St. Louis-based Lynn Venhaus is the film critic for the Belleville News-Democrat.
Articles by Lynn Venhaus
This one’s for the dreamers. Fanciful and filled with wonder, Tomorrowland celebrates the curious men and women who ask the questions that move us forward as a society. Because of its focus on innovation, this sci-fi fantasy gets an A for effort. But the execution is less successful, and for all its heady ambitions, falls flat as much as it soars. Read more>>read more
A hedonistic inside look at Tinsel Town through a fictional movie star and his loyal trio of hangers-on, Entourage had two things going for it during eight seasons on HBO: Jeremy Piven’s fierce pit bull agent Ari Gold, for which he won three Emmys, and a plethora of fun cameos and guest stars. This pointless movie version focuses on Vincent Chase, an inexplicable A-lister (the wooden and bland Adrian Grenier is never convincing as a charismatic “It” actor), and his childhood gang from Queens. Read more>>read more
Will we ever be comfortable talking about race and class in this country? “Black or White” wants to be a movie that pushes us forward as a society. An earnest effort, this contemporary drama makes several strong points while unfurling a thorny custody battle over a bi-racial 7-year-old as the source of dramatic conflict. Read more>>read more
In the golden era of 1970s filmmaking, gritty crime dramas like “A Most Violent Year” were standard fare. What a pitch-perfect blast from the past this 2014 gem is, simmering with menace and richly textured performances. Wunderkind writer-director J.C. Chandor, in rolling-boil Sidney Lumet mode, makes a compelling statement about the American Dream with this original film. Read more>>read more