A History of Violence - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A History of Violence Reviews

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December 8, 2015
What if you were trying to hide a really hideous secret from everyone around you, and you not only tried but succeeded in that task only to have it completely fall apart ? That is one of the main questions that this movie has you thinking about. How far would you go to protect your family? And do people deserve a second chance at life after making past mistakes? This movie asks all sorts of questions. If you are thinking that this is just some dialogue driven family drama about past mistakes, think again. This is a viscously and graphically violent movie. But what plays in the backdrop is a family that is slowly falling apart because of the past actions of one of their own family members. This movie honestly could earn at least another half a star, but I withheld that star because of one simple fact. William Hurt. Yes the actor. William Hurt is usually pretty solid in every role he takes on, but he lacks horribly in this movie as the main villain. He is actually only in the movie for about 15 minutes or so, but his performance is so weak it almost destroys everything that has been built up the entire time you are watching this film. You can see for yourself and judge for yourself, but it is probably the worst and most un authentic portrayal of a mafia boss to every hit the big screen, downright awful and rather silly. But overall still a great movie.
December 6, 2015
2015-12-06 pretty good
December 2, 2015
awesome movie, great casting and performances. cinematography it great and so is the plot. it's a great movie
½ November 27, 2015
Lots of movies have violence. Few attempt to understand it. This is one of the rare movies that raises a number of questions (and often leaves the answering to the audience) about our views on violence while simultaneously crafting a powerful character study. A brilliant, subtly persuasive film.
November 26, 2015
I have seen films about the ordinary small town man haunted by his past and he has to revert to the person he once was before but A History of Violence does it so well. Viggo Mortensen has said that this was his favourite character to play and for good reason. All of these characters are deep and complex and the drama and tension they go through is really intense. This film isn't a shoot 'em up movie with bodies flying left, right and centre but whenever violence does need to come into play in the story, man is it some brutal violence. I'm talking Django Unchained level of violence but without the large bodycount. This is a really good movie. It's on Netflix. Check it out!
½ November 13, 2015
This film takes an interesting approach to say the least. It revolves around a man who kills two robbers in self-defence, but rather than purely lionizing the act of vigilante justice, the film engages in a deeper exploration of the mind of the character, allowing the viewer to judge for oneself the morality of violence. If you've seen any of the films made by David Cronenberg before this, then you probably would not have expected it, given the director's history with body horror, but it's a surprisingly well-executed piece of dramatic fare. My main problem, however, is that the story plods for a little bit at the beginning before we get to the big picture. Looking past that, however, there's something to be acting. The actors appear to be taking their characters very seriously, and that's very important in drama, because you can't expect to take characters seriously if the actors don't. I feel that the main character is worth particular mention, primarily because he seems to convey the kind of balance of outward calm and inward rage that a film like this would suffer without. The key strength of the film appears to be that it relies on its character rather than plot or appearances. That being said, however, it is a very well-produced film in terms of production values. Overall, I'd say it's a very fresh and straightforward film, with no cheesy effects, no brainless jingles, and no padding.
November 12, 2015
I see comments, there is nothing new... ranging to it's a violence projection fantasy. I'm glad these options exist, for it's a psychological thriller and workout, best not ruined by overexposure. Think what you will! 5 stars, once you see it.
October 28, 2015
Two star rating only because of a few redeeming qualities the film happens to produce. One, the cool use of graphic violence and blood splatter in particular scenes, and second.... well, I guess there is only one. The film for me misses on so many levels, the acting is over done, ( especially scenes involving father and son ) the films dialogue is elementary, and for some reason the films low humming orchestral score really bothered me. The films music feels like it should have been in a sappy B- movie from the 90's. What really amazes me is that I've seen this film mentioned on a particular list summarizing "The Best 100 Movies of the 2000's" if that is the case that decade set the bar pretty low. Save your self the $4 at the used movie store and do not add this to your collection, unless you are into thoughtless movies with predictable endings.
October 26, 2015
You get the feeling Cronenberg goes commercial with this film, but donīt. Viggo Mortensens history of violence is slowly floating upwards to the surface, a surface of blood and killings. Another great film from Cronenberg.
October 24, 2015
This was a perfectly executed thriller. Nothing seemed familiar here, and it was a compelling story. It had somewhat of a TV-movie vibe, but it nonetheless fit its run time.
October 23, 2015
If it wasn't for the great action scenes, I wouldn't have liked this movie.
October 21, 2015
Some sort of weird comedy-not-comedy with the music from lord of the rings
½ October 16, 2015
Viggo Mortensen is really good here. I understood the message the film was trying to convey on different levels. I just wanted a little more, and maybe I shouldn't have. Mortensen plays Tom Stall, a small town man who is known throughout as a good guy. He runs the local diner, and is friendly to everyone. When he prevents a robbery by shooting the purpotrators, he becomes a hero throughout the town. However, the next day some mysterious men show up to the diner, reffering to Tom as "Joey" a man from Philadelphia, who obviously had ties to crime. The rest of the movie show a denial of sorts from Stalls and you really start to wonder who this man is. His acting is what makes you question who he really is. Is he a small town man, or is he a small town man with a criminal background. It keeps you engaged throughout just by wondering who the hell this man is. It ends somewhat abruptly, but with an important message.
½ October 13, 2015
yeah the film is deep etc... but the acting (with the exception of Mortensen and Harris) just sucks!
September 27, 2015
The action is good. But irrational since nothing comes back at him.
September 14, 2015
Out of surprise: So damn cool!
September 1, 2015
This film was phenomenal. Drop everything you are doing and watch it immediately. The entire plot is gripping and thrilling, the acting is powerful, and the neo-noir feel is just what I was looking for. Praises be to all involved. This is going in my top 20.
½ September 1, 2015
What it lacks in cinematography and production, it compensates with great characters, a tense story, and a constant exploration of violence as it is praised and demonized by the different aspects of the movie.
August 31, 2015
Horrible writing, painfully bad character development and a predictable plot. This movie is nothing more than an overrated farce.
½ August 29, 2015
One of the few films from Cronenberg sparing me the horrific graphics. Being good guys could be challenging sometimes.
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