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.

4:57am

Fri October 31, 2014
Movie Reviews

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

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

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4:53am

Fri October 24, 2014
Movie Reviews

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

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

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4:45am

Mon October 20, 2014
Movie Reviews

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/.

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.

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5:24am

Mon September 29, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Equalizer' Devotes Time To Character Development, Graphic Violence

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 7:17 am

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

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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5:09am

Fri March 21, 2014
Movie Reviews

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

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 7:45 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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12:08pm

Sun February 23, 2014
Movie Reviews

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

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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10:39am

Fri September 13, 2013
Arts & Life

'Wadjda' Is First Feature Film Shot In Saudi Arabia

Wadjda tells the story of a 10-year-old Saudi girl determined to have a bicycle in a culture that frowns on female riding. Writer-director Haifaa al-Mansour says she wanted to put a human face on the situation of women in Saudi Arabia, where driving is not permitted.

5:30am

Fri August 3, 2012
Movies

Back To The Future With 'Total Recall' Remake

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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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5:03pm

Thu July 12, 2012
Movie Reviews

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

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 9:57 am

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

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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4:54am

Fri June 22, 2012
Movies

Why Knew? Honest Abe Rid The World Of The Undead

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 7:17 am

With a movie title like Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, it's no mystery what the plot is. Young Mr. Lincoln is tutored by an experienced vampire killer and goes into training with his trusty ax. He bears a special grudge against vampires because they killed his mother.