John Powers

John Powers is the pop culture and critic-at-large on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He previously served for six years as the film critic.

Powers covers film and politics for Vogue and Vogue.com. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Harper's BAZAAR, The Nation, Gourmet, The Washington Post, The New York Times and L.A. Weekly, where he spent twelve years as a critic and columnist.

A former professor at Georgetown University, Powers is the author of Sore Winners, a study of American culture during President George W. Bush's administration.

He lives in Pasadena, California, with his wife, Sandi Tan.

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2:13pm

Fri April 3, 2015
Television

The PBS Version Of 'Wolf Hall' Unfolds Like A Real-Life House Of Cards

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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1:01pm

Fri March 20, 2015
Movie Reviews

'Seymour': A Loving Portrait Of An Acclaimed Classical Pianist

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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1:16pm

Thu March 19, 2015
Book Reviews

'A Little Life': An Unforgettable Novel About The Grace Of Friendship

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 12:52 pm

America is hooked on stories of redemption and rebirth, be it Cheryl Strayed rediscovering herself by hiking the Pacific Trail or the late David Carr pulling himself out of the crack-house and into The New York Times. We just love tales about healing.

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1:36pm

Tue February 24, 2015
Television

Fair Warning: Watch One 'Foyle's War' Episode, And You'll Want To Watch Them All

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 1:41 pm

Michael Kitchen stars as Foyle, a widowed police superintendent in the coastal city of Hastings in England. His sidekick is his driver, Samantha Stewart, a vicar's daughter played by Honeysuckle Weeks.
Acorn TV/ITV

The satisfying thing about TV crime shows is that they offer a sense of closure. The unsatisfying thing is how much of life they must leave out to do it. Like, history. Whether you're talking CSI or Sherlock, crime shows tend to take place in a weirdly hermetic universe where the characters may change — like in True Detective — yet the historical moment in which they live remains largely irrelevant background.

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1:38pm

Wed January 28, 2015
Movie Reviews

Full Of Complexity And Ambivalence, 'American Sniper' Shows The Cost Of War

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 2:03 pm

Bradley Cooper (right) plays Chris Kyle in American Sniper. The film has become a cultural phenomenon and has spawned knee-jerk squabbling.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

In the years following the invasion of Iraq, it became a truism that Americans simply didn't want to hear about the war — especially at the movies. While there were scads of films about Iraq, including Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker, none was able to attract a big audience. Until American Sniper.

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