A History of Violence - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A History of Violence Reviews

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Mark R. Leeper
October 15, 2005
The plot is really very close to being a 1950s Western plot warmed over. This is a film with good and bad elements, but the good elements I have been familiar in films for almost half a century.
Full Review | Original Score: low +1 out of -4..+4
Sandra Hall
Sydney Morning Herald
March 10, 2006
There's nothing more off-putting than being treated like a guinea pig.
Joshua Tyler
September 21, 2005
There's a gripping, intense experience buried in History of Violence, but Cronenberg's embarrassing and awkward unfamiliarity with normalcy degrades it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Mike Ward
September 29, 2005
With no real heroes, no real lessons and no real resolution, it leaves a lingering sense of 'huh?' But damnit if those exit wounds aren't memorable.
Jeremiah Kipp
Slant Magazine
September 16, 2005
Based on a graphic novel, this material is treated like the one-dimensional juvenilia of ham-fisted comic books.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews
September 22, 2005
A History of Violence feels like an academic exercise for its creator, Cronenberg, rather than an effort to bring cinematic life to a graphic novel.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Rob Blackwelder
September 23, 2005
David Cronenberg is out of his element in A History of Violence, and it shows.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
September 27, 2005
A flawed and unimpressive meditation on violence.
Full Review| Original Score: 1.5
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
September 23, 2005
As a history of Cronenberg, it's a good introductory lecture, detailing his careful composition, mastery of unease and complicated thematic interests. As a Cronenberg film though, it's figuratively bloodless, without any real body to it at all.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 23, 2005
The film has a very good cast and it is an interesting story but it does have an odd pace.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Bill Clark
September 15, 2005
A fine example of how a moody script and an overzealous director can bring a film down.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Jeanne Kaplan
Kaplan vs. Kaplan
October 6, 2005
I know this film is the critics' darling, but this critic is here to tell you, take a pass.
Full Review
David Kaplan
Kaplan vs. Kaplan
October 6, 2005
The movie never regains the momentum that it had from its promising beginning.
Full Review
Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly
October 7, 2005
Will go down in film history as an ambitious failure.
Edward Havens
September 23, 2005
Eventually does not hold up due to its own ambivalence towards its subject matter.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Dustin Putman
September 22, 2005
Holds a classy A-list sheen and faux attempts at bringing importance to what, in essence, is actually empty-headed and off-puttingly manipulative.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
September 29, 2005
The first half of the story -- the one shrouded in doubt -- is much more effective than the second half, which is shrouded in bloodletting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Forrest Hartman
Reno Gazette-Journal
October 7, 2005
It's impossible to recommend a movie that fails at its most basic level, in this case as a thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Alex Sandell
Juicy Cerebellum
October 17, 2005
Olson should have studied a history of screenwriting before attempting to adapt A History of Violence. One of the most aimless, derivative films to ever be overrated.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
Jimmy O
Film Snobs
October 2, 2005
Cronenberg denounces violence by celebrating it. That in itself is more troubling than anything he portrays with A History of Violence.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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