John Powers John Powers is the pop culture and critic-at-large on NPR's Fresh Air with Terri Gross.
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John Powers

John Powers

Pop Culture Critic, Fresh Air

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 spent the last 25 years as a critic and columnist, first for LA Weekly, then Vogue. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Harper's BAZAAR, The Nation, Gourmet, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

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. His latest book, WKW: The Cinema of Wong Kar Wai (co-written with Wong Kar Wai), is an April 2016 release by Rizzoli.

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

Story Archive

Ramy Youssef plays a millennial son of an immigrant Muslim family in New Jersey in Ramy. Jon Pack/ Hulu hide caption

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Jon Pack/ Hulu

'Ramy' wades into murky waters in Season 3, but the comedy is clear as ever

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Gretchen Mol and Jon Bernthal as Julian Kaye star in Showtime's American Gigolo. Warrick Page/Showtime hide caption

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Warrick Page/Showtime

Showtime's 'American Gigolo' sequel lacks the highfalutin glitz of the original

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Jella Haase is a crack assassin for the German secret police in Kleo. Julia Terjung/Netflix hide caption

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Julia Terjung/Netflix

Netflix's cheerfully murderous 'Kleo' is reminiscent of 'Killing Eve'

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Lane Factor, Paulina Alexis, D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai and Devery Jacobs play four friends living on an Indian reservation in the series Reservation Dogs. FX on Hulu hide caption

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FX on Hulu

'Reservation Dogs,' now in Season 2, remains one of the most original shows on TV

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Bouncily bingeable, 'Uncoupled' delivers exactly what you'd expect from Darren Star

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'The Bear' dishes up a sneaky, smart show that's just as manic as restaurant life

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Library of America

Maxine Hong Kingston's work is as wondrous and alive as ever in this collection

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'This is Going to Hurt' is a deeply unsettling portrait of modern medicine

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Colin Firth plays Michael Peterson, a writer who was charged with his wife's death, in the HBO Max series The Staircase. HBO hide caption

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HBO

New 'Staircase' series emphasizes the tragedy behind the sensational true crime story

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny speaks with journalists during a 2019 rally in Moscow. Navalny premieres April 24 on CNN and CNN+. Maxim Zmeyev/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Maxim Zmeyev/AFP via Getty Images

'Navalny' documentary spotlights the Russian who dared to take on Putin

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An American crime reporter (Ansel Elgort) allies himself with a frustrated police detective (Ken Watanabe) in the HBO Max series Tokyo Vice. HBO Max hide caption

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HBO Max

'Tokyo Vice' offers a stylized tour of Japan's criminal underworld

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Gary Oldman heads up a ragtag crew of intelligence agents in Slow Horses. Apple TV+ hide caption

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Apple TV+

'Slow Horses' offers a gleefully corrosive vision of British intelligence

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Oscar-winning actress Youn Yuh-jung plays the older Sunja is the Apple TV+ series Pachinko. Apple TV+ hide caption

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Apple TV+

Deeply felt and unpredictable, 'Pachinko' follows the epic rise of a Korean family

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Amy Schumer stars as a woman on a voyage of self discovery in Hulu's Life & Beth. Marcus Price/Hulu hide caption

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Marcus Price/Hulu

Amy Schumer branches out (but retains her hell-raising spirit) in 'Life & Beth'

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In The Tourist, "The Man" (Jamie Dornan) wakes up in a small town hospital in the Australian outback with no idea who he is or how he got there. HBO hide caption

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HBO

'The Tourist' doesn't know who he is — just that someone wants him dead

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