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Venus Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… sharp and funny and grumpy … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Venus has a swank pedigree, but in this case that doesn't mean it's much more than a quaint machine to elicit tears and awards.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Peter O'Toole's tour-de-force performance makes Venus a movie not to be missed.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Awash in terrific performances.

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    Peter O'Toole, still a British cinematic lion at 74, performs another movie miracle in the Roger Michell-Hanif Kureishi film Venus.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Venus reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Superb acting on life's journey; not for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this poignant British drama is for older adults and will hold little appeal for teens or even young adults. The themes are mature and require an adult perspective to appreciate it. As far as content goes, well, that's pretty mature, too. An elderly man croons lasciviously at a much younger woman who trades sexual favors for material gains, allowing him to kiss her neck, feel her breasts, and talk dirty to her. There's nonstop drinking, pill popping, semi-nudity, ubiquitous profanity ("c--t," "f--k"), and a painful discussion about the fact that the young woman was coerced by her mother into having an abortion. There's also a brief, violent fight scene.

  • Families can talk about Peter O'Toole's character, Maurice, and his interest in a much younger woman. Is the attraction based on proximity, his desire for one last hurrah, or real love? This is a far cry from how senior characters are typically portrayed in the media; is it difficult to see a man this age being sexual? What does Maurice offer Jessie to make her change how she feels about him -- and herself? What lessons does she teach him? Parents can also expand on the film's references to Shakespeare and Diego Velazquez's painting of Venus.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Easily misconstrued. Both Maurice and Jessie come full circle in appreciating life's lessons, but that could easily be misinterpreted by young viewers. Very strong ties between older friends.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Young woman pinches older man, slaps him, elbows him away. Altercation between young man and old one; the old man swings at the younger one with a paddle, but it's the older man who's pushed and falls. Two older men slap each other with rolled newspapers. Discussion of forced abortion. Close-up of man's face during prostate exam.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Older man kisses young woman's neck, touches her breasts, watches her bathe. She uses her body for favors. She puts her hand between her legs and teases the old man and shows him her breasts in attempts to wake him up. She also appears semi-nude as model in art class.

  • language false5

    Language: Lots of profanity. "I want to see your c--t." "F--k," "Christ," "Jesus," "professor of pu--y," etc.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: British beverages, food, clubs, clothing store. Jessie is fairly materialistic.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Constant drinking and smoking by main characters. Older men rely on pills to help throughout the day; younger woman has many beers and gets drunk.