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

  • 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1' is just a place-holder
    'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1' is just a place-holder

    Director Peter Jackson was in the room with New Line Cinema founder Bob Shaye back in 1998, or so the story goes, pitching him on making J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy into a pair of films, when Shaye stopped him with a question: "Why make two films when you can make three?"

  • Arguing Paris' fate in the compelling 'Diplomacy'
    Arguing Paris' fate in the compelling 'Diplomacy'

    In "Diplomacy," veteran German director Volker Schlöndorff and two of France's top actors, André Dussollier and Niels Arestrup, convincingly imagine how a Swedish consul and a German general could have argued the fate of Paris in the closing days of World War II. Back and forth...

  • 'Foxcatcher' a gripping story of seduction, rejection, murder
    'Foxcatcher' a gripping story of seduction, rejection, murder

    "Foxcatcher" is a brooding, particularly American horror story of seduction, rejection, betrayal and murder set in the under-the-radar world of Olympic wrestling. A despairing, intentionally disturbing film that draws us into a maelstrom of desperate emotions, it holds up a dark mirror to the...

  • 'Merchants of Doubt' shows how public opinion is manipulated
    'Merchants of Doubt' shows how public opinion is manipulated

    Don't underestimate Robert Kenner's "Merchants of Doubt." It may sound like a standard-issue advocacy documentary concerned, as so many are, with the perils of global warming, but it's a lot more than that.

  • 'Rosewater' finds Jon Stewart in solidly serious mode
    'Rosewater' finds Jon Stewart in solidly serious mode

    Jon Stewart has made such a career out of mocking the news that it's a bit of a shock to find that "Rosewater," his debut film as a writer-director, is so earnest and straightforward you'd guess it was directed by Dan Rather and not the host of Comedy Central's congenitally irreverent "The...

  • 75 years on, sophistication of 'Jour Se Leve' still surprises
    75 years on, sophistication of 'Jour Se Leve' still surprises

    Of all the memorable films starring French icon Jean Gabin, including "Grand Illusion," "Pepe le Moko" and "La Bete Humaine," none has been harder to see in its original version, or more richly rewards a viewing today, than Marcel Carne's melancholy masterpiece of poetic realism, 1939's "Le...

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