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Kenneth Turan

Columnist

Kenneth Turan is film critic for the Los Angeles Times and National Public Radio’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 as well as the Times’ book review editor. A graduate of Swarthmore College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, he teaches film reviewing and non-fiction writing at USC. His most recent books are “Never Coming To A Theater Near You” and “Free For All: Joe Papp, The Public and The Greatest Theater Story Ever Told.”

Recent Articles

  • 'Alien' haunts outer space thriller 'Life'

    'Alien' haunts outer space thriller 'Life'

    Say hello to Calvin. Or maybe not. Calvin is the resident alien on space station Plymouth Rock and really, he would as soon suck the life out of you as look at you. Calvin comes from Mars, if you must know, but in truth his talents for havoc and devastation were wasted on the cold, dead Red Planet...

  • 'After the Storm,' 'Frantz' and more critics' picks, March 24-30

    'After the Storm,' 'Frantz' and more critics' picks, March 24-30

    Movie recommendations from critics Kenneth Turan, Justin Chang and other reviewers. After the Storm A sublimely simple family drama from the Japanese writer-director Hirokazu Kore-eda, a filmmaker assured enough to hide his mastery in plain sight. Nothing is overemphasized, and nothing escapes...

  • 'The Last Laugh' asks if there's anything taboo in comedy anymore

    'The Last Laugh' asks if there's anything taboo in comedy anymore

    At times haphazard but always involving, "The Last Laugh" confronts a question that sounds anachronistic in today's anything-goes world: Are there any taboos remaining in humor, areas where making jokes is simply beyond the pale? Though documentarian Ferne Pearlstein (who photographed and edited...

  • 'The Settlers' delves into Israeli politics and religion

    'The Settlers' delves into Israeli politics and religion

    As the devastating documentary “The Settlers” demonstrates, ask a simple question and you end up with a complex, confounding series of answers. Veteran Israeli director Shimon Dotan poses the same basic query — “Are you a settler?” — to residents of the West Bank, and the range of responses is...

  • Logic be damned: 'T2 Trainspotting' casts a profane, exuberant spell

    Logic be damned: 'T2 Trainspotting' casts a profane, exuberant spell

    Looked at logically, "T2 Trainspotting" should not work as well as it does. In fact, it shouldn't work at all. But up there on the screen, where it matters, the dark magic remains intact and logic be damned. When it was released in 1996, the original "Trainspotting" seemed the very definition of...

  • L.A. embraces Israeli comedy 'The Women's Balcony'

    L.A. embraces Israeli comedy 'The Women's Balcony'

    An Israeli film that was an unlikely box-office smash in its home country is in the process of repeating that feat in Los Angeles as it expands to half a dozen theaters. Though it’s set in an Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem, a world that may seem monolithic to outsiders, “The Women’s Balcony”...

  • Il Cinema Ritrovato on Tour stops at Loyola Marymount

    Il Cinema Ritrovato on Tour stops at Loyola Marymount

    If you can't make it to Bologna, Italy, for the celebrated archival festival Il Cinema Ritrovato, you can spend some time at Loyola Marymount University and see several of the event's restored highlights on tour. The program begins on March 13 at 4:15 p.m. with Arthur Penn's 1966 "The Chase," a...

  • Documentary 'The Freedom to Marry' chronicles the long road for gay rights

    Documentary 'The Freedom to Marry' chronicles the long road for gay rights

    When it first came together, the documentary "The Freedom to Marry" probably looked like something of a victory lap. A chance to celebrate the individuals whose decades of work on the fight for marriage equality led to the 2015 Supreme Court ruling making it legal for gay people to marry in all...

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