A History of Violence 2005

A History of Violence

Critics Consensus

A History of Violence raises compelling and thoughtful questions about the nature of violence, while representing a return to form for director David Cronenberg in one of his more uncharacteristic pieces.

87%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 216

76%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 280,014

Where to watch

Show all services

Rate And Review

User image

Verified

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)



  • You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you buy your ticket?

    Let's get your review verified.

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)

  • How did you buy your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

A History of Violence Photos

Movie Info

When a pair of petty criminals attempt to rob his small-town diner, Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) quickly and easily kills them both. In the flush of news coverage of Tom's seemingly heroic actions, a threatening stranger named Carl Fogarty (Ed Harris) comes to town, fingering the unassuming family man as long-missing Philadelphia mobster Joey Cusack. To the horror of his wife, Edie (Maria Bello), and teenage son, Jack (Ashton Holmes), Tom finds he must confront his violent past.

Cast & Crew

Maria Bello
Edie Stall
William Hurt
Richie Cusack
Peter MacNeill
Sheriff Sam Carney
Ed Harris
Carl Fogarty
Heidi Hayes
Sarah Stall
Greg Bryk
William Orser
Roger Kass
Executive Producer
Josh Braun
Executive Producer
Josh Olson
Screenwriter
Howard Shore
Original Music
Peter Suschitzky
Director of Photography
Ronald Sanders
Film Editor
Show all Cast & Crew

News & Interviews for A History of Violence

Critic Reviews for A History of Violence

All Critics (216) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (188) | Rotten (28)

Audience Reviews for A History of Violence

  • Sep 11, 2018
    Probably Cronenberg's most mundane work, but that's not even remotely a knock against A History of Violence. I hear tell that fans of the comic don't much like this big screen re-telling, but I've never read it, so I'm gonna go ahead and really enjoy it anyway.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 11, 2016
    A History of Violence stars Viggo Mortensen as Tom Stall, a restaurant owner in small town Indiana living with his wife (Maria Bello) and two kids. Tom's life takes a turn when he stops two robbers attempting to murder his customers and steal his money. I had no prior knowledge going into this movie aside from the fact that it's on the list of YouTube film critic Chris Stuckmann's "50 movies of the 2000's to see before you die." I was immediately intrigued by the opening sequence involving the two robbers, and Mortensen and family reeled me in the rest of the way. The family dynamic was effectively established, especially between Mortensen and Bello. The teenage son, played by Ashton Holmes, also played a big role, clearly developing his arc based on his father's actions. The school bully the son has to deal with was ridiculously overacted, though. I used the word "intriguing" earlier, and that's how I'd define this movie overall. Without spoiling anything, I will say that Mortensen delivers a heck of a performance with extreme contrasts in his character motives. The movie is equal parts cause and effect, my favorite aspect being the effect. There's a scene before the final act that really stands out, and, unfortunately, the movie dies down from there. William Hurt's character is introduced with under 20 minutes left of film (including credits), and his average performance garnered him an Oscar nomination for supporting actor despite having less screen time than Godzilla in the new Godzilla movie (under 7 minutes - I went back and timed it). He wasn't bad, but there wasn't enough there to justify the nomination. Overall, A History of Violence is a solid movie about family dynamics. Despite a weak ending, I enjoyed Mortensen and Bello a lot. If you enjoy solid acting and don't mind a bit of blood, give this one a watch. Final grade: B-
    Ben B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 06, 2013
    A mundane and dire crime drama, A History of Violence is a poorly adapted graphic novel. The story follows a mild-mannered diner owner named Tom Stall who becomes a celebrated hero after thwarting a robbery, but his fame soon attracts a Philadelphia mob boss who suspect that he's actually a hitman named Joey Cusack. The casting is especially impressive, and includes Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris, and William Hurt. However, David Cronenberg's directing doesn't work for the material; it's raw and slow-paced, with no clear focus. A History of Violence has some interesting concepts, but the execution's weak.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 19, 2012
    Superficially it looks and plays like a common thriller but when you start digging deep onto the characters and motivates their violent acts, things start to get rather scary and unpredictable and that's the true success of one of the most straightforward Cronenberg's flick. Boosted by brilliant performances with a great balance between tender, sappy moments and truly striking violent imagery, A History of Violence is a nice change in narrative format from Cronenberg with great results that appeal to a more mainstream audiences.
    Francisco G Super Reviewer

A History of Violence Quotes

Movie & TV guides