Kenneth Turan
Turan in 2014
Born (1946-10-27) October 27, 1946 (age 77)
EducationSwarthmore College (BA)
Columbia University (MA)
Occupation(s)Film critic, author, lecturer

Kenneth Turan (/təˈræn/; born October 27, 1946)[1] is an American retired film critic, author, and lecturer in the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California.[2] 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".[3]

Early life

Turan was raised in an observant Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York.[4] He received a bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.[5][6] At Swarthmore, he was roommates with the mathematician and science fiction author Rudy Rucker.[7]


Turan started his professional career around 1970s.[3] Before becoming a film critic, Turan was a staff writer for The Washington Post[8] from 1969 to 1978.[9] In-between, he was a sportswriter in 1971, and by 1976 became a feature writer.[9]

Turan was a film critic for The Progressive, a magazine published in Madison, Wisconsin. He had also written for TV Guide, California magazine and GQ.[3] In 1991 he became a film critic for The Los Angeles Times.[10] In 1993, he was named the director of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes.[11] Around 2000, Turan joined the NPR to cover the Cannes Film Festival for them. After several years at NPR, he joined NPR's Morning Edition as a film critic.[2] Turan founded the KUSC radio program Arts Alive. He provides regular movie reviews for NPR's Morning Edition[12] and serves on the board of directors of the Yiddish Book Center.[13]

Turan announced his retirement from The Los Angeles Times on March 25, 2020.[14] The last film he reviewed was the German film Balloon.[10]

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).[15] 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".[16]




  1. ^ "Kenneth Turan: Discovering his Passionate Reviews | Movezz". June 6, 2023. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  2. ^ a b Engel, Allison (September 19, 2010). "A Conversation With Kenneth Turan". USC News. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  3. ^ a b c 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.
  4. ^ Kirsch, Jonathan (May 28, 2014). "Turan's pick of pics". Jewish Journal. Archived from the original on July 5, 2014.
  5. ^ "Kenneth Turan, NPR Biography". National Public Radio. Retrieved June 26, 2007.
  6. ^ "Kenneth Turan". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  7. ^ Rucker, Rudy (December 11, 2012). Nested Scrolls: The Autobiography of Rudolf von Bitter Rucker. New York, NY. ISBN 978-0765327536.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ a b "Kenneth Turan reflects on 'The Post': How a film critic watches movies about experiences he lived through". New York Daily News. December 26, 2017. Retrieved June 24, 2023.
  10. ^ a b Thompson, Anne (March 26, 2020). "As Kenneth Turan Leaves the Los Angeles Times, Film Critics Face a Post-Theatrical Age". IndieWire. Retrieved June 24, 2023.
  11. ^ "Kenneth Turan". Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  12. ^ "Joe Papp and Shakespeare in the Park, with Kenneth Turan | Folger Shakespeare Library". Folger Shakespeare Library. August 2, 2018. Retrieved June 24, 2023.
  13. ^ "Board of Directors | Yiddish Book Center". Yiddish Book Center. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism at the TCM Movie Database
  16. ^ "He's Mad as Hell at Turan". Los Angeles Times. March 28, 1998. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  17. ^ Welk, Brian (March 25, 2020). "Kenneth Turan Steps Down as Daily Film Critic at Los Angeles Times". The Wrap. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  18. ^ Thompson, Anne (November 25, 2013). "L.A. Press Club's Luminary Career Achievement Award Goes to LA Times Film Critic Kenneth Turan". IndieWire. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  19. ^ Canfield, David (February 4, 2015). "Rosario Dawson, Sundance Champ 'Slow West' Among 2015 Cinequest Film Festival Lineup". IndieWire. Retrieved June 24, 2023.