Film Critic Justin Chang Leaves Variety to Join LA Times

He serves as chair of the National Society of Film Critics and secretary of the LA Film Critics Association

Justin Chang

Variety’s chief film critic Justin Chang is leaving the trade magazine to join the Los Angeles Times as a film critic.

Chang is a proud alumnus of Variety’s internship program, which he graduated to become a copy editor and critic in 2004. He has been assigning and editing Variety’s film reviews since 2006, and was named senior film critic in 2010.

L.A. Times assistant managing editor John Corrigan sent a memo to staff on Wednesday morning. Read the memo in its entirety below…

I’m thrilled to report that Justin Chang, chief film critic for Variety, will be joining The Times as a film critic.

Justin is one of the rising stars of film criticism – respected by colleagues, competitors and filmmakers alike. He was awarded the inaugural Roger Ebert Award for diversity in film journalism in 2014, and has also been recognized by the Los Angeles Press Club for his reviews and commentary.

Following his graduation from USC in 2004, Justin worked in various capacities at Variety. He was promoted to senior film critic in 2010 and chief film critic in 2013. He is a frequent guest critic on KPCC’s “FilmWeek” and NPR’s “Fresh Air Weekend,” and the author of “FilmCraft: Editing,” a 2011 book of interviews with some of the world’s top film editors. He serves as chair of the National Society of Film Critics and secretary of the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn.

He lives with his wife, Lameese, in Pasadena, and his non-movie-related interests include detective fiction, long-distance running and Korean food.

Justin starts April 25 and will report to film editor Marc Bernardin. Justin has long wanted to work at The Times alongside Ken Turan (one of Justin’s biggest fans), and here is what he has to say about the opportunity.

Whether they’re casual moviegoers or hardcore cinephiles, readers look to the Times’ film reviews for more than a mere recommendation. They look for an understanding of the art, business and politics of filmmaking; a wide-ranging love for the medium informed by a deep knowledge of film history; a healthy skepticism toward gimmickry and formula; and a genuine passion for those treasurable cinematic experiences that move, stimulate and break new ground.

Well said, Justin. Welcome aboard.