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.

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Story Archive

A Small Town Becomes A Hotbed Of Festering Secrets In 'Whitstable Pearl'

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Rachel Cusk's 'Second Place' Offers Sharp Perceptions About Love And Creativity

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No Kidding: Japan's Kidnaping Epic 'Lady Joker' Will Hook You

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Sam (Yahya Mahayni) agrees to have his back tattooed with the Schengen Visa, the document that allows free movement between European countries, in The Man Who Sold His Skin. Samuel Goldwyn/Bac Films hide caption

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Samuel Goldwyn/Bac Films

An Immigrant Becomes A Human Canvas In This Sly Film About Art And Freedom

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In Another Round, Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) is a bored and boring teacher who decides that life would be better with more alcohol. Henrik Ohsten/Courtesy of TIFF hide caption

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Henrik Ohsten/Courtesy of TIFF

'Another Round'? This Tipsy Danish Film Asks, Why Not?

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James Nesbitt plays an Irish police detective whose investigation into an apparent suicide opens up historical wounds in Bloodlands (streaming on Acorn TV beginning March 15). Steffan Hill/HTM Television hide caption

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Steffan Hill/HTM Television

'Bloodlands' Police Thriller Doesn't Trivialize Northern Ireland's Troubles

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Penguin Random House

Britain's MI5 Spy Agency Proves More Comic Than Tragic In 'Slough House'

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Jacob (Steven Yeun) moves his family from California to farm in rural Arkansas in Minari. A24 hide caption

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A24

'Minari' Follows A Family's Immigration With Humor, Humanity And Hope

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It's a Sin follows a cast of characters (Omari Douglas, Lydia West, David Carlyle, Callum Scott Howells and Nathaniel Curtis) in London as they deal with the emergence of the AIDS epidemic. Ben Blackall/HBO Max hide caption

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Ben Blackall/HBO Max

'It's A Sin' Series, Set During AIDS Epidemic, Resonates During COVID-19

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The Copenhagen Trilogy, by Tove Ditlevsen Farrar, Straus and Giroux hide caption

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

New Translation Shares The Voice Of A Poet Who Wrote As Intensely As She Lived

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Spoor is a pulpy murder story that's also a utopian fable about feminism, social justice and ecology. The film, which was released in 2017, is newly available for streaming on The Brattle. Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films hide caption

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Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films

Polish Thriller 'Spoor' Is A Pulpy Murder Story — And A Utopian Fable

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'The Liar's Dictionary' Is A Clever Delight For Language Lovers

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Maud (Glenda Jackson) is haunted by two mysteries in the television film Elizabeth is Missing, based on a novel by Emma Healey. Marsaili Mainz/Courtesy of STV Productions hide caption

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Marsaili Mainz/Courtesy of STV Productions

Dementia Complicates The Search For 2 Lost Women In 'Elizabeth Is Missing'

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Micheal Ward and Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn are strangers who connect on the dance floor in Lovers Rock. Parisa Taghizadeh/Amazon Prime Video hide caption

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Parisa Taghizadeh/Amazon Prime Video

'Fresh Air' Critic Revisits The TV, Books And Movies That Helped Ease Lockdown

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