Kenneth Turan
Kenneth Turan, co-winner of the Media Legacy Award.jpg
Turan in 2014
Born (1946-10-27) October 27, 1946 (age 76)
EducationB.A. Swarthmore College
M.A. Columbia University
Occupation(s)Film critic, author, lecturer

Kenneth Turan (/təˈræn/; born October 27, 1946) is an American retired film critic, author, and lecturer in the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California. He was a film critic for the Los Angeles Times from 1991 until 2020 and was described by The Hollywood Reporter as "arguably the most widely read film critic in the town most associated with the making of movies".[1]

Early life

Turan was raised in an observant Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York.[2] He received a bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.[3][4] At Swarthmore, he was roommates with the mathematician and science fiction author Rudy Rucker.[5]


Before becoming a film critic, Turan was a staff writer for The Washington Post.[6]

Turan was a film critic for The Progressive, a magazine published in Madison, Wisconsin, and in 1991 he became a film critic for The Los Angeles Times. In 1993, he was named the director of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes.

Turan announced his retirement from The Los Angeles Times on March 25, 2020.[7]

He is featured in the documentary For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism (2009) discussing his public quarrel with film director James Cameron, who e-mailed the Los Angeles Times' editors calling for Turan to be fired after he wrote a scathing review of Titanic (1997).[8] Cameron accused Turan of using an "incessant rain of personal barbs" and using his "bully pulpit not only to attack my film, but the entire film industry and its audiences".[9]

Turan founded the KUSC radio program Arts Alive. He provides regular movie reviews for NPR's Morning Edition and serves on the board of directors of the Yiddish Book Center.




  1. ^ Feinberg, Scott (March 25, 2020). "Kenneth Turan Steps Down as L.A. Times Film Critic After 30 Years". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  2. ^ Kirsch, Jonathan (May 28, 2014). "Turan's pick of pics". Jewish Journal. Archived from the original on July 5, 2014.
  3. ^ "Kenneth Turan, NPR Biography". National Public Radio. Retrieved June 26, 2007.
  4. ^ "Kenneth Turan". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  5. ^ Rucker, Rudy (December 11, 2012). Nested Scrolls: The Autobiography of Rudolf von Bitter Rucker. New York, NY. ISBN 978-0765327536.
  6. ^ Turan, Kenneth (June 2, 1974). "The Fall and Rise of an Ex-Communist: The 20 Yeat Struggle of Maurice Braverman, Ex-Convict, Attorney at Law" (PDF). The Washington Post. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  7. ^ Turan, Kenneth (March 25, 2020). "I have some big news. After close to 30 years in the most exciting and rewarding of jobs, I am stepping away from being a daily film critic for the Los Angeles Times. (more)". Twitter.
  8. ^ For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism at the TCM Movie Database
  9. ^ "He's Mad as Hell at Turan". Los Angeles Times. March 28, 1998. Retrieved November 24, 2021.