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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Movie Reviews
5:01 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 7:02 am

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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.

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Movie Reviews
5:11 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Stalked By A Fiend Worse Than Any Elm Street Nightmare

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 1:42 pm

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Movie Reviews
4:57 am
Fri October 31, 2014

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

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 7:42 am

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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.

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Movie Reviews
4:53 am
Fri October 24, 2014

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

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 7:03 am

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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.

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Movie Reviews
4:28 am
Mon October 20, 2014

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

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 7:21 am

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

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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.

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Music Reviews
4:53 am
Fri October 10, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 8:26 pm

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Movie Reviews
5:24 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 7:17 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.

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Movie Reviews
5:26 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Movie Review: 'The Hundred-Foot Journey'

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 11:15 am

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

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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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NPR Story
5:00 am
Fri August 1, 2014

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

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 7:14 am

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

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Movie Reviews
5:23 am
Fri June 27, 2014

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

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 7:59 am

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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.

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Movie Reviews
7:09 am
Wed June 18, 2014

'Rover' Blends Quiet Character Moments Amid Societal Collapse

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.

Movie Reviews
5:05 am
Thu May 1, 2014

'Ida': A Young Woman's Search For Identity In 1962 Poland

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 9:37 am

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.

Movie Reviews
5:03 am
Fri April 25, 2014

'Locke' Is More Involving Than Recent Hollywood Extravaganzas

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 8:09 am

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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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Movie Reviews
5:14 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Erroll Morris Makes Rumsfeld Story Film Friendly

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 8:22 am

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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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Movie Reviews
6:23 am
Mon February 24, 2014

'Child's Pose' Feels 'Terrifyingly Authentic'

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:34 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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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Movie Reviews
11:57 am
Sun February 23, 2014

A 'Tale' That's A Labor Of Love, But Not A Complete Success

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 12:08 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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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Movie Reviews
5:24 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Helprin's 'Winter Tale' Brought To Life On Silver Screen

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 12:11 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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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Movie Reviews
7:19 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Bruce Dern's 'Transcendent Performance' In 'Nebraska'

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 10:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Back in May at the Cannes film festival, Bruce Dern won the best acting award for "Nebraska." That movie is now opening in theaters in the U.S. and here's film critic Kenneth Turan with a review.

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Movie Reviews
4:47 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Animator Hayao Miyazaki's 'Wind Rises' Is 'Special'

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 10:17 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A legendary Japanese animator has a new film out this week. It's only in select theaters for one week only, just enough to qualify for the Oscars. Our film critic Kenneth Turan says "The Wind Rises" is worth seeking out.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: To see "The Wind Rises" is to both marvel at the work of Hiyo Miyzasaki and regret that this film is likely his last. Inspired by the life of a brilliant aircraft designer, it's quintessential Miyazaki: stunningly beautiful and completely idiosyncratic.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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NPR Story
5:29 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Soulless 'Counselor' Is Terminally Bleak

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:43 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. The writer Cormac McCarthy has won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. He has never written an original screenplay produced until now. That film, "The Counselor," opens this weekend. Kenneth Turan has our review.

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