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The Best Reviewed Thriller of 2005
A History of Violence
Best in Thriller

Why do we enjoy violent movies so much? It's an elusive question, but it's one that David Cronenberg tackles head-on in "A History of Violence," starring Viggo Mortensen and Maria Bello. But this isn't simply an academic exercise from one of cinema's most creepily cerebral directors; this tale of small town revenge may be his most mainstream film to date, and with an adjusted score of 79.76 and a Tomatometer of 87%, it's the year's best-reviewed thriller. Ethan Alter of Film Journal International said, "If anything, you walk out of the theatre feeling uneasy about the violent thrillers you may have enjoyed in the past." And Chris Hewitt of the St. Paul Pioneer Press wrote, "Lean and packed with meaning, 'A History of Violence' is almost like a biblical parable about honor, family and the horrible behavior humans are capable of."

The runner-up in the thriller category is "The Constant Gardener," with an adjusted score of 75.24 and a Tomatometer rating of 82%. Based on the novel by John Le Carré, the movie deftly combines the personal and the political when a diplomat investigates the death of his radical wife. Philip Martin of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette praised "The Constant Gardener" as "a visually intelligent and richly textured film that touches on the residual shame of colonialism, the inherent amorality of global capitalism and -- most of all -- the indestructibility of love."

Horror specialist Wes Craven proves he can also pull off Hitchcockian suspense with the claustrophobic in-flight movie "Red Eye," which comes in third with a score of 74.89 and a Tomatometer rating of 81%. Taking place mostly within the confines of a plane, this brisk, taut thriller was characterized as " a minimalist exercise in maximalist suspense" by Slate's David Edelstein.

For more results, check out the list below.

Best to Worst Thrillers of 2005
RankScoreTitleT-meter
1.79.76History of Violence87%
2.75.24The Constant Gardener82%
3.74.89Red Eye81%
4.68.18Syriana73%
5.57.88The Interpreter59%
6.56.82Lord of War58%
7.45.09The Jacket42%
8.43.64Asylum37%
9.42.99The Skeleton Key39%
10.40.48Flightplan36%
11.40.27November31%
12.38.33Hostage33%
13.35.44Mindhunters27%
14.34.42Stay25%
15.31.31Derailed21%
16.24.20Hide and Seek14%
17.21.30White Noise9%

Data collected on January 5, 2006
7th Annual Golden Tomato Awards Awards Home

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