A History of Violence Reviews

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Jeffrey Lyles
Lyles' Movie Files
October 4, 2013
A fascinating exercise in cinematic restraint resulting in a captivating, not to be missed film.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
April 15, 2013
The less you know about this movie before seeing it -- and you really should see it -- the better.
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
April 15, 2013
Cronenberg's direction, mirroring the split in Tom, is alternately measured and frighteningly explosive, and, as always, he gives the movie a nasty underlay of sexual perversity.
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
April 15, 2013
This peculiarly predictable picture has been calculated, or miscalculated, to set up certain expectations, fulfill them, and then do the same thing again, thereby giving us a chance to see what's coming and, at least in theory, be shocked.
Luke Goodsell
Empire Magazine Australasia
November 7, 2012
With A History Of Violence, Cronenberg uses the pulp gangster genre - as opposed to, say, sci-fi horror -- to draw us into a dialogue on our relationship as voyeurs to violence, both real and cinematic.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jeff Meyers
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
April 20, 2011
Without conceding any of his iconoclastic vision, Cronenberg has turned a genre film with classic Western overtones into a gripping psychological drama that examines the duality of man and his infatuation with the art of violence.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Jay Antani
Cinema Writer
August 16, 2010
While it weakens in its final stretch...A History of Violence succeeds enormously thanks to the strength of its direction and performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed
June 23, 2010
A truly entertaining and engrossing study of violence, family, and our pasts eventually coming back to haunt us...
June 7, 2010
The violence that enters the characters' perfect domestic existence is permanent, and each act reveals truths about the people who use it and the audience who enjoys it.
Full Review | Original Score: 83/100
Fernando F. Croce
CinePassion
September 1, 2009
Impeccable formal control to match audacity is mandatory, and Cronenberg provides it
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis
February 14, 2009
The movie begins slowly, methodically, and builds increasingly toward a devastating climax.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Garth Franklin
Dark Horizons
January 15, 2008
It's one of the better dramas of the year so far -- even if at times it feels like an artistic genius is painting by numbers.
Rob Gonsalves
eFilmCritic.com
September 17, 2007
The tension builds in a slow boil, then ignites furiously when we're not quite ready for it.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Joe Lozito
Big Picture Big Sound
July 14, 2007
Mr. Mortensen and the sparse, intelligent script hold it together.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Jason Gorber
Film Scouts
June 21, 2007
The master is back, with this remarkably accessible tale of anger and revenge.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Prairie Miller
WBAI Web Radio
February 8, 2007
Shows its stuff as both suspenseful, eloquent storytelling, while giving rise to larger cultural questions connected to the entrenched institutionalization of aggression as a major means of problem solving in this country.
Stuart Klawans
The Nation
November 11, 2006
A History of Violence develops with the singleness of purpose, and the rigor, of a mathematical demonstration, one that begins with a commonly accepted truth and ends with brains spattered across the floor.
Joseph Proimakis
Movies for the Masses
October 3, 2006
full review in Greek
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Richard Falcon
Sight and Sound
September 28, 2006
Cronenberg's masterful, intelligent and gripping meta-thriller leaves us pondering about our enduringly perverse desire for alternative realities, in which surrogate violent alter egos run righteously and preposterously amok.
Top Critic
Ken Tucker
New York Magazine/Vulture
May 12, 2006
A remarkably convincing examination of heroism, hero worship, and the seductive allure of villainy.
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