Kenneth Turan
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For 1,868 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 63% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 35% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 10.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Kenneth Turan's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 The Wind Rises
Lowest review score: 0 Lethal Weapon 4
Score distribution:
1,868 movie reviews
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Avatar's shock and awe demand to be seen. You've never experienced anything like it, and neither has anyone else.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Up in the Air makes it look easy. Not just in its casual and apparently effortless excellence, but in its ability to blend entertainment and insight, comedy and poignancy, even drama and reality, things that are difficult by themselves but a whole lot harder in combination. This film does all that and never seems to break a sweat.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    This is a performance, and a film, to cherish for this year and always.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    As the summer heats up, let Frozen River wash over you; let its bracing drama and the intensity of its acting restore your spirits as well as your faith in American independent film.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Overwhelmingly tense, overflowing with crackling verisimilitude, it's both the film about the war in Iraq that we've been waiting for and the kind of unqualified triumph that's been long expected from director Kathryn Bigelow.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Writer-directors Joel and Ethan have seized the opportunity afforded by the Oscar-winning success of "No Country for Old Men," to make their most personal, most intensely Jewish film, a pitch-perfect comedy of despair that, against some odds, turns out to be one of their most universal as well.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    This is a film with a commitment to reality unlike any we're used to seeing.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Up
    Rarely has any film, let alone an animated one powered by the logic of dream and fantasy, been able to move so successfully -- and so effortlessly -- through so many different kinds of cinematic territory.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    There's barely any on-field footage in The Damned United. What we get instead is fine acting and directing, splendid dialogue and a story too outrageous to be made up.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    You'll be planning to see Ponyo twice before you've finished seeing it once. Five minutes into this magical film you'll be making lists of the individuals of every age you can expose to the very special mixture of fantasy and folklore, adventure and affection.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Exactly written, directed with a surgeon's precision and transcendently acted, Sideways brings emotional reality to a consistently amusing character comedy, making it something to be cherished like the delicate Santa Ynez Valley wines that are the story's vivid backdrop.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    May be the most hopeless, despairing comic-book movie in memory. It creates a world where being a superhero is at best a double-edged sword and no triumph is likely to be anything but short-lived.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    An intense, nihilistic thriller as well as a model of implacable storytelling, this is a film you can't stop watching even though you very much wish you could. That's because No Country escorts you through a world so pitilessly bleak, "you put your soul at hazard," as one character says, to be part of it.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Masterfully put-together, made with confidence, intelligence and command.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    The fingerprints of the Camorra are everywhere, this film wants us to know, and its grip is lethal.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    What makes Seraphine, directed and co-written by Martin Provost, so exceptional is that it neither condescends to nor romanticizes its subject.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    A remarkable feat of imagination, a magical tale with a genuinely sinister edge.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Those who see it will, quite frankly, not believe their luck. It is that satisfying, that engrossing, that good.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Daring and traditional, groundbreaking and familiar, apocalyptic and sentimental, Wall-E gains strength from embracing contradictions that would destroy other films.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Made with palpable energy, intensity and excitement, it compellingly creates a world gone mad that is uncomfortably close to the one we live in. It is a "Blade Runner" for the 21st century, a worthy successor to that epic of dystopian decay
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Provocative, hallucinatory, incendiary, this devastating animated documentary is unlike any Israeli film you've seen. More than that, in its seamless mixing of the real and the surreal, the personal and the political, animation and live action, it's unlike any film you've seen, period.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Ratatouille is as audacious as they come. It takes risks and goes places other films wouldn't dare, and it ends up putting rival imaginations in the shade.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    This is a police procedural, if you will, about what's been called the artistic crime of the century.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    The music is so rich and completely satisfying and the characters so appealing Once makes us believe that this is all happening right in front of our eyes. We fall for each of these young people at the precise moment they are falling for each other, and what could be better than that?
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Confidently directed by Ang Lee and featuring sensitive and powerful performances by Jake Gyllenhaal and a breathtaking Heath Ledger, this film is determined to involve us in the naturalness and even inevitability of its epic, complicated love story.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Letters From Iwo Jima, takes audiences to a place that would seem unimaginable for an American director. Daring and significant, it presents a picture from life's other side, not only showing what wartime was like for our Japanese adversaries on that island in the Pacific but also actually telling the story in their language. Which turns out to be no small thing.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Perhaps the director's most touching, most elegiac work yet, Million Dollar Baby is a film that does both the expected and the unexpected, that has the nerve and the will to be as pitiless as it is sentimental.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    As completely real on the psychological level as its up-to-the-moment visual effects have on the physical.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    This is one of the few adaptations that gives a splendid novel the film it deserves.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Impeccably made, uncompromising in its implacable vision of the deranging power of love, sex and controlled substances, this savage and staggering film knows how to take our breath away.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Parse it any way you like, Miyazaki's gifts as an animator place him in a category of his own. To see his latest film is to be somehow reminded of Italians who could hear Verdi's operas as soon as they were sung or English readers who could experience the novels of Dickens episode by episode.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Working in the spirit of his predecessors but with the kind of uncanny special effects they could barely dream of, Spielberg has come up with an impressive production that is disturbing in the way only provocative science fiction can be.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    What has resulted is a blistering film you feel in the pit of your stomach, a jumpy, edgy piece of work that thrusts us into a personal maelstrom so tortured and intense, the emotions could be spread with a knife.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    A consummate entertainment rich with the romantic atmosphere of Paris in the 1950s. Coming at a turning point in French cinematic history, it drew upon several major talents - director Louis Malle, star Jeanne Moreau, cinematographer Henri Decaë, musician Miles Davis - and achieved near-legendary results with all of them.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Bergman has never been an ordinary filmmaker, and what he's given us is no genial last hurrah but rather an intensely dramatic, at times lacerating examination of life's conundrums that is exhilarating in its fearlessness and its command.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    An exquisite film, as elegant and precise as an impeccably cut diamond. It's small in scale but wholly mesmerizing, holding us captive as it demonstrates how much enveloping richness can be conveyed with a minimalist style.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    The Belgian directing brothers deal with themes they have made their own: the difficulty of being moral in an amoral world and the grinding, unforgiving nature of reality for those forced by poverty to live on the margins of society. These are not easy films to experience, but they are uncompromising and unforgettable.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    As someone who was part of the Resistance, Melville knew enough to neither melodramatically glorify nor cynically devalue the heroism he presents. This is people doing what needed to be done, Army of Shadows says, this is the way it was.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    What is different about Half Nelson is the execution, the kind of subtlety in writing, directing and acting (by costars Shareeka Epps and Anthony Mackie as well as Gosling) you seldom see.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    As he did in "Unforgiven," "Mystic River" and "Million Dollar Baby," Eastwood handles this nuanced material with aplomb, giving every element of this complex story just the weight it deserves. The director's lean dispassion, his increased willingness to be strongly emotional while retaining an instinctive restraint, continues to astonish.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Langley's impeccably nonjudgmental camera knows exactly what details to record. Drawn from more than 300 hours of footage, the film's all too brief 94 minutes mesmerizes with its insight and, rarer still, its beauty.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Told with wit, genuine poignancy and all kinds of humor, Venus charts the unlikely relationship between a man in his 70s and a young woman more than half a century his junior.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    A magnificent film almost no one knows about, this hidden classic offers a wider variety of pleasures than most contemporary works can even aspire to.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Intelligent, involving and conspicuously adult, Starting Out in the Evening is almost shocking in its distinctiveness, its ability to create high drama from an unlikely source.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Del Toro is almost alone in his ability to re-create on screen the wide-eyed exhilaration and disturbing grotesqueness that is the legacy of reading comics on the page.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    What results is a captivating portrait of the most gorgeously fractious dysfunctional family.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    It's intelligent, provocative and intensely dramatic. Its subject matter may be tough but it is as powerfully authentic as anyone could want.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    The powerfully disturbing Red Riding trilogy will haunt you waking and sleeping, night and day. If you survive the watching of it, that is, which is no easy thing.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    To borrow a marketing phrase from another, very different film, A Prophet really is the movie that reminds you why you love the movies. Especially movies like this one.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Beautifully crafted, movingly acted, still involving and entertaining, this is just the kind of film people are talking about when they say they don't make them like this anymore.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    One of the great crime thrillers, the benchmark all succeeding heist films have been measured against, it's no musty museum piece but a driving, compelling piece of work, redolent of the air of human frailty and fatalistic doom.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    A wonderful treasure from the seemingly inexhaustible cornucopia of crackling French crime dramas.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Popular filmmaking at its smartest and most persuasive.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Exquisitely made with a mesmerizing sense of style, it shows the wonderful things that can happen when traditional material is both handled with care and adroitly updated.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    This offbeat emotional thriller is an unusually satisfying film, intricately constructed, surely directed and splendidly acted. [25 Nov 1992]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Engaging and consummately entertaining.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    From Here to Eternity remains, half a century later, a singular cinematic experience, one of the landmarks of American film.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    It enables us to recapture exactly the delightful sensations felt all those years ago when we and the world were young and exciting together.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Creates magic of a completely different sort. It makes the unlikeliest subject unforgettable, finding drama, beauty, even poetry in simple things and simple lives.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    L.A. Confidential, with an exceptional ensemble cast directed by Curtis Hanson from James Ellroy's densely plotted novel, looks to be the definitive noir for this particular time and place.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Wickedly mocking but empathetic, able to laugh at its characters while paying attention to their sorrows, this subversive comedy about self-esteem resists the notion that films have to timidly remain within tidy genre rules.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Intense, hypnotic, assured, Croupier mesmerizes from its opening image of a roulette ball on the move.
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Never one to shy away from challenges, Morris has come up with one of the best documentaries of this or any year.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    This is a film that insinuates itself deeply into our awareness. It's that rare pulp story with something on its mind, an unnerving, socially conscious thriller with a killer sense of narrative drive.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Seeing E.T. again reminds us of how much we've remained the same, how gratified we still are by a film that connects so beautifully to our sense of wonder and joy.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Star Michael Caine, who gives one of the great, inescapably moving performances in a career filled with them, based his character on personal impressions of the late author. And Greene's lifelong concern with moral ambiguity gives this film a texture and complexity that movies don't usually achieve.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    At once vigorous and old-fashioned, a piece of expertly crafted entertainment that gets the job done with skill and panache. [25 July 1997]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    A sleek, accomplished piece of work, meticulously controlled and completely involving. The dark end of the street doesn't get much more inviting than this.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Echoes the unmistakable freshness and excitement of the Nouvelle Vague, the sense of joy in being alive and making movies, that made those works distinctive and unforgettable.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    More elaborate than the original, but just as shrewdly put together, it cleverly combines the most successful elements of its predecessor with a number of new twists (would you believe a kinder, gentler Terminator?) to produce on e hell of a wild ride, a Twilight of the Gods that takes no prisoners and leaves audiences desperate for mercy. [3 July 1991, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    One of those entertaining confections that's so pleasing to the eye and ear you'd have to be a genuine Scrooge to struggle against it.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    As essential in its own way as Anton Karas' celebrated zither work was to "The Third Man," Lola's music is perfectly suited to the film's aims and just about addictive in its throbbing, insinuating rhythms.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Rising to crescendos of emotion usually reached only by tenors and sopranos, these characters are the beneficiaries of the luminous writing of the novel and screenplay as well as the expert performances of the actors, especially Scott Thomas.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    A complete original. This ingenious, almost indescribable film won't remind you of anything else because there's nothing else like it.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    His is a triumph of pure filmmaking, a pitiless, unrelenting, no-excuses war movie so thoroughly convincing it's frequently difficult to believe it is a staged re-creation.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    An astonishing technological feat, but what is even more remarkable is that the technology does not overwhelm the artistry.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    A savage comedy about the war in the former Yugoslavia that artfully mixes comic absurdism with a passion for what's right and a concern for the individuality of all concerned.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    If film means anything to you, if emotional truth is a quality you care about, this is an event that ought not be missed.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    While most films are fortunate if they succeed on any level, The Return works easily on several, making as powerful a mark emotionally as it does visually and even allegorically. Yet the film so catches you up in its compelling story, you're almost not aware of how masterful a piece of cinema you're watching.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    The most convincing war movie ever made.
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Achieves its success through a combination of attitude and technique, uniting, to exceptional effect, a way of viewing the world morally while looking at it physically.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    An exceptional--and exceptionally disturbing--film from a first-time director and writer (with Andy Bienen) named Kimberly Pierce. Unflinching, uncompromising, made with complete conviction and rare skill.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Its step-by-step tragedy is so ruthless in its unfolding, you may find yourself wishing it were less well done, that it left you some room to breathe. But House of Sand and Fog has a story to tell and it means to tell it, no matter what the cost.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    It is Scott's work as the savagely articulate Roger, a tireless would-be seducer, bottomlessly self-confident and oblivious to rejection, that is the film's glistening and provocative centerpiece.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    This is a nearly flawless little film, a cheerful nightmare that knows just where it wants to go and uses precisely calibrated comic effects to get there.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    A splendid film. It uses all the resources of cinema -- masterful writing, superb acting, directorial intelligence, an enveloping score, top-of-the-line production design, costumes, cinematography and editing -- to make a film whose cumulative emotional power takes viewers by surprise, capturing us unawares in its ability to move us as deeply as it does.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    With performances that will raise the hairs on the back of your head, it's a film that knows the private geography of love, grief and obsession.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Mendes, in only his second feature (following the Oscar-winning "American Beauty"), has told this surprisingly resonant story with the potent, unrelenting fatalism of a previously unknown Greek myth.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Nearly three hours long, and deliberately paced at that, this first feature ever in the Inuit language is a demanding experience. But the rewards for those who risk the journey are simply extraordinary.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    As unspoiled in its key elements as the day it was made, "On the Waterfront" is indisputably one of the great American films, its power undiminished. Even more today than half a century ago, it demands to be seen.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Toy Story 2 may not have the most original title, but everything else about it is, well, mint in the box.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Although its computer-generated imagery is impressive, the major surprise of this bright foray into a new kind of animation is how much cleverness has been invested in story and dialogue.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    A powerhouse. Highly dramatic and intensely emotional, blessed with strong themes and an unstoppable narrative drive, it is adult, intelligent entertainment of a kind we rarely see these days.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Like taking a drug everyone says is dynamite and impatiently wondering why the heck it's not kicking in. The kick in fact turns out to be real, and as powerful as advertised, but it doesn't necessarily hit you in any way you anticipated.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    It's typical of the nerve, the bravado, the sheer giddy playfulness and sense of fun that characterize what has to be the boldest and most imaginative studio film of the year.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Fast, funny, unexpected and uninhibited, The Triplets of Belleville may be animated, but it is also the product of an artistic vision every bit as rigorous as any lofty Cannes prize-winner. Hearing about a film this special isn't enough. It demands to be seen, and it generously rewards those who, like Madame Souza, let nothing stand in their way.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Adventurous, provocative, even daring.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    See it and it'll stay with you as your own memories do: funny, poignant, bittersweet and irreplaceable.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    A whole world can be fit into 76 minutes, and that's what the splendid documentary OT: our town manages to do.

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