Kenneth Turan

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For 2,013 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 64% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 10.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Kenneth Turan's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Boys Don't Cry
Lowest review score: 0 Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
Score distribution:
2013 movie reviews
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Overflowing with life, rich with all the grand emotions and vital juices of existence, up to and including blood. And its deaths, like that of Hotspur in "Henry IV, Part I," continue to shock no matter how often we've watched them coming. [16 Mar 1997, Calendar, p.7]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    With Pan's Labyrinth, Del Toro has made his most accomplished film to date, a dark and disturbing fairy tale for adults that's been thought out to the nth degree and resonates with the irresistible inevitability of a timeless myth.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    By focusing on the personal side of the city game, Hoop Dreams tells us more about what works and what doesn't in our society than the proverbial shelf of sociological studies. And it is thoroughly entertaining in the bargain.
    • 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.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    This is a film with a commitment to reality unlike any we're used to seeing.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    This is impressive filmmaking, but it is not easy to take in.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Gravity is out of this world. Words can do little to convey the visual astonishment this space opera creates. It is a film whose impact must be experienced in 3-D on a theatrical screen to be fully understood.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Haynes understands that swooningly beautiful traditional technique bolstered by thrilling performances creates the greatest impact. He has made a serious melodrama about the geometry of desire, a dreamy example of heightened reality that fully engages emotions despite the exact calculations with which it's been made.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Smartly written by Aaron Sorkin, directed to within an inch of its life by David Fincher and anchored by a perfectly pitched performance by Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network is a barn-burner of a tale that unfolds at a splendid clip.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    One reason Boal makes such a potent combination with Bigelow is that her directing style moves us right along. She is so good with both action and creating a convincing look and feel for the film that the time it takes to get up to speed with the complicated plot does not feel like a problem.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    A Separation is totally foreign and achingly familiar. It's a thrilling domestic drama that offers acute insights into human motivations and behavior as well as a compelling look at what goes on behind a particular curtain that almost never gets raised.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    45 Years is a quietly explosive film, a potent drama with a nuanced feel for subtlety and emotional complications.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Prepare to be astonished by Spirited Away.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 60 Kenneth Turan
    The writer-director appears to be straining for his effects. Some sequences, especially one involving bondage harnesses and homosexual rape, have the uncomfortable feeling of creative desperation, of someone who's afraid of losing his reputation scrambling for any way to offend sensibilities. [14 Oct 1994]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    One of the strengths of Killer of Sheep, one of the reasons it has not dated, is that the naturalness and simplicity with which it unfolds give it the texture of a story told from the inside.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Just as Turner's expressive, enthralling work changed the nature of painting, Mr. Turner, anchored in the rock of Timothy Spall's astonishing, Cannes prize-winning performance, pushes hard against the strictures of conventional narrative and ends up pulling us into its world and capturing us completely.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    An extraordinarily moving examination of how the AIDS epidemic both devastated and transformed San Francisco's gay community, this clear-eyed and soulful documentary brings us inside the contagion in a way that is so intimate, so personal, you feel like you're hearing about these catastrophic events for the first time.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    As completely real on the psychological level as its up-to-the-moment visual effects have on the physical.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Inside Out manages to be honest and unafraid but never cheaply sentimental where emotion is concerned, evoking a largeness of spirit whose ability to be moving sneaks up and takes us by surprise.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Heartbreaking, haunting and unexpectedly heartening, First Cousin Once Removed is an uncommonly moving documentary portrait of a mind in disarray.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    A perfect storm of a motion picture, with an icy, immaculate director unexpectedly taking on deeply emotional subject matter.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Glaciers might be melting, the polar caps might be crumbling, but not even the passage of half a century has taken the frozen edge off this brilliantly icy film.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    Crouching Tiger's blend of the magical, the mythical and the romantic fills a need in us we might not even realize we had.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Spotlight doesn't call attention to itself. Its screenplay is self-effacing, its accomplished direction is intentionally low key, and it encourages its fistful of top actors to blend into an eloquent ensemble.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    Quietly devastating. [15 Dec 1993]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    When it comes to unflinching, riveting looks at a compulsive artist who can't be other than who he is, nothing comes close to Crumb.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    While the bleak, funny, exquisitely made Inside Llewyn Davis echoes familiar themes and narrative journeys, it also goes its own way and becomes a singular experience, one of their best films.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    Wonderfully humanistic film. Yi Yi investigates the entire melody of life.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    Simultaneously uplifting and melancholy, suffused with an unexpected sense of possibility as much as the inevitable sense of loss.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    The reality of François' classroom is so intense that it holds our interest even while the film's dramatic focus is building so quietly under the surface that we don't notice it at first.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    It's important to remember that Sinclair was as much a committed socialist as a novelist, someone who probably wrote for political purpose more than for dramatic effect. So while Day-Lewis' gorgeous acting largely disguises it, the people in "Blood" tend to be schematic and the film as a whole has a weakness for the didactic.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Made with intelligence, imagination, passion and skill, propulsively paced and shot through with an aged-in-oak sense of wonder, the trilogy's first film so thrillingly catches us up in its sweeping story that nothing matters but the vivid and compelling events unfolding on the screen.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    This film becomes the kind of love note to movies we want and need.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    It may seem like nothing much is happening on-screen, but by the time A Summer's Tale is all over, it feels like everything important has been said and done. Welcome to the magic of Rohmer, one final time.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    In a commanding performance that is as compelling as it is unexpected, Mirren has turned The Queen into something you never imagined it could be: a crackling dramatic story that's intelligent, thoughtful and moving.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    An invigorating powerhouse of a personal documentary, adventurous and absolutely fascinating.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    A film of rare visual poetry that's simultaneously personal, political and philosophical, it's a genuine art film that's also unpretentious and easygoing.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    A documentary potent enough to alter how you see the world.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Ida
    Spare, haunting, uncompromising, Ida is a film of exceptional artistry whose emotions are as potent and persuasive as its images are indelibly beautiful.
    • 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
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Kenneth Turan
    A startling reminder of exactly how spectacular a director Spielberg can be when he allows himself to be challenged by a subject (in this case World War II) that pushes against his limits.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    Intense, immersive and in control, Winter's Bone has an art house soul inside a B picture body, and that proves to be a potent combination indeed.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    Once positions hardened, tragedy was all but inevitable, and Bloody Sunday" does the spirit of that awful day full and unforgettable justice.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Her
    Acerbic, emotional, provocative, it's a risky high dive off the big board with a plot that sounds like a gimmick but ends up haunting, odd and a bit wonderful.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    Egoyan understands how potent a deliberate pace can be, how effective it is in making already powerful material strong enough to tear at your heart.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Kenneth Turan
    The best break of all is that Pixar's traditionally untethered imagination can't be kept under wraps forever, and "Nemo" erupts with sea creatures that showcase Stanton and company's gift for character and peerless eye for skewering contemporary culture.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Kenneth Turan
    Fascinating for what it signifies as much as what it shows, This Is Not a Film illustrates how Panahi is struggling to stay alive creatively and, paradoxically, can't help but demonstrate how much of a natural filmmaker he is.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Kenneth Turan
    A bit longer than it might be, a bit more attached to its digressions than we might wish. But the length does encourage the feeling that we've been through the whole creative process with Gilbert and Sullivan .
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    A clever and outrageous piece of whimsical fantasy that is unique, unpredictable and more than a little strange.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Bird has created the unprecedented film that is not just a grand feature-length cartoon but a grand feature, period, a piece of animation that's involving across a spectrum of comedy, action, even drama.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    See it and it'll stay with you as your own memories do: funny, poignant, bittersweet and irreplaceable.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    When on-the-ground reality is conveyed with the complexity and fascination it is here, unforgettable documentaries are always the result.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    Only Yesterday is a realistic, personal story made universal in a delicate way.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    It's the style of the thing, not the plot, that is the attraction here, the great way the cast has with the snarky dialogue.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Kenneth Turan
    Intellectually, we know we should applaud the marvels United 93 has accomplished, and we do. But it is a film envisioned as a monument, a memorial tribute, and in our hearts we want something more. United 93 should have been made now, when memories and passions are still fresh, but it may play better in the future. If we have one.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Mad Max: Fury Road will leave you speechless, which couldn't be more appropriate. Words are not really the point when it comes to dealing with this barn-burner of a post-apocalyptic extravaganza in which sizzling, unsettling images are the order of the day.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Disturbing, disorienting, quietly terrifying, it's one of the least known of the world's great horror movies and, in its own dark way, a startlingly beautiful and artful piece of cinema as well.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Adventurous, provocative, even daring.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Kenneth Turan
    Overmatched by the strange and compelling true story that is its subject, this unfortunate film ends up both more disingenuous than it wants to admit and more awkward than it can easily acknowledge.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    [Russell's] dizzying, outlandishly entertaining American Hustle is a 21-first century screwball farce about 20th-century con men, scam artists and those who dream of living large, a film that is big hearted and off the wall in equal measure.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    It's a mind-bending film, devastating and disorienting, that disturbs us in ways we're not used to being disturbed, raising questions about the nature of documentary, the persistence of evil, and the intertwined ways movies function in our culture and in our minds.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    The fact that this kind of serious material ends up playing puckishly funny as well as poignant is a tribute both to Coppola and to her do-or-die decision to cast Murray in the lead role.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Those who see it will, quite frankly, not believe their luck. It is that satisfying, that engrossing, that good.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    It convincingly demonstrates that when done right, moral and political quandaries can be the most intensely dramatic dilemmas of all.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Director Spike Lee has made some of the most hard-edged and unsettling American films on racism and its effects. Yet none has been as moving as this. [24 Oct 1997, Pg.F2]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    A provocative political thriller that is as troubling today as when it came out in 1970. Maybe more so.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    This is a police procedural, if you will, about what's been called the artistic crime of the century.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    This small gem of a movie always feels true and real as it gently reveals the quiet moments that define our lives.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Kenneth Turan
    With his corrosive brand of take-no-prisoners humor that scalds on contact, Cohen is the most intentionally provocative comedian since Lenny Bruce and early Richard Pryor, with a difference. For unlike those predecessors, there is a mean-spiritedness, an every-man-for-himself coldness about his humor. The one kind of laughter you won't find in Borat is that which acknowledges shared humanity. Instead, there is that pitiless staple of reality TV, watching others humiliate themselves for our viewing pleasure.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is a marvel of Japanese animation, a hand-drawn, painterly epic that submerges us in a world of beauty.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Son of Saul is an immersive experience of the most disturbing kind, an unwavering vision of a particular kind of hell. No matter how many Holocaust films you've seen, you've not seen one like this.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Phoenix is an intoxicating witches' brew, equal parts melodrama and moral parable, that audaciously mixes diverse elements to compelling, disturbing effect.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Kenneth Turan
    Its style is spare, rigorous, almost anti-dramatic, but it deals thoughtfully with some of the most complex elements of the human equation.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Kenneth Turan
    If there is a temptation to canonize Selma and brush aside its less successful elements, that's not surprising given how good much of it is and the heroic nature of the story, not to mention the decades it's taken for this history to reach the screen.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Kenneth Turan
    Daring in the ways only quiet, unhurried but finally haunting films have the courage to be. A character study of remarkable subtlety joined to a carefully worked-out plot that fearlessly explores big issues like beauty, truth and mortality, it marks the further emergence of Korean writer-director Lee Chang-dong.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Kenneth Turan
    It combines delightful humor and charm with what movies at their best have always conveyed: the honest power of pure emotion. It is a movie love story and a love note to the movies, all at the same time.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    It takes exceptional acting to enable a story like this to take hold, and Campion has gotten it here. [19 Nov 1993]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    The most memorable section of the film is the chilling quarter-hour devoted to the apprehension and eventual murder of the Clutter family. Captured in unblinking, neo-documentary detail, it freezes the blood just as they did all those decades ago.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Kenneth Turan
    Brooding, beautifully made and almost impossible for Americans to see -- Quai des Orfèvres, makes a triumphant reappearance on theatrical screens after an absence of about 50 years.
    • 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.

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