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
4:23 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.

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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.

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Movie Reviews
6:09 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
4:31 am
Thu May 22, 2014

'Foxcatcher' A Standout At Cannes Film Festival

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 8:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's check in now with film critic Kenneth Turan. He's on the line from the south of France to talk about some of the standouts at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Good morning.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So I gather, Ken, that one movie debuting at Cannes is already getting Oscar buzz.

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Movie Reviews
4:11 am
Thu May 1, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 8:37 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
4:03 am
Fri April 25, 2014

'Locke' Is More Involving Than Recent Hollywood Extravaganzas

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 7:09 am

Transcript

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
4:14 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Erroll Morris Makes Rumsfeld Story Film Friendly

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 7:22 am

Transcript

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
4:10 am
Fri March 28, 2014

'Vivian Maier' Zooms In On Nanny Who Was An Amazing Photographer

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 11:12 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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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Movie Reviews
4:43 am
Fri March 21, 2014

'Divergent': A Film About A Risk Taker That Plays It Safe

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:45 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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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Movie Reviews
5:55 am
Mon February 24, 2014

'Child's Pose' Feels 'Terrifyingly Authentic'

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:34 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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