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A History of Violence Reviews

Page 2 of 591
January 16, 2014
David Cronenberg shows once again why he is one of the best directors in this genre . "A History of Violence" is a brilliant mixture of thrills , suspense ,drama and violence. A film certainly keeps everyone on the edge of their seats due to masterful direction and a brilliant performance from Viggo Mortensen who does this impeccable shifts between compassion and a cold blooded killer. It's a nice little story of how the past can often come and haunt the present and the future. Ably scored by long term collaborator Howard Shore , this tale was shot beautifully with a touch of paranoia , portraying the atmosphere and the emotion of the scenes.
May 28, 2014
A bloody and violent movie about family, village life and, you guessed it, violence. Powerhouse performances and a really nice background score that has a unique effect in this drama.
July 7, 2014
this movie sucked veiny cock
June 14, 2011
Interesting idea. But sub-par acting. Perhaps my expectations were too high. Also didn't feel like Howard Shore fit either.
June 25, 2014
A great thriller, full of good acting, stellar direction, and a well scripted plot.
June 25, 2014
Directed by creative filmmaker David Cronenberg and boasting another Academy Award nominated performance from William Hurt, A History of Violence was a film that surely needed to be seen.

A History of Violence is successful largely on the fact that David Cronenberg proves himself to be a brilliant filmmaker. While it could have been an overly familiar or cliché crime thriller, the fact is that it incorporated graphic themes in so well that it transcends my ability to actually ever call it anything along those lines. The film follows a consistently slow pace and allows its story to unravel as a means of revealing just who the characters truly are because when you really look into it, A History of Violence is a film about characters and not so much about the story. The story itself is good, but it is thin, and the importance rests on the way that all of the events affect the people involved and what it teaches them. In that sense, David Cronenberg's adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name is seriously strong thanks to the script by Josh Olson and the way that David Cronenberg gives such a powerful effort to it as director. David Cronenberg is the perfect director for A History of Violence because he is not scared to expose the violence of the story in whatever means possible, and in many of his previous films he has revealed a lot of dark subject matter. I mean, the man directed both Naked Lunch AND Crash, and now he takes a more narrative driven story and injects his own ability to empower the film through violent imagery and strong handling of the rough subject matter at hand. There could not have been a more perfect director for A History of Violence, and I have no doubts when I say that he deserved to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director for crafting the film. It is sad that he did not earn such a nomination, but at least the film itself earned a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay because the screenplay in A History of Violence is deep and complex. It maintains the importance of the story from the original source material and all of the language which made it intelligent and meaningful, and it means that the story is able to develop naturally on its own throughout the slow yet perfect pacing and reveal the complex underside to violence in contemporary society.
There was one moment in the film when Ashton Holmes engaged in a fight scene with the character Bobby, and he did it with such tension which I was able to sympathise for that I was blown away by the tense power of it. It reminded me of the unforgettable intro from David Lynch's film Wild at Heart where Nicolas Cage violently beat a man to death. It was amazing, and in A History of Violence it brought back a lot of those emotions and left me shaken up. A History of Violence proved to be a much more complicated and entertaining examination of violence than I could have ever imagined. That one image will stay with me forever, as will many of the other moments of violence in the film. It wasn't sadistic, it was violently poetic. The visual style of A History of Violence is excellent because while it constantly maintains the cinematography of a strong drama which is atmospheric and intense, at the moments of violence it adopts a graphic novel style and makes use of clever cinematography techniques and perfectly timed editing which captures the mood of everything perfectly. A History of Violence is constantly a realistic looking film, and the moments when it adopts a graphic novel visual style are just exceptional as it is not afraid to use them to a realistic extend and maintains a perfect level of blood. A History of Violence is one of the most sophisticated and excellent examples of a graphic novel adaptation that I have ever seen, and so the experience is awesome.
And the most important thing about A History of Violence is the characters. There is a versatile list of deep and complicated characters lined up for A History of Violence, and they all pay their own relevance to the story with firm importance. But above all, they present a serious challenge to the cast in A History of Violence, and so the acting becomes the most essential quality to the film's success underneath David Cronenberg's Oscar worthy direction.
Viggo Mortensen gives a perfectly gritty leading performance in A History of Violence. He captures the grim and violent edge of the character Tom Stall. He has the stoicism and reluctance of a cowboy who is being dragged back into a world he wishes to have no involvement with. A History of Violence feels a bit like a western, and Viggo Mortensen manages to project the ideal archetype for the role. Viggo Mortenssn constantly makes a tense and unpredictable presence by conveying a lot of gripping emotional power to the audience in the part, and his leading performance ends up being great. Viggo Mortensen is a terrific leading actor in A History of Violence and works with director David Croneberg well enough to harness both of their potentials.
Maria Bello is also great in A History of Violence. While her character could have been a thin one, Maria Bello puts all of her acting skill into the role and gives a performance which is memorable for being really complicated and intense. She gives it her best effort and injects solid charisma into the role. Maria Bello is perfectly emotionally tense in A History of Violence and captures a lot of power in her part which makes her a strong supporting presence, and her chemistry with Viggo Mortensen is powerful because it has them expressing realistic dramatic charisma together. Maria Bello makes a powerful effort in A History of Violence.
William Hurt is also unforgettable. Although his screen time is very minimal, it is easy to see how his performance managed to score him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. The instant he comes on he becomes an interesting presence and uses his tense line delivery to project a sense of both wisdom and darkness into the role which is befitting to the character very well. William Hurt manages to steal the screen the instant he enters it and holds the interests of viewers without problem from then on, and he turns in another entertaining performance and one of his most powerful in recent years.
Ed Harris provides a powerfully antagonistic performance in part, and Ashton Holmes brings a lot of key emotional intensity to his part.

So A History of Violence has a lot of interesting characters who are written with depth and acted out perfectly, and under the direction of David Cronenberg it proves to be both entertaining and very gritty.
October 27, 2007
Great movie punctuated by a terrible score
November 27, 2009
Violent yes but wonderful acting from everyone involved. The twisted characters will have you guessing until the end. It has slow moments and a few questionable sex scenes, but if you are not easily offended by violence and sex I strongly suggest it.
R. Jayakrishnan
June 14, 2014
77%
Saw this on 14/6/14
Like all the other David Crorenberg films that I have seen, I found this films to be watchable but in the end pointless. A history of violence shows off a usual story that has been told a 100 times in Hollywood with controlled acting, good violence and pace just within 100 minutes, oh I almost forgot the highlight, the Maria Bello boob and pussy scene. Anyways with a better story, this film could have been there in the history for a bit more longer.
June 5, 2014
David Cronenberg telling a story that is probably his most cut and dry. But my goodness does it ever grab ahold of you.
May 21, 2014
Should be called 'A Bit of Violence' because that is basically the best thing it offers. Tells a story of how a violent past can take its toll on a man and his family. While this message is made clear, it doesn't really resonate deep enough on an emotional scale. It would have benefited from more dramatic twists or events. The family breakdown, a major part of the plot, failed to interest me. Also, I felt it lost authenticity when a weird sex scene occurred at the same time the film was portraying the deteriorating state of the marital relationship. Maybe it was meant to show that she still loved him but the circumstances under which it happened (midway through the wife angrily running up the stairs) seemed odd to me. Little bouts of graphic violence is what this is good for but it is debatable whether it's worth sitting through it for those.

In conclusion, I would say this film neither impresses nor disappoints. I didn't feel like my time was wasted but it falls short of strong recommendation.
September 16, 2011
An arresting study on the nature of violence
Sean P.
May 12, 2014
Not as good as Cronenberg's follow-up, Eastern Promises, this is still an effective thriller, even if it's so utterly ridiculous. And the ridiculousness is why I can't rate it any higher. For me, personally, it just didn't hold together. The long cut at the beginning, however, is awesome. Awesome direction and cinematography.
February 8, 2012
Storytelling at its best. Wonderful cast.
May 7, 2014
This movie is an hour and a half of boring.
May 5, 2014
Absolutely a bad movie, with overacting from Maria Bello and stupid prop placement, like where his at his house and the men are outside with his son, he walks along the path drops the shotgun and walks some more, the he's son magically from the angle where scarface should have seen him take it. stupid movie with bad actors, pathetic bully/community shit.
May 4, 2014
One of the few movies I have liked "It's Vigo!" in. Take a chance on this one, it has some entertainment value. Go into it blind and you will like it better.
May 3, 2014
Unbelievably gripping thriller with Danish-American actor Viggo Mortensen giving the performance of his life as a chameleon character switching from placid family man to a deadly efficient killer. He made me sit up for the first time to take in his flawless performance as the shy, humble small town hero with a dark mirky past. Only when his family?s threatened did he come out of his shell and showed his true colours. The most endearing moments are the family scenes and his beautiful son and daughter. As adult having lived half of our lives, can we actually shake off our dark past and our ties with burdensome people from our earlier inglorious life. Tom Hall (Viggo) showed us that we cannot. One fine day, Joey (Tom?s real identity) will come back to haunt us with a bang and our idyllic new life would over as we knew it like a transient dream of unreality too good to be true when we wake up. I was amazed with Danish Viggo's prefect yankee accent until Wikipedia informed me that New York was Viggo?s birthplace. Big big surprise showing me how much I don?t know Viggo. All that will change now because he has turned up on my radar screen. Viggo's performance was nothing short of riveting just as Ed Harris as a mafia boss was equally riveting. William Hurt with his ugly beard as Tom?s bad assed brother Richie. Eastern Promises is next.
May 3, 2014
Unbelievably gripping thriller with Danish-American actor Viggo Mortensen giving the performance of his life as a chameleon character switching from placid family man to a deadly efficient killer. He made me sit up for the first time to take in his flawless performance as the shy, humble small town hero with a dark mirky past. Only when his family's threatened did he come out of his shell and showed his true colours. The most endearing moments are the family scenes and his beautiful son and daughter. As adult having lived half of our lives, can we actually shake off our dark past and our ties with burdensome people from our earlier inglorious life. Tom Hall (Viggo) showed us that we cannot. One fine day, Joey (Tom's real identity) will come back to haunt us with a bang and our idyllic new life would over as we knew it like a transient dream of unreality too good to be true when we wake up. I was amazed with Danish Viggo's prefect yankee accent until Wikipedia informed me that New York was Viggo's birthplace. Big big surprise showing me how much I don't know Viggo. All that will change now because he has turned up on my radar screen. Viggo's performance was nothing short of riveting just as Ed Harris as a mafia boss was equally riveting. William Hurt with his ugly beard as Tom's bad assed brother Richie. Eastern Promises is next.
May 3, 2014
Unbelievably gripping thriller with Danish-American actor Viggo Mortensen giving the performance of his life as a chameleon character switching from placid family man to a deadly efficient killer. He made me sit up for the first time to take in his flawless performance as the shy, humble small town hero with a dark mirky past. Only when his family's threatened did he come out of his shell and showed his true colours. The most endearing moments are the family scenes and his beautiful son and daughter. As adult having lived half of our lives, can we actually shake off our dark past and our ties with burdensome people from our earlier inglorious life. Tom Hall (Viggo) showed us that we cannot. One fine day, Joey (Tom's real identity) will come back to haunt us with a bang and our idyllic new life would over as we knew it like a transient dream of unreality too good to be true when we wake up. I was amazed with Danish Viggo's prefect yankee accent until Wikipedia informed me that New York was Viggo's birthplace. Big big surprise showing me how much I don't know Viggo. All that will change now because he has turned up on my radar screen. Viggo's performance was nothing short of riveting just as Ed Harris as a mafia boss was equally riveting. William Hurt with his ugly beard as Tom's bad assed brother Richie. Eastern Promises is next.
Page 2 of 591
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