Kenneth Turan started watching movies as a kid growing up in Brooklyn and tuned in often to the TV program “Million Dollar Movie.” As a longtime film critic for The Los Angeles Times, he’s been able to indulge his childhood interest over and over. In Not to be Missed: Fifty-four Favorites From a Lifetime of Film (PublicAffairs, $25.99), Turan takes on the challenge of choosing the movies he’s enjoyed most. Why fifty-four? You’ll have to read the book to find out. But Turan did discover that limiting the number was harder than expected. In fact, he couldn’t resist suggesting a fifty-fifth film—actually two films tied for the slot—and then he appended another list of fifty-four movies that he also treasures. Turan doesn’t only critique his picks; he also provides back stories about the making of the films, discusses the actors and directors, and mixes in some cultural context. You probably won’t agree with all his selections. That’s OK—Turan recognizes that personal tastes can play a big part in judging films. He was careful not to call his picks the best films ever, just his own favorites.
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