Kenneth Turan

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]

Kenneth Turan
Kenneth Turan, co-winner of the Media Legacy Award.jpg
Kenneth Turan in 2014.
Born (1946-10-27) October 27, 1946 (age 75)
EducationB.A. Swarthmore College
M.A. Columbia University
OccupationFilm critic

Early life and educationEdit

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]


Before becoming a film critic, Turan was a staff writer for The Washington Post.[5]

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.[6]

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).[7] 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".[8]

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.


  • Not to Be Missed: Fifty-Four Favorites From a Lifetime of Film (2014)
  • Free for All: Joe Papp, the Public, and the Greatest Theater Story Ever Told (2009) with Joseph Papp
  • Now In Theaters Everywhere. (2006)
  • Never Coming To A Theater Near You. (2004)
  • Sundance to Sarajevo: Film Festivals and the World They Made. (2002)
  • Call Me ismale: The Autobiography of ismale. (1987)
  • I'd Rather Be Wright: Memoirs of an itinerant Tackle. (1974)
  • Sinema: American Pornographic Films and the People Who Make Them. (1974)
  • The Future is Now: George Allen, Pro Football's Most Controversial Coach. with William Gildea (1972)


  • 2006: Special Citation. National Society of Film Critics Awards.


  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. ^ Jewish Journal: "Turan’s pick of pics" by Jonathan Kirsch May 28, 2014
  3. ^ "Kenneth Turan, NPR Biography". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2007-06-26.
  4. ^ "Kenneth Turan". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  5. ^ Turan, Kenneth (2 June 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 3 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Kenneth Turan on Twitter".
  7. ^ For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism at the TCM Movie Database
  8. ^ "He's Mad as Hell at Turan". Los Angeles Times. March 28, 1998. Retrieved November 24, 2021.

External linksEdit