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Kenneth Turan

Kenneth Turan

American film critic
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro American film critic
Countries United States of America
Occupations Journalist
Gender male
Birth October 27, 1946 (Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.A.)
Education Swarthmore College
The details

Kenneth Turan (/təˈræn/; born October 27, 1946) is an American film critic and Lecturer in the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California.

Early life and education

Turan was raised in an observant Jewish family in Brooklyn. He is a graduate of Swarthmore College and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. His sister, Serena Turan Scheer, was on the editorial staff of Root and Branch and was married to journalist Robert Scheer.


He has been a film critic for the Los Angeles Times since 1991 and the Director for the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, since 1993. He is the founding film critic for Arts Alive on KUSC-FM and www.kusc.org. He also provides regular reviews for Morning Edition on National Public Radio.

Kenneth Turan is featured in the documentary For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism discussing his public quarrel with film director James Cameron, and recalling how Cameron e-mailed the LA Times's editors calling for Turan to be fired after he wrote a negative review of Titanic. Turan serves on the board of directors of the National 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.
  • 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.
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