A History of Violence - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A History of Violence Reviews

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July 14, 2016
The first time i watched it, i thought it was ok. But after i rewatched it and i started thinking about it, i realized it was a very good film with dark themes.
July 14, 2016
Really an excellent movie ever
June 27, 2016
A mystery of silence.
June 1, 2016
good suspencer & another lost review
May 29, 2016
This proved to be a compelling story, action packed into just over 90 mins. It's had pride of place in my DVD cupboard for a period of time, and although has been on the 'want to see' list for quite a while, the trailers have never fully twisted my arm into watching it sooner rather than later. Clearly I didn't know what I was missing as this was a serious gangster style beat em' up number with violence, sex, language, you name it. When Tom Stall prevents a couple of robbers from stealing from his local cafe, little did he know what fame and attention it would bring him across his small town community. Shortly after, it's not only the police and the press that come knocking on his door, but a whole new gang of fugitives, looking to get even with someone they believe to have wronged them in the past. Is this a case of mistaken identity? They certainly don't think so despite him and his families denial. As the threats become deeper and his wife and children are taken hostage, the tension grows between all involved, including us as an audience. I was genuinely unsure about what direction this would take and it was gripping to the finish. Left slightly frustrated by the final scenes in the sense that it's quite open to interpretation but if I'm honest, that's just an OCD thing on my part, as the conclusion kind of fitted with the way the story went. Didn't actually realise that the lead actor was Mr Mortenson from Lord of the Rings fame, so with a supporting role from Ed Harris, this shaped up to be quite the hidden gem of cinema. Easy viewing with a concept that wasn't using violence for violence sake, and definitely recommendable for date nights across the globe (albeit definitely more a lads choice than lasses).
½ May 29, 2016
You have to give it up to Viggo Mortensen for his excellent range of acting within two hours of the story. And the script is apparently very well written that it peels down layer after layer without hasting. The music score taps right into you.
May 22, 2016
Seeing as he's mostly known for his body horror genre, David Cronenberg's A History of Violence really stands out among his filmography. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's definitely not his strongest outing. Like every Cronenberg film, there's a lot of interesting themes at play here: among the themes in this case is a fascinating analysis of violence. It's a gripping idea at times, but at other times, it gets lost and muddled in a story that might be just a tad too complex. This is a film that is focused mostly on character, which is never truly a bad thing, but the actual plot sometimes suffers due to the lack of focus in that regard. The film also features a twist that is kind of hit-or-miss for this story: it never actually brings the movie down in any way, but this story could easily be told the same way, perhaps even better, without it. The acting here is definitely the highlight though: Viggo Mortensen's performance and the way he balances a wide spectrum of emotion really keeps the film afloat, while Maria Bello and William Hurt complement his character very well in very differing ways. This is a mostly fascinating character study that, in spite of some noticeable plot flaws, is a truly thought-provoking experience.
½ May 17, 2016
What can I say really. A History Of Violence is what I have been looking for in the action thriller genre. A bit of mystery and action in between is what your want some of the time in movies. If you're looking for a good movie with a good complex and style of action, then watch A History Of Violence.
½ May 16, 2016
An amazing performance given by Viggo Mortensen along with everyone else in the film. The emotion that is felt in every scene is some of the strongest in cinema. Taking these pros and applying them to a better story, and this could be a much better movie.
May 9, 2016
a very good movie but it feels a bit empty but very good atmosphere
½ May 1, 2016
The type of movie Paul Haggis's "Crash" thought it was back in 2005, "A History of Violence" is an incredibly ambitious film that evolves as its story unfolds.
½ April 24, 2016
s an excellent movie until the last 20 minutes. Mostly sedate and violent in spurts, interesting character study and an intriguing title for a movie. Not to forget Maria Bello screams I am part of the movie too.
Preaching that redemption is a myth is kinda misleading, but the movie convinces it's the truth.

Reviewed 2010
April 20, 2016
David Cronenberg's ''A History of Violence'' starts off slowly, then changes into a brilliant sprinting marathon, but tumbles before the finish line. That's the best i could describe this film. The beginning is slow, the middle is truly incredible, but the third act (after a certain turning point, i wont say which, but anyone who's seen the film knows what i'm talking about) falls falt on it's ass, and it loses all of its momentum which is such a disappointment, if the ending kept the same momentum as the first and second act, it would've totally been a 5/5 star movie.

As for the writing. I feel like it's a script written by the Coen brothers, but they had to hand it over to a serious director who doesnt like comedy so he deleted all of the light moments from the script to make a serious thriller. That's basically what it is, and it's remarkable. Also for a movie directed by David Cronenberg, this movie is surprisingly easy to watch without crazy disgusting imagery or practical effects, it's a pretty straight forward film which was interesting to see. The movie does have lots of explicit violence and 2 sex scenes, but you need to see something of Cronenberg's style in this film.

Except for the disappointing third act, David Cronenberg's ''A History of Violence'' truly is a remarkable thriller. (The slow build up is dismissive)
½ April 19, 2016
The only thing wrong with this film is that they did not immediately make a prequel!
March 16, 2016
Excellent, visceral depiction of a man who's past may or may not come back to haunt him. Cronenberg handles it excellently.
½ February 6, 2016
Truly a Cronenberg classic
January 29, 2016
lots of VIOLENCE great movie!
January 23, 2016
After an absence from the big screen, Cronenberg returns to form with a brilliantly sordid and thrilling tale about a quiet town, who's popular inhabitants, The Stall family, are terrorized after an attempted robbery on their homely diner. A History Of Violence is a wonderfully captivating thriller that portrays psychological torment in as subtle a way as possible. Cronenberg casts a ferocious cast in Mortensen, Hurt, Bello and Harris to undergo his new form of torment, in a film that resonates highly with The Coen Brothers darkest and indeed quirkiest. A History Of Violence takes a step back from conventional horror here, making the unseen and unknown the forefront of terror, and Mortenson really hits the nail on the head with his performance. The film is stripped back, gorgeous, tense and chalk full of emotion, you would need to have a heart of stone not to get involved with this classic. Its brief violence is brutal, its character study is wonderful and its setting is completely enveloping and its ability to allow the material do the hard work, rather than attack us with flashy imagery only proves the strength of the script and the vision. The less said about this film the better, its close to perfect, with minor hiccups randomly passed on the way. A History Of Violence combines family fun and torment to such a riveting level, its impossible to take your eyes of the screen. A must own.
½ December 25, 2015
Did I see the same movie as all of you??? This movie sucked, plain and simple!! How does it get this rating???? Good actors but very, very poorly acted!! Just bad, was this a straight to DVD film?? It had that feeling. don't waste your time!!
½ December 21, 2015
David Cronenberg's A History of Violence is a unique and interesting meditation on the nature of violence, identity and change. Its themes are very dense and complicated, but I think Cronenberg's direction pulls it off and ultimately it's a very good film, but not a great one. Viggo Mortensen carries this entire film so convincingly, and the way he seamlessly slips between two identities (or rather, two sides of a philosophical coin) is to be commended. The entire film, especially the opening sequence and the diner scene, is shot so incredibly well and really immerses you in its tension. The supporting cast is also really strong. My problem with the movie is the way it concludes. The first half was so gripping, and once I realised what it was really about, I was so intrigued. The film raises the notion of nature vs. nurture in relation to violence, and the legitimacy of two conflicting notions of existence residing within one person: which one is real? Can both be real? Can conscious choice override natural instinct? I found though that this thematic depth kind of fell away in the final act, and the film ended up not saying anything nearly as profound as I thought it was going to - as if opening the door to a bunch of fascinating questions about human nature, peace and violence but never completely going through.
Despite its title and premise, this film is also surprisingly the least Cronenberg-esque film, at least in my opinion. There is no explicit imagery of body horror or perverse sexuality, no biting satire and only very quick moments of violence. The plot of the film is also strangely linear and straight-forward considering Cronenberg's usual gravitation towards genre complexity and unconventionally twisty storytelling. However, A History of Violence is complex and unconventional in its own subtle ways, hidden beneath a deceptively simple story. A History of Violence is a strong film and is in many ways an uncharacteristic entry in David Cronenberg's filmography. I just wish it had taken its compelling ideas a bit further.
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