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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. DAVID GREENE, HOST: While the real life Edward Snowden remains exiled in Moscow and human rights advocates seek a presidential pardon for him, Oliver Stone has produced a film that makes a spirited defense of the NSA whistleblower simply called "Snowden." The movie is out today. And MORNING EDITION and LA Times film critic Kenneth Turan joined us to talk about it. Hey, Kenny. KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: Good morning. GREENE: So Oliver...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: The new Ben-Hur opens today, which can't help but put moviegoers in mind of the 1959 MGM blockbuster. That classic starred Charlton Heston and won a pile of Oscars. (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "BEN-HUR") CHARLTON HESTON: (As Judah Ben-Hur) Rome is strangling my people and my country and the whole Earth. The day Rome falls, there will be a shout of freedom such as the world has never heard before. MONTAGNE: As it turned...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: "Fargo," "Raising Arizona," "The Big Lebowski," "No Country For Old Men" - Joel and Ethan Coen, better known as the Coen brothers, have brought movie-goers some of the most distinctive, quirky movies of the last three decades. They are back in theaters today with their latest, "Hail, Caesar!" And Kenneth Turan joined us to talk about it. Good morning. KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee....

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: The movie about Steve Jobs opens today. It is inspired by a best-selling biography of the Apple cofounder that came out in 2011, right around the time of Steve Jobs' death. Now, you notice we say the movie was inspired by - not based on - the biography. There's a difference. And our film critic Kenneth Turan is here tells about it. Hi, Ken. KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: Hey, Steve, how are you doing? INSKEEP:...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Another "Mission: Impossible" movie opens today. The franchise has been good to Tom Cruise, raking in more than $2 billion in worldwide box office receipts. So now take five. Here's our critic Kenneth Turan. KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" has been polished to a high sheen by people who know how to get entertainment business done. It's a familiar spy-versus-spy diversion...

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

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: One of the most talked-about movie performances of the year involves a woman facing a disease commonly associated with older Americans, Alzheimer's. In "Still Alice," Julianne Moore plays a woman who is relatively young, a renowned linguistics professor who finds herself losing words. Film critic Kenneth Turan has this review. KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: "Still Alice" is scarier than any Elm Street...

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. KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: "Nightcrawler" is pulp with a purpose. It's melodrama grounded in a disturbing reality. The theme of the film, written and directed by Dan Gilroy, is that if it bleeds,...

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. The movie takes a full half hour introducing Robert, Washington's character, as a...

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.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. 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. KENNETH TURAN: "Child's Pose" sounds like something elementary and easy, but don't be fooled. This stunning film from Romania, a ferocious psychological drama with the pace of a thriller, is anything but...

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. KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: It's the letter everyone's received. The one that says you've won a million dollars but is actually about selling magazine subscriptions. But what if someone truly believed they'd won that million? And what if that individual was your crabby,...

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. KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: "The Counselor" is as cold, precise and soulless as the diamonds that figure briefly in its plot. You could call it "Three Beheadings and No Funeral," but that wouldn't make the movie any better. This is the terminally...

Transcript DAVID GREENE, HOST: Another movie opening is "Pacific Rim." Critic Kenneth Turan says it has plenty of explosions and special effects, but he says there's actually more to it than most of the other blockbusters this summer. KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: A plot where aliens face off against robots may sound like too much of the same old thing. But director Guillermo del Toro is more than a filmmaker. He's a fantasy visionary with an outsized imagination and a fanatical specificity, and the...

Pages