanzmann is a known for making long documentaries about the Holocaust. In 1985, he released a nine-and-a-half hour film called "Shoah," about concentration camps in Poland. Now Lanzmann is back with another look at the Holocaust.

Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan says "The Last of the Unjust" is worth your time.

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