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.

Movie Reviews
12:11 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Stalked By A Fiend Worse Than Any Elm Street Nightmare

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 8:42 am

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Movie Reviews
11:57 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

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

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 2:42 am

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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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Music Reviews
11:53 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 3:26 pm

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Movie Reviews
12:12 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 2:17 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
1:55 am
Mon February 24, 2014

'Child's Pose' Feels 'Terrifyingly Authentic'

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 2:34 am

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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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Movie Reviews
2:19 am
Fri November 15, 2013

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

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 5:49 am

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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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NPR Story
12:12 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Soulless 'Counselor' Is Terminally Bleak

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 1:43 am

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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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Movie Reviews
12:16 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Movie Review: 'Jack The Giant Slayer'

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 1:58 am

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The story of "Jack and the Beanstalk" has been filmed by people as diverse as Gene Kelly, Chuck Jones and the Three Stooges. Now there's "Jack the Giant Slayer."

Kenneth Turan has this review.

KENNETH TURAN: Pity poor Jack. There he was minding his own business in some dusty fairytale book when he was dragooned into active service as the front man for a would-be blockbuster. Jack's been through the Hollywood shuffle before, but there's never been a Jack tale that delivered so little pleasure for so many dollars.

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NPR Story
1:09 am
Fri February 1, 2013

How 'Sound City' Changed The Face Of Rock 'N Roll

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 6:26 am

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One of the most entertaining documentaries to come out of this year's Sundance Film Festival is "Sound City." The rock musician Dave Grohl, of the band Foo Fighters, is the director - a first for him. Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has this review.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: "Sound City" is a mash note to a machine - not just any machine, however, but one that helped change the face of rock 'n' roll.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Movies
11:28 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Daniel Day-Lewis 'Simply Becomes Lincoln'

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 7:46 am

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This year, we've had not one, but two movies about the sixteenth president of the United States. This spring, "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter" slashed its way into theaters. This week, a more historically accurate Lincoln shows up onscreen.

Kenneth Turan has this review.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: Daniel Day-Lewis is a two-time Oscar-winning actor, but he surpasses himself and makes us see a celebrated figure in unanticipated ways in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln."

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Movies
1:21 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Kenneth Turan Reviews: 'Robot And Frank'

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 6:56 am

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, the summer blockbuster season at the movies is nearly over, which means some smaller and more independent films are making their way into theaters. Film critic Kenneth Turan saw "Robot and Frank."

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Movies
12:30 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Back To The Future With 'Total Recall' Remake

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Look for a review of the new science fiction epic "Total Recall" and you'll see headlines ready Total Makeover. You might recall the 1990 original starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. With our review of the remake, here's Kenneth Turan.

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Movie Reviews
12:03 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Whatever The Country, No Such Thing As 'Easy Money'

Mrado (Dragomir Mrsic) is the enforcer for a Serbian drug cartel that controls business in Sweden, and one of three characters who clash in Easy Money.
Weinstein Company

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 4:57 am

Easy Money is a fine title for a film, but to truly savor the tang of this top-drawer Scandinavian thriller, try rolling its original Swedish title off your tongue. Say hello to Snabba Cash.

Director Daniel Espinosa starts his splendid crime story all in a rush, throwing us right into the middle of a trio of chaotic situations.

Introduced first is Jorge, a Chilean living in Sweden — in fact in a Swedish prison. Making his escape, Jorge promptly goes into hiding, as much from other local bad guys as from the police.

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Movies
12:19 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Will 'Prometheus' Top 'Alien' Or 'Blade Runner'?

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 10:03 am

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Ridley Scott has made two of the most acclaimed science fiction films, "Alien" and "Blade Runner." Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has this review of the director's newest sci-fi effort, "Prometheus."

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: "Prometheus" ends up with less to say than it thinks it does. It's more involving than many of this year's summer blockbuster competition, but by the standards of the director's earlier films, it's a disappointment.

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