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A History of Violence Reviews

Page 1 of 591
KJ P

Super Reviewer

October 3, 2010
I am pretty let down I'm not going to lie. I love David Cronenberg's films, and waiting so long to view this film, I thought I didn't know what I had been missing, but I don't think I was missing much. Yes, his brilliant style is displayed here once again, but I think following a guy as things just happen with not really much shock value (which is what it was trying to convey), was kind of boring to me. The performances were good, but the supporting cast was just awful. There really wasn't much new to the genre here, and when villains are introduced, things happen that really throw you out of the story. I was very disappointed during this film, and it just did not connect with me. "A History of Violence" is fine for what it is I guess, but it's nothing special, especially coming from Cronenberg, although I admire it.
UUd I

Super Reviewer

December 3, 2012
it's good at he beginning, but the movie is ruining the graphic novel. its much better in graphic novel.
Dammit
Apeneck F

Super Reviewer

September 8, 2007
Two bullies corner a quiet kid in a crowded school corridor and verbally humiliate him, calling him a coward. The quiet kid thereupon beats the living daylights out of the tough kids. So, in one instance, Cronenberg considers our societal relationship with violence: we like to say we deride it but actually but we always stop to watch. Too bad that its only a question of ethics presented and not a complete story, because after asking the question the director never follows through. As its Cronenberg, one does leave thinking: "that was one hell of a question!"
Joel K.
Joel K.

Super Reviewer

October 27, 2011
A History of Violence is an intriguing and thought stirring thriller from Director David Cronenberg. The story follows a man trying to rid himself of a violent past, and settle into family life. But, un-fortunately, his past comes back to haunt him in the form of Ed Harris. The characters are the driving force behind this film, and each one is well performed and leave a noticeable impression on the viewer. At some points this film can be a little dialogue heavy, it can fell as if your just being brought from one seen of some talking heads, to another. But the payoff makes any boredom generated by this worthwhile, and the final scene is one of the best endings I've ether seen in a film. So, I recommend this film as an incisive tale about attitudes towards violence.
Graham J

Super Reviewer

October 27, 2011
Cronenberg's return to form.
Liam G

Super Reviewer

August 24, 2011
Superbly acted, always engaging and thought-provoking, Cronenberg's violent drama examines heroism and how violence can affect a family masterfully.
Kase V

Super Reviewer

October 18, 2010
An interesting take by Cronenberg, but I wasn't involved completely the entire time. I pretty good film though, deserves another look (by me).
Conner R

Super Reviewer

November 17, 2009
I think this is a really good movie. Sure, it got way too much praise and is over analyzed, but that doesn't take away from it being good. Ed Harris totally dominates the movie as being a completely creepy villain, reminding me of a 70s henchman. Viggo Mortensen is good too, much of the movie is him playing a double life. While this doesn't have the composition and style that some of David Cronenberg's earlier work does, it gets the job done fine.
Richard C

Super Reviewer

July 28, 2010
a really amazing, thrilling movie. sn instant classic. i loved it. A-
TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

July 15, 2010
Considering I'm a big David Cronenberg fan, I was surprised that this film was pretty bad. This is the second Cronenberg film that I hated, the first being 1996's Crash. The story had potential, but after a while the film gets tiring and not that interesting. The cast is good, but the film just doesn't work for me. I give this one star for Viggo Mortissen and William Hurt's performances.
ScoopOnline
ScoopOnline

Super Reviewer

December 1, 2009
Viggo :)
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 23, 2009
Am I missing something here? This is one of the most overrated films ever! William Hurt is crap in this!!! Why does everyone praise him so much, why was he nominated for an Oscar? Did I see the same film? This is not the Cronenburg I love! This is a very average film made worse by the talent that created it.
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

June 9, 2006
An intense, brutal, and captivating meditation on violence, it's consequences, and the Darwinian aspect of it which exists within us all. Violence ion this film is infrequent, but shocking, brutal, and very realistic when it occurs. The realism of it is what gives it so much impact. Nothing is sugar-coated. The same can be said about the sex as well. It doesn't always look comfortable, but the realism and the emotional weight of it all elevate things to such an extent that forgetting things will be difficult. The acting is wonderful. Mortensen turns ina brilliant performance, the first of two such performances for Cronenberg. Ed Harris is really creepy, Bello gives a much better performance than it may initially seem, and William Hurt, despite chewing the scenery to a ridiculous degree, is also quite memorable. I highly recommend this.
Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

June 12, 2009
This is, like all Cronenberg's work, a mythic movie. It occupies the world of "monsters" that Tom Stall's daughter dreams about at the start. It's as if we get to see the little girl's nightmare as the film unfolds. It's because of this poetic, super-real quality that criticisms from the "this isn't real life" brigade have no relevance. The screenplay is exceptionally tight and well-woven - no image is wasted. The subplot of the son's troubles with a school bully parallels the main plot. The very existence of the son is there to show the inheritance - the history - of violence. The sex scenes are there to show the proximity of lust and violence. The end can be nothing other than what it is: as someone else on IMDb has commented, the genie is out of the bottle. This is true for the family in the film, the society we see surrounding the family, and it's true for our families and our society. It's about the inexhaustible rage of humans. It couldn't be more relevant, it couldn't be more timeless. It is well acted and beautifully photographed. I have some minor reservations - did we really need so much of Howard Shore's music? - but on the whole I think this is a a superb film. Not for the kiddies, however.
Edward B

Super Reviewer

March 7, 2007
On the surface, it seems like an ordinary thriller. But once you think about it, you realize it's an incredible reflection on violence and the destruction of our humanity.
kpn666
kpn666

Super Reviewer

March 22, 2008
I couldn't believe why I havn't seen this earlier. Its a great piece of film making. I decided to watch this first, and Im still undecided on the Mortensen and Cronenberg pairing, but I think Eastern Promises might lay the doubts to rest, the trailer giving a good preview, that I went out and bought this DVD. I mean, Mortensen was nominated for Best Actor for 2007 Oscars, but the movie itself did collect a swag of awards. So best to to watch the movie where this partnership began. Im not disappointed, and glad Cronenberg didn't drag this movie out, the beginning was slow. It did pick up pace after the introduction, which did lay the foundation of Mortensen's family man image, though I wasn't expecting the hardcore violence - yeah I know what the title says, but yeah it was graphic enough to keep you interested... plus the mystery of figuring out the truth until the pivotal moment when it is revealed. Cronenberg's is very interested in the psychological side of things... plus obviously he has a penchant for blood and gore, and creating a dark aura or environment which plays on the character's emotions and fears. I guess what we need to know is that Cronenberg's movies really bring out the basic human instincts, which are anger, hate, fear and bloodlust... its quite obvious in this flick.Other than that, its simple yet genuine in a way that it doesnt try too hard, but the movie walks on its own path, the actors and crew laying the foundations which support it, a great example of teamwork on a movie. Loved Ed Harris and William Hurt, hated it when Harris made an early exit, but whaddya gonna do?? ^___^"
Morgan G

Super Reviewer

January 31, 2009
A brutal film, I never actually expected Fogarty/Harris to be somewhat vindicated. After this major twist, the films failed to fully hold my attention until the final moving shots. The brilliance of the first half saves it though. Perhaps worth a rewatching.
gor41
gor41

Super Reviewer

August 7, 2007
Cronenberg comes of age with a mature treatise on the impulse for and effect of violence. A stellar cast led by a brooding Mortensen and emotive Bello carry off the tricky central revelation convincingly. The context justifies the extreme violence on show.
thmtsang
thmtsang

Super Reviewer

September 1, 2007
Tom Stall is an ordinary husband and father who runs a diner. When his diner gets robbed and he kills the robbers, he becomes a hero overnight. Then his past comes back to haunt him. Violent scenes.
Chris G

Super Reviewer

November 15, 2008
"No good deed goes unpunished."

Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) has a simple country life, running a diner in a small Indiana town and living in a house surrounded by fields. But it all changes for him when two maniacs step into his diner and he is forced to defend his customers and himself. In the media frenzy that follows he gets a visit from a trio of Philadelphia mobsters led by a magnificent Ed Harris. These man insist that Tom is a mafia killer who had been in hiding for the last couple decades.

A History of Violence is filled with suspense and mystery and seems like a hybrid between a Hitchcock film and a Frank Capra film. It's kind of like It's a Wonderful Life in Hell. Stall is never really threatened outright, yet he is. David Cronenberg delivers a tightly packaged thriller that could have been packed with another hour to give it a David Lean feel, but he doesn't and makes a film that is smoother than what other directors would have done.

You may go in expecting Death Wish, but this isn't your typical, cliched film. It's a surprising piece that works well with its material and its cast.
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