New Line Cinema | Release Date: September 23, 2005
7.4
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 814 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
581
Mixed:
84
Negative:
149
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8
JoshCNov 20, 2006
Wow! I am shocked at how many people hated this movie. I do think the film was slighty overrated by the critics, however it's still a very good film.
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2
JeffB.Jan 16, 2006
this movie uses every cliche in the book to drive the plot, and is so unoriginal, i found my self laughing out loud at parts that were supposed to be serious. and the acting is pitiful.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
KarryD.Jan 17, 2006
Nice concept, well acted (by the leads anyway), but pourly executed.
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9
DanieleO.Jan 22, 2006
One of the very best of the year, a brilliant reflection on violence, and a reflection about america too.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
HalB.Dec 31, 2006
Wow, I guess a lot of recent "users"/viewers of this film just didn't get it. It's a pretty good film, and actually quite subversive in that it will appeal to many as a revenge/action film, yet is obviously making an extremely Wow, I guess a lot of recent "users"/viewers of this film just didn't get it. It's a pretty good film, and actually quite subversive in that it will appeal to many as a revenge/action film, yet is obviously making an extremely valid comment about our culture's obsession with, and championing of, violence. Viggo M, Ed Harris and William H are outstanding. I agree that maybe it's been overly praised, but it's still quite a good film. As with most forms of art and entertainment, some people just don't get it. And as always: there's just no accounting for some peoples' tastes! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
2roadsJan 24, 2006
Excellent movie and not to be missed as it has an accurate statement to be made in the father son relationship. David Letterman was right, it grabs the audience and won't let you go...then resonates afterward.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
AdamJan 27, 2006
Dear God, this has to be the most overrated movie of the year. I don't understand why the critics all love it so much. I definitely felt like my intelligence was insulted watching this movie; all of the "subtle" details were beaten intoDear God, this has to be the most overrated movie of the year. I don't understand why the critics all love it so much. I definitely felt like my intelligence was insulted watching this movie; all of the "subtle" details were beaten into my head with a lead pipe. One of my friends who loved the movie tried telling me that I just didn't get the point of the movie. I got the point, I had no choice but to "get it." Cronenberg was practically dangling the plot in front of the audience, like they couldn't figure it out on their own. The acting was decent, but the script absolutely sucks. Some of the dialogue was so bad, people in the theater were actually laughing out loud every five minutes like they were watching Wedding Crashers instead. Also, there's a big twist halfway through the movie that, I believe, kills any philosophical steam the movie might have picked up and sucks all the life out of the movie way before the ending, making it absolutely boring to watch. Expand
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10
O.CuculizaJan 6, 2006
Brilliant. This movie ain't an action thriller. It is a complex family psycologichal drama where violence is fully justified because it refflects the minds of the people. You get to go so deep into the main character's thooughts Brilliant. This movie ain't an action thriller. It is a complex family psycologichal drama where violence is fully justified because it refflects the minds of the people. You get to go so deep into the main character's thooughts that you can't get away from the movie until it ends. The screenplay is great (the story is told as a tale), the acting is terrific (specially from Bello, whose performance is one you won't forget, and of course William Hurt, wow.), the art direction is perfect and the direction itself is great. Go and see this movie when you can, you won't regret it (AT ALL). Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
KouroshA.Feb 15, 2006
It had an unusual story which made it somewhat unpredictable and interesting, but the action and acting was not all too gripping.
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10
agoodsourceofagoodsourceofMar 11, 2006
This movie is brilliant, and not in the least in a trivial way. I tend to agree with Mr. Kauffmann of the New Republic, but on this one, he has dropped the ball. What Cronenberg develops in this film is not simply a tale of violence; aboutThis movie is brilliant, and not in the least in a trivial way. I tend to agree with Mr. Kauffmann of the New Republic, but on this one, he has dropped the ball. What Cronenberg develops in this film is not simply a tale of violence; about its self-destructive and redemptive potential (Wild Bunch) or the media's agrandisement of violence (Natural Born Killers). Far from it. In fact, these aren't even central to the narrative in 'History of Violence'. The media only plays a secondary role throughout the film, and Stall/Cusack is never destroyed or redeemed by the violence. Rather Stall is closer to showing, as Kurtz does in 'Apocalypse Now (Redux)', that the facile bourgeois attitude towards violence--which allows a practical role for violence in maintaining society, either through police force or military intervention--does not track the reality of violence. The lesson being that violence does pay, provided that you are the most violent of all, and monstrously so.
What we do see, however, in 'History of Violence', unlike other films that might be sited in the genre, is an absolute embodiment of violence, virutally invincible (like Beowulf, Odysseus, or Jack Bauer) and capable of inflicting certain death on his enemies, no matter the odds (like Ryunosuke Tsukue in 'Sword of Doom'). The substance of this film is a narrative on the ontology (natrue) of violence--it consumes its users and widens to increasing spheres of influence. Like a medieval morality play, we see in 'History' our society caricatured to mind-numbing proportions, then violence enters in real-time and changes the entire landscape: influencing more people and escalating to frightening dimensions. We can learn a great deal from this film and we are better for it.
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1
JamesL.Mar 15, 2006
Proof that I will never take the 'expert' reviews seriously again. This was crap in its finest form. I just finished watching it 10 minutes ago; Ed Harris is the only memorable actor. The rest of them are melodramatic waste of Proof that I will never take the 'expert' reviews seriously again. This was crap in its finest form. I just finished watching it 10 minutes ago; Ed Harris is the only memorable actor. The rest of them are melodramatic waste of space. Don't do it! Save your $ or suffer crap in its finest form ever. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
MarcM.Mar 15, 2006
Aside from the enjoyable melodramatic musical score, I thought this movie was horrible. Reasons: Forced acting: e.g. the daughter and son acting overly compassionate towards their father displaying out of context facial expressions. Weak Aside from the enjoyable melodramatic musical score, I thought this movie was horrible. Reasons: Forced acting: e.g. the daughter and son acting overly compassionate towards their father displaying out of context facial expressions. Weak love scene between husband/wife. Whether it's the director, script or just weak actors is hard to tell. I feel robbed at paying for a new release video rental. In fact, it is not even worth $1.00 to see. Minor positive aspect: Robert Duvall and your friendly neighbourhood policemen were the only ones worthy of 'acting'. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
markMar 16, 2006
I normally just come here to read reviews and never comment but I'm moved on this one to say how completely shocked I am this movie got so much hype. This was absolutely terrrible. Worse than most made for TV movies, I'm floored I normally just come here to read reviews and never comment but I'm moved on this one to say how completely shocked I am this movie got so much hype. This was absolutely terrrible. Worse than most made for TV movies, I'm floored that big name critics liked it and shocked that it didn't go straight to video. It was poorly written, lazily produced, ultra-cliche. It'll make me tune into Morgenstern and Edelstein more who had enough integrity or insight to stay off of the bizarre bandwagon that carried this movie as far as it went. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
ChazG.Mar 17, 2006
A history of violence hits hard at the climactic scenes. The film also gives a decent character analysis and demonstrates how an individual can change. Overall a good movie.
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2
KiwiClayMar 19, 2006
Absolute Rubbish. Marketed as a violent art house rumination on violence and identity, but really all it was at the end of the day was a hamfisted, ham-acted, poorly written comic book movie. Avoid.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
DavidT.Mar 19, 2006
Its amazing how so many people just dont get it - yet they appear to be quite articulate and perceptive from the quality of their writing. A Western dressed up as a small town thriller. Over the Top but delightful performances from Ed HArris Its amazing how so many people just dont get it - yet they appear to be quite articulate and perceptive from the quality of their writing. A Western dressed up as a small town thriller. Over the Top but delightful performances from Ed HArris and William Hurt. Viggo demonstrates that he remains a moderately skilled actor but in so many ways its hard to imagine anyone else playing the part. He had this effect in he LOTR Trilogy. This is a fun romp with some seriously tense moments. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
DaveF.Mar 19, 2006
There was nothing predictable about this, clear up to the end we still don't know for sure where's Joey. Seeing the ultra violence might have led some reviewers to make a knee jerk reaction about the movie, not giving full credit There was nothing predictable about this, clear up to the end we still don't know for sure where's Joey. Seeing the ultra violence might have led some reviewers to make a knee jerk reaction about the movie, not giving full credit to the complexity of this story. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
EvanS.Mar 20, 2006
Richly layered character piece wrapped around brief bursts of action and violence. Sets up the viewer to root for the violence and then when it is all over graphically shows the mangled results to show audience just what it was rooting for. Richly layered character piece wrapped around brief bursts of action and violence. Sets up the viewer to root for the violence and then when it is all over graphically shows the mangled results to show audience just what it was rooting for. One of the best films of the year but don't go in expecting a Hollywood action movie. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
ClintM.Mar 25, 2006
Not a bad movie by any means and definitely interesting to watch, but still wasn't quite all that I had hoped or expected.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
RizzoMar 31, 2006
People are trying to pass this film off as intellectual. I agree that it may have a deeper meaning; however, as pessimistic as it may sound, most Americans do not get it upon watching the movie. Most just like the violence and the sex. The People are trying to pass this film off as intellectual. I agree that it may have a deeper meaning; however, as pessimistic as it may sound, most Americans do not get it upon watching the movie. Most just like the violence and the sex. The deeper meaning of the movie did not outweigh the fact that I found it unrealist and cheap. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
VictoriaH.Apr 12, 2006
I only watched this film, because I liked Viggo in "Hildago." This movie is a clunker. It is no better than a stupid Steven Segal flick. Watch this only if you like Cronenberg's fatalistic, dark view of existence where the I only watched this film, because I liked Viggo in "Hildago." This movie is a clunker. It is no better than a stupid Steven Segal flick. Watch this only if you like Cronenberg's fatalistic, dark view of existence where the 'hero' goes from a corn-fed Jimmy Stewart wannabe to a Steven Segal killing machine. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
CarolynB.Apr 16, 2006
The "professional" reviewers must be blinded by Cronenberg's reputation; otherwise, why the 81 ranking? We "users" are much closer to the mark, although I obviously think the ranking of 5.9 is still too high. This story has as many The "professional" reviewers must be blinded by Cronenberg's reputation; otherwise, why the 81 ranking? We "users" are much closer to the mark, although I obviously think the ranking of 5.9 is still too high. This story has as many holes in the plot as it has holes in the bad guys' heads. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
SteveA.Apr 21, 2006
This movie accomplishes something rare: an extremely boring movie with graphic sex and violence. The movie is too dark, and the acting too moody. Even at the beginning, when the characters are supposed to be happy, they come off as gloomy This movie accomplishes something rare: an extremely boring movie with graphic sex and violence. The movie is too dark, and the acting too moody. Even at the beginning, when the characters are supposed to be happy, they come off as gloomy and miserable. The teenagers, and gangsters, talk and act like they were written by a group of old men, out of touch with modern audiences. The male characters seem like they are sleep-walking through the movie. The female lead spends most of her time griping at the male lead. Overall, it feels like an R-rated soap opera with a few violent scenes. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
MiKEApr 2, 2006
If you make a "serious" movie, stick to it. The ending just falls apart. The main character becomes a super hero at the end. Killed the mood to the whole movie. The acting was ok. and so was the story. But once you see the trailer, you know If you make a "serious" movie, stick to it. The ending just falls apart. The main character becomes a super hero at the end. Killed the mood to the whole movie. The acting was ok. and so was the story. But once you see the trailer, you know what the movie is about. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
AlApr 23, 2006
A disturbing and emotionally arousing film. Not for the faint at heart. Ed Harris and William Hurt are delightfully perverse in a strangely honest way. Even though Mortensen's multiple-personality like transformations are not entirely A disturbing and emotionally arousing film. Not for the faint at heart. Ed Harris and William Hurt are delightfully perverse in a strangely honest way. Even though Mortensen's multiple-personality like transformations are not entirely convincing from a real world perspecitve, he does a very fine acting job. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
EvanSApr 26, 2006
"Ther are so many plot holes in this movie." I have seen this on all of these user reviews and i would like to say that there are NO plot holes. The movie is leaving us with questions we cant figure out. That's what makes it so good."Ther are so many plot holes in this movie." I have seen this on all of these user reviews and i would like to say that there are NO plot holes. The movie is leaving us with questions we cant figure out. That's what makes it so good. It's a --psychological--- movie. Duh! And now i dont understand why everyone is talking about the sex scenes, and how that it is uncomfortable. It has meaning to it. Both times they do it, it has meaning. Everybody is so simple minded and apathetic at really how this movie is executed. Damn good movie. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JonC.Apr 27, 2006
I have never seen a Cronenburg film before. So I don't give this movie a 10 because of him. I would suggest that any plot holes you think you see are not signficant if they are plot holes, but they are necessary to examine the I have never seen a Cronenburg film before. So I don't give this movie a 10 because of him. I would suggest that any plot holes you think you see are not signficant if they are plot holes, but they are necessary to examine the characters. [***SPOILERS***] When Maria Bello is naked, notice the awkwardness between the two previously very close people. When the son (Jack, I think) beats up the bullies, it asks the question: why is it right for his father to kill in self defence, but wrong for the son? How can the father ever again justify non-vioence? The movie deals with the question: when is violence justifyable? And it makes the viewer answer it. Apply it to Iraq, gang violence, spousal abuse, any issue, and you see that violence is a central part in American culture (and to be fair, Western culture generally.) Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
AdamSingerApr 3, 2006
Brilliant.
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1
B.V.Apr 4, 2006
Conspiracy I say! There has to be. This is one of the most inane, idiotic, over the top, brain dead movies I have ever seen. The secret message that only smart people are supposed to get is ridiculous. Oh wait I guess I am not intelligent Conspiracy I say! There has to be. This is one of the most inane, idiotic, over the top, brain dead movies I have ever seen. The secret message that only smart people are supposed to get is ridiculous. Oh wait I guess I am not intelligent enough to understand. The acting is so bad I wanted to laugh out loud. The violence was okay and that is the only reason it even got a one. I didn't realize that mafia hitmen were also navy seal ninja's able to disarm other hitmen with drawn weapons. The only way an intelligent person could think this was a good movie was if he was being paid to say it. Junk, garbage, crap...etc. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
IgnatzM.Apr 5, 2006
The most incredible and shocking aspect of this movie is its ability to dredge up individuals whose only pleasure in viewing the film is their thrill in the violence. I would not suggest this movie to everyone looking for something to watch, The most incredible and shocking aspect of this movie is its ability to dredge up individuals whose only pleasure in viewing the film is their thrill in the violence. I would not suggest this movie to everyone looking for something to watch, but it was well executed and good at what it is, which is a visceral action movie about a man who is very hard to kill, very good at killing, and weary with both. I would first suggest Straw Dogs for a film about a man pushed to viciousness, or The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance for an exercise in misplaced hero worship, but this movie does well enough to rate close to these movies in whatever list might exist in the minds of those who care. You know who you are. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
TonyM.Apr 6, 2006
Life is too short to have to explain this movie to people. If, however, you can appreciate that a movie can seemingly be about one thing (say, a random encounter with killers bringing a secret past to light) while really being about Life is too short to have to explain this movie to people. If, however, you can appreciate that a movie can seemingly be about one thing (say, a random encounter with killers bringing a secret past to light) while really being about something much deeper (like whether or not violence can be expunged from the human soul or is passed on like a gentic flaw) then watch this movie. What you'll find is the best moive of 2006. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
JenniferRMay 11, 2006
[***SPOILERS***] When my husband brought this movie home on DVD, I was prepared to be blown away by a great film. I had the highest expectations. But about 10 minutes into it, I turned to my husband and said, "I don't know, I'm [***SPOILERS***] When my husband brought this movie home on DVD, I was prepared to be blown away by a great film. I had the highest expectations. But about 10 minutes into it, I turned to my husband and said, "I don't know, I'm just not feeling this." Although directed in a very "true to life" way, the screenplay fails the characters by denying them a real sense of motivation to do what they do and to say what they say. Tom wants to convince his wife that he's not the killer he used to be, she slaps him, and then he grabs her around the neck? And then rapes her? And she loves it? Whaa? His cat-like reflexes are more Walker Texas Ranger than Goodfellas and left me laughing and cringing at the same time. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JohnBbartonMay 18, 2006
I see a lot of films and don't really like that many. This was, in my opinion, the best film of 2005. My business partners both have good taste in film, and both loved the film also. After seeing so many extremely negative viewerI see a lot of films and don't really like that many. This was, in my opinion, the best film of 2005. My business partners both have good taste in film, and both loved the film also. After seeing so many extremely negative viewer ratings on Metacritic, (although there are also many very positive) I decided to put it to the test by having my son in law watch the film. He has the absolutel worst taste in movie history. He loves everything really bad ( he saw40 First Dates 15 times!) and hates everything really good. ( walked out on Junebug and hated Matchpoint) I was very relieved to get his rating-he hated it! My film rating confidence is now fully restored. I'd like to hear what the amatuer reviewers who hated this film thought was a good film. War of the Worlds is probably on their top film list for 2005, and I'm sure they just love those fascinating and complex Steven Segal movies! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
S.PackardMay 5, 2006
Is Pulp Fiction, or Terminator great for it
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
BernardoS.Jun 2, 2006
It´s just like Once Upon a time in the West but with a more realistic plot and great performances from all the cast (specially by Mr. Hurt). IMO this will be the movie of the decade.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
KCJun 21, 2006
Do not expect to see anything special with this movie. The storyline is mildly interesting however its been told so poorly its cringing. The attempt to show the family as close was totally overdone. The bullied son story was so predictable Do not expect to see anything special with this movie. The storyline is mildly interesting however its been told so poorly its cringing. The attempt to show the family as close was totally overdone. The bullied son story was so predictable and its resolution ridiculous. The entire movie plods along at a rather pedestrian pace, a slight twist and its over. The critics are in danger of loosing their credibility if they continue to give films like this good reviews. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
PatC.Jun 30, 2006
Slow to develop, builds up steam, then fades away spent. Some interesting subtleties, but mostly unsatisfying.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
PJW.Aug 19, 2006
Awful. Easily the most lame portrayal of evolution and sociology of violence. Terrible script and horrible acting. Awful.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
KevinAJul 17, 2007
Metacritic needs to get an "Incomplete" rating. I watched 15 minutes of this and turned it off - the writing, the acting, everything was so unbelievable, so unbelievably lame (yes, lame) that I could not even get to the first turning point. Oy.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
IanC.Jan 16, 2008
Despite a good concept, this movie is an absolute trainwreck. It trundles along at an excruciatingly sluggish pace, it suffers from awful writing, and an all too predictable story. The few fight scenes were misdirected and laughable. They Despite a good concept, this movie is an absolute trainwreck. It trundles along at an excruciatingly sluggish pace, it suffers from awful writing, and an all too predictable story. The few fight scenes were misdirected and laughable. They were reminscent of the awful Rambo sequel in which Rambo stands in plain view of several armed enemies and picks them off one by one with a bow while they somehow miss him with automatic weapons. And someone needs to alert Cronenberg that throwing Kill Bill-esque amounts of gore in there doesn't distract from the belief-suspending choreography nor does it make the violence shocking or have any real effect on the audience. Even the bizarre and overly lengthy sex scenes had the audience looking away and flinching more than the violent sections of the movie. It's a story that could've been told in ten minutes. Half an hour at most, but this movie stretches it out to over ninety minutes. It doesn't help that it reeks of made-for-TV already. Trainwreck. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JenniferWJan 22, 2008
As I get older, violence becomes less and less appealing to me. Unless it has depth and purpose. Seems almost creepy to say I loved this film, but I did, because of the complex yet simply presented undercurrents. Viggo is an amazing As I get older, violence becomes less and less appealing to me. Unless it has depth and purpose. Seems almost creepy to say I loved this film, but I did, because of the complex yet simply presented undercurrents. Viggo is an amazing character. He does sincere, restrained and non-melodramatic angst unbelievably well. Bello is also great. And many of the script's lines--and especially the totally silent last scene--are still going through my head. This was a really brilliant film. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
TazD.Oct 26, 2008
The only reason I'm giving it 1 is because it starts off so promisingly. After the first 20 minutes or so we get gratuaties sex scenes, over the top violence and terrible special effects. One of the worst movies I have ever seen.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
JamesH.Feb 25, 2008
Boring dull film - you think something may happen then it just ends - absolute tosh.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
RodericR.Jul 9, 2009
A very solid movie. Worth watching, well made, and despite a few minor flaws, holds your attention and makes you think. What I will *NEVER* understand is the people who give movies, especially ones like this that got multiple perfect ratings A very solid movie. Worth watching, well made, and despite a few minor flaws, holds your attention and makes you think. What I will *NEVER* understand is the people who give movies, especially ones like this that got multiple perfect ratings and was objectively *at the very least* a decent movie, a 0. There is no way this movie gets less than a 5 if you are being objective. It would take a hauntingly bad movie to get a 2 or 3, a 0 would mean I would rather have been beat up or my wallet stolen than see it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
WackoOct 11, 2005
This movie is so overrated that it sucked. Just awful.
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1
MichaelC.Oct 11, 2005
Every once in a while, Metacritic grossly overrate a movie, giving it a score that is usually 40-50 points higher than it deserves. It happened in 2004 with "Million Dollar Baby" (86), in 1998 with "Shakespeare in Love" (87), and most Every once in a while, Metacritic grossly overrate a movie, giving it a score that is usually 40-50 points higher than it deserves. It happened in 2004 with "Million Dollar Baby" (86), in 1998 with "Shakespeare in Love" (87), and most notably, in 2001 with the God awful "Gosford Park" (90). Unfortunately, this one tops them all... A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE (currently sitting at an 83) - Directed by David Cronenberg, starring Viggo "Strider" Mortensen, Maria Bello, William Hurt, and Ed Harris. My friend Tonya and I just caught a 2:05pm showing at The Grove in Hollywood. And, let me tell you folks, this baby made "Predator 2" look like "On the Waterfront!" I was a huge fan of "Spider," (Cronenberg's last pic), so I was expecting big things from this one, especially with the cast, the reputation, and the phenomenal reviews. From the opening scene, you are wrapped up in the characters. The long takes and limited dialogue give it this creepy, western kind of feeling. However, it never really pays off. When used to advance the plot, the dialogue is amateur and forced, making it seem more like an after-school special than a suspense-thriller. The shot selection is rushed and unorganized, almost like Cronenberg was randomly choosing different things to cutaway to during a particular scene. If the audience can tell that they are watching a movie, it's usually a bad sign. Furthermore, the movie has three different villains! THREE! Imagine if you were watching a movie like "Batman," and The Joker died in the first twenty minutes of the movie. Then, as soon as he dies, another villain comes along. After he dies, a third one pops up out of nowhere... Would that make any sense? Where is the build-up? Where is the conflict? Finally, to top it off, the film is scored by none other than Howard (effing) Shore!! Not only did it not fit well with suburban Indiana, it more importantly found me humming out loud to the music from Helms Deep. All in all, don't waste your money on this one. The audience was actually laughing out loud at times. The worst part of all is that my friend Tonya happens to be a lesbian... ...so, now we have to go see that Jake Gyllenhaall movie about the gay cowboys... - 17 / 100 Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
AdrianNov 16, 2005
Laughable in every way imaginable. At the end it become a cartoon. This film is a total joke. Avoid at all costs.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
ReggieNov 18, 2005
Nothing could be this bad or could it?
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JaneA.Nov 19, 2005
A brilliiant depiction of the current socialised status that violent acts have in western communities. A triumph for Cronenberg and great work from his team.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
dickOct 12, 2005
This movie was bought and paid for by the Hollywood propaganda mill. It is awful. Self destructs before your very eyes.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
PeterS.Oct 12, 2005
Oh Metacritic.........an 81really.....beacuse this film is supposed to be artistic. If artistic means having a ridiculously implausible storyline and some of the most wooden acting this side of the Anakin Skywalker then yes i gues it is Oh Metacritic.........an 81really.....beacuse this film is supposed to be artistic. If artistic means having a ridiculously implausible storyline and some of the most wooden acting this side of the Anakin Skywalker then yes i gues it is artistic. Please keep all art far far far away from me. Rent Sin City, thats what a gaphic novel should look like. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
tuffmanr.Oct 12, 2005
The User ratings says it all!! This movie was dull, it had bad acting and it had horrible dialogue. There are many unnecessary parts in this movie. When is the point when movies start to be pornographic? The only reason why the critics rate The User ratings says it all!! This movie was dull, it had bad acting and it had horrible dialogue. There are many unnecessary parts in this movie. When is the point when movies start to be pornographic? The only reason why the critics rate it so highly is because it has a strange ending and it chooses not to give any clues what it is talking about. The packaging is terrible. THE ACTING IS BAD! Now I want to read some of the pretentious people who gave it a high rating just because the critics messed up. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
frankbNov 24, 2005
I'm not sure the voters who rated this film poorly on this website paid much attention to any of the aspects that make this film a great one.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
jennyp.Nov 25, 2005
Such a good film. best gangster film ive seen in years. Cronenberg handled it well. casted very well. hope to see more of the same in the future.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
JimK.Nov 26, 2005
Nonsense. Utter cliche rubbish. I walked out on this film, and I haven't done that in years.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
PaulT.Nov 3, 2005
Overrated. Poorly directed. Let me rephrase, horribly, heavy handedly directed.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
GeorgeG.Oct 13, 2005
This was an awful film. The acting was bad, the script was bad, the editing was bad. It was a waste of time. Watching the previews I thought it looked like a bad movie, but after seeing all the acclaim I thought I would give it a try. Should This was an awful film. The acting was bad, the script was bad, the editing was bad. It was a waste of time. Watching the previews I thought it looked like a bad movie, but after seeing all the acclaim I thought I would give it a try. Should have trusted my instincts. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JimB.Nov 3, 2005
A hearty stew of intellegence and accessibility. "A History of Violence" has a new home on my favorite movies list.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
KebbieB.Oct 14, 2005
An interesting movie and well-acted but nothing particulalry creative. Also quite implausible when you consider a guy out of the killing business for over 20 years is so effective against professional killers. I do agree with the critics An interesting movie and well-acted but nothing particulalry creative. Also quite implausible when you consider a guy out of the killing business for over 20 years is so effective against professional killers. I do agree with the critics that William Hurt was particularly good in this movie. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
MarcOct 15, 2005
Chuck D said it best - Don't believe the hype. Terrible. The thing that made it so frustrating to watch is that I felt like the movie had so much potential, and it just fell flat on its face. Laughable sex scenes with a gratuitous shot Chuck D said it best - Don't believe the hype. Terrible. The thing that made it so frustrating to watch is that I felt like the movie had so much potential, and it just fell flat on its face. Laughable sex scenes with a gratuitous shot of Mortensen's ass (thanks a lot for that), poor acting, unrealistic events, and a high-school bully sub-plot that was unnecessary and more cliche than Saved by the Bell. This is the type of movie that hipsters who blindly follow critics' leads will love. Everyone else will be sorely disappointed. Ohh, and by the way, don't tell me I just "don't get it." I enjoy a good thinking man's movie, and this is not it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
KatherineS.Nov 5, 2005
Terribly disappointing!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
Rev.RikardNov 5, 2005
This movie is destined for Oscar nominations. The movie, in my opinion, offers the premise that the true history of violence lies somewhere deep in the human psyche. It is such a fundamental aspect of who we are that it is as basic to our This movie is destined for Oscar nominations. The movie, in my opinion, offers the premise that the true history of violence lies somewhere deep in the human psyche. It is such a fundamental aspect of who we are that it is as basic to our existence as sex, and so universal to the human condition that even a family can "accept it," its consequences and move on. The movie ties violence vividly to the instinctual reality of sexuality and its passion; especially as is revealed in the life of the teen son. Violence dwells within him but he chooses to remain a "virgin," not acting on its impulse for reasons of moral values and fear until "peer pressure" forces him to drop his defense mechanisms and beat the "alpha male" of at school to a pulp. Once he becomes Expand
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10
StephenF.Oct 16, 2005
Can You Ever Escape Your Past? By now, I would think that there is no need for a spoiler alert. In addition, the movie's title pretty much implies it's theme. David Cronenberg validates his stripes here by crafting an interesting, Can You Ever Escape Your Past? By now, I would think that there is no need for a spoiler alert. In addition, the movie's title pretty much implies it's theme. David Cronenberg validates his stripes here by crafting an interesting, non-predictable and insightful tale about violence, finding peace, and escaping one's past. The story not so much has twists than an unconventional, unexpected development of the events. It is captivating, with sporadic violence that thrills as well as turns your stomach. The only incongruity in the movie is the lightening speed killing machine Joey that Tom turns into. It is action that is more suitable to a James Bond or John Woo film than the drama/thriller here. Viggo Mortensen is nuanced, subtle and self-effacing as Tom/Joey, the man who finds peace and gentleness in his new life in a small, midwestern piece of Americana. Ed Harris and William Hurt gives interesting and substantial character performances as mobsters. The movie does not display pretensions. It tells an engrossing survival tale that ends with the shocking and seemingly impenetrable question of how does Tom escape his history of violence and recapture his peaceful life with his family? Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
SilverOct 16, 2005
I love complicated, artful character sketches and nuanced thematic narratives, but am completely stunned by the hysterical rejoicing of mainstream critics. Quoting another civilian metacritic, the acting was brutally wooden. The plot was I love complicated, artful character sketches and nuanced thematic narratives, but am completely stunned by the hysterical rejoicing of mainstream critics. Quoting another civilian metacritic, the acting was brutally wooden. The plot was silly and the arcs overcooked. William Hurt was terrible. The disconnect between audiences and corporate reviewers has never been more stark. Cronenberg's film is emblematic of that rift more than any film I've read about recently. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
dannyOct 17, 2005
I really dont understand the bad critism by some of the guys here . great movie.
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5
ShSchNov 7, 2005
[***SPOILERS***] This movie starts well and even mixes tension with some moral ambiguity. You have a diner owning father who appears to be an inexplicble natural killer and the "bad" guys who show up to say he's actually an ex-thug. This[***SPOILERS***] This movie starts well and even mixes tension with some moral ambiguity. You have a diner owning father who appears to be an inexplicble natural killer and the "bad" guys who show up to say he's actually an ex-thug. This leaves his wife & son and the locals quite puzzled. Parallel to this, his bullied high school son turns on his bullyer and puts him in the hospital. When there is a confrontation with the "bad" guys, you discover the "hero" is indeed an ex-thug and the son saves the day with a point-blank shotgun blast of death. At this point, the movie downplays the family issues and totally ignores the consequences of the son's actions. Instead, it degenerates into a pointless revenge flick with the "hero" returning to Philadelphia to settle a score with his brother. The murders of the brother and his gang are so over-the-top as to be laughable. In conclusion, I think the director started with a good drama but he let it devolve into a typical kill for fun film; a cheap imitation of Quentin Tarrentino. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
TracyB.Dec 21, 2005
Beautiful film- great acting by the leads.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
TalL.Dec 31, 2005
One of the best movies I've ever seen, up there with "Fargo" and "Eyes Wide Shut". It is graphically and shockingly violent, but it's a movie that puts you up against a mirror, and makes you think. It's a movie you remember. One of the best movies I've ever seen, up there with "Fargo" and "Eyes Wide Shut". It is graphically and shockingly violent, but it's a movie that puts you up against a mirror, and makes you think. It's a movie you remember. It's is a movie you come back to in your mind, wondering and obsessing how much of your reflection is driven by Cronenberg's crafty manipulation, and how much of it is really yours. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
KRectorOct 23, 2005
This is a terrible movie - the plot was unimaginably slow and there was useless sex. I can take subdued movies, but there was just god-awful.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
PJStempkyOct 24, 2005
I agree with Kurt S. The characters were funny because they were so one-dimensional. At first, I thought that the dialogue was intentionally bad, but then I realized it was by accident. The director seems really out of touch with emotion... I agree with Kurt S. The characters were funny because they were so one-dimensional. At first, I thought that the dialogue was intentionally bad, but then I realized it was by accident. The director seems really out of touch with emotion... like Kubric in Eyes Wide Shut. The bully was way over the top cliched. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
LindseyOct 25, 2005
Absolutely juvenile in the believability aspect but violent to an extreme. Just not believable in my humble opionion. And the ending was almost as bad as War Of The Worlds. Forgotten the minute you exit the theater.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
MattA.Dec 9, 2005
I agree completely with the Wall Street Journal and The New Republic's reviews. This movie was unbelievably predictable. There wasn't anything intriguing about the plot that kept me guessing or on the edge of my seat. It I agree completely with the Wall Street Journal and The New Republic's reviews. This movie was unbelievably predictable. There wasn't anything intriguing about the plot that kept me guessing or on the edge of my seat. It wasn't even the interesting social commentary on violence in our society that many people were prasing it as. The only real bright spots were the performances, all uniformally excellent but especially the two leads, Mortensen and Bello. They keep the movie from being a total disappointment. I just wish that I could ask SFHB: what are the curveballs? DId we see the same movie? Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
JakeS.Dec 9, 2005
Entertaining but not engrossing, masterful, artful, or ingenious like others have said. I have found a few lapses in plot and Mortensen's preformance was weak at best. I wouldn't bother watching this.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
MattH.Oct 31, 2005
I'm not going to say that everyone who disliked this film didn't get it, but it's darn close and the majority of negative comments posted here reflect in the competence of the reviewer, not the quality of the film. Best movie I'm not going to say that everyone who disliked this film didn't get it, but it's darn close and the majority of negative comments posted here reflect in the competence of the reviewer, not the quality of the film. Best movie of the year thus far, by far. A brilliant exploration of the perplexing relationship between human beings and their violent nature. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JaySep 23, 2005
Masterful compelling, unpredictable, intelligent, funny and of course violent with a purpose, this masterpiece of an art film diguising as a mainstream modern western dtamatic thriller is by far one if not the best film of the year, Viggo,Masterful compelling, unpredictable, intelligent, funny and of course violent with a purpose, this masterpiece of an art film diguising as a mainstream modern western dtamatic thriller is by far one if not the best film of the year, Viggo, Maria, Ed Harris William Hur, Cronenberg and the rest of the cast and crew should be proud of such contribution and collaboration of producing great art. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
jaket.Sep 28, 2005
Great movie...I just saw Broken Flowers and was bored to death by Bill Murray blankly staring at a television set for two hours. That was a pointless piece of garbage. This film is Broken Flower's foil. Although the movie gets a bit Great movie...I just saw Broken Flowers and was bored to death by Bill Murray blankly staring at a television set for two hours. That was a pointless piece of garbage. This film is Broken Flower's foil. Although the movie gets a bit strange midway, it all comes together in the end. I was suprised at how fast the plot was moving, but by the end of the movie, I realized that this was 97 minutes of pure entertainment. Superb acting (especially from William Hurt), and ingenious use of violence makes this film one of the year's best. If you are tired of Thumbsucker, Broken Flowers, Garden State and tired movies about middle aged men finding themselves in the midst of a midlige crisis, do yourself a favor and see this movie. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
lucas.Sep 29, 2005
Beautiful, disturbing, insanely multilayered story, pierce right through the heart of the effect of violence (perpetrated or undergoed) on "normal" people. Never backs down for a moment, never wimps out, but the violence (and there's Beautiful, disturbing, insanely multilayered story, pierce right through the heart of the effect of violence (perpetrated or undergoed) on "normal" people. Never backs down for a moment, never wimps out, but the violence (and there's some very bloody moment) is not the "cool" variant seen in about one million movies since "Reservoir Dogs" - it's swift, merciless, scary. Outstanding performance from everyone involved (Cronenberg confirm his status as the best director of actors around), and I appreciated immensely the lack of any visual pretension - there's plenty of style here, but it's all about the substance. Don't dare to miss this one! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
EonOct 15, 2006
Some user wrote "Is Pulp Fiction, or Terminator great for it
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6
JustinK.Jan 29, 2006
Another overrated films. It's good, but great--No. Not worthy of any Oscar recognition in any categories other than Maria Bello for her wonderful performance.
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4
BobM.Feb 16, 2006
very disappointing given the critics' reviews. second rate thriller and very predictable.
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6
DanC.Mar 16, 2006
Unsatisfying and strange, at times the writing, dialogue, and even acting are weak. I'm a fan of all the main actors and expected to really like this film, but instead found it off-putting and so peculiar that I had trouble becoming Unsatisfying and strange, at times the writing, dialogue, and even acting are weak. I'm a fan of all the main actors and expected to really like this film, but instead found it off-putting and so peculiar that I had trouble becoming emotionally involved in what should have been a very compelling story. Much of what the main character does in reaction to events makes little sense. The son is badly miscast (not because he's a bad actor, but because he's too tall and obviously athletic to be the target of a high school bully in the real world). The professional critics seem to all love this one, but based on the overall user rating, it doesn't work nearly as well for real filmgoers. I agree. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
CarlaW.Mar 17, 2006
I will watch this movie once more to remind myself that I'm not sophisticated or smart because it was the worst movie that I've seen all year. It beat out two of my least liked movies, Junebug and Gods and Generals.
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10
CablesMar 18, 2006
I'm absolutely amazed at some of the comments that people are writing about this wonderful film. You thought it was too violent? Here's an idea... If you dont want to see a movie with graphic violence then maybe you shouldnt go I'm absolutely amazed at some of the comments that people are writing about this wonderful film. You thought it was too violent? Here's an idea... If you dont want to see a movie with graphic violence then maybe you shouldnt go see, "A History of Violence". Doesn't the title pretty much tell you what your getting into? Expand
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8
RussellS.Mar 21, 2006
A blistering, Jekyll & Hyde self-examination into the duality and casual savagery that permeates every aspect of life in the good ole' USA. Not to make a mockery of our day-to-day, but bring into closer view those ties that bind can A blistering, Jekyll & Hyde self-examination into the duality and casual savagery that permeates every aspect of life in the good ole' USA. Not to make a mockery of our day-to-day, but bring into closer view those ties that bind can also explode in happenstance. The enemy and terror is not some turbaned, robed desert ghost, but we in our permissive tolerance of weapons and their use as the necessary tools of the layman. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
JeremyW.Mar 29, 2006
Possibly one of the most poorly acted and scripted movies I've seen in the last few years...and I've seen plenty. There is not chemistry whatsoever between actors... The acting is atrocious at times and just plain funny at others. Possibly one of the most poorly acted and scripted movies I've seen in the last few years...and I've seen plenty. There is not chemistry whatsoever between actors... The acting is atrocious at times and just plain funny at others. I found myself laughing at moments of suspense because of the acting. The script was very poorly done with plenty of plot holes and uncomfortable lines that didn't even remotely fit the moment or situation. Avoid this movie. The pro critics definately dropped the ball on this one. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
BoboS.Apr 19, 2006
I like virtually any and all gangster/crime/thriller/suspense films from every country in the world. I'm not very picky. I love all the B movies, too. I don't ask for much. This is simply the single most overrated, uninspired, I like virtually any and all gangster/crime/thriller/suspense films from every country in the world. I'm not very picky. I love all the B movies, too. I don't ask for much. This is simply the single most overrated, uninspired, insipid excuse for a movie I have ever seen. Clearly, powerful directors continue to have considerable sway over critics, which must be why Spielberg, Cronenberg, etc. get reviews totally unrelated to the merit of their work. This movie is an embarrassment to everyone in it. But don't blame the actors - with a story that is told and finished in the first 10 minutes and some of the silliest dialogue and pretentious sex scenes I have ever seen, it's not their fault, except that they took the parts presumably after reading the script (which I imagine was about three pages long). Expand
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10
J.YoungApr 28, 2006
I think A History of Violence will in time be recognized as the best film of 2005. For me, Spider was Cronenberg's first really adult movie, but with this film he has arrived as simply the best director working today; here he takes a I think A History of Violence will in time be recognized as the best film of 2005. For me, Spider was Cronenberg's first really adult movie, but with this film he has arrived as simply the best director working today; here he takes a comic book and manages to make a film that is somehow more topical than either Brokeback or Crash were. I left the theater haunted by this film in much the same way as Raging Bull had blown my mind 25 years ago (another masterpiece that didn't win the Oscar). Note, I have seen a lot of violent movies, but this film shocked me with a realism I didn't expect. What is more, the violence was not the point of the film either, despite the title. My wife thought the gangster characters were too over the top to believe; having lived in Philly and encountered real gangsters myself; I thought they were dead on. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
JamesD.Aug 29, 2006
The critics were way off on this one. Pretty much a terrible disapointment. It starts off like its going somewhere, making paralells between a few subplots, and as you think they are about to come together and cohere into an insightful The critics were way off on this one. Pretty much a terrible disapointment. It starts off like its going somewhere, making paralells between a few subplots, and as you think they are about to come together and cohere into an insightful social comentary, it takes a catastrophic nose dive and turns into a laughable revenge movie, devoid of any meaning. To add to it, the quality of the acting seems to dwindle at the same point, topping it off with William Hur'ts worst performance. Ed Harris was good, and I managed to sort of enjoy the awkward sex scenes and Chuck-Noresque fights at the end, mainly by laughing at them, but it was pretty much a waste of time. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
WalterF.Dec 19, 2007
I hope to see more of Viggo. He is in my opinion ,a brilliant actor. His moves to save his life were spectacular and could pass for a modern day "Achilles".
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
chrisrosicaDec 27, 2007
i agree with many others - this movie was horrible and laughable
examples - 1. gym class scene in the locker room - was this relevant to anything
2. the teenage actor -and whole storyline - i laughed several times 3. the sex scene on
i agree with many others - this movie was horrible and laughable
examples - 1. gym class scene in the locker room - was this relevant to anything

2. the teenage actor -and whole storyline - i laughed several times

3. the sex scene on the stairs
4. william hurt gangster acting
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0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
StevenB.Jan 16, 2008
WTF!!! This was honestly the worst movie I have ever seen. I almost walked out. Its like a made for HBO movie from 84. The critics are all bought and paid for.
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6
LK.Apr 11, 2008
This movie kept me entertained, yet it was predictable and had little message. The acting was good, the plot nothing special.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
clNov 11, 2005
Disturbing, an exceptionally well written and well acted piece. The end is quite disconcerting. Although predictable; it was intensely portrayed - an excellent character study.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
PrintninjaNov 16, 2005
Predictable story, unerotic sex scenes, unemotional characters, unengaging plot, unplausible "historical" motivations, "violence" limited mainly to a few rediculous fight scenes (hey, at least they didn't use wires.) Basically a lot of Predictable story, unerotic sex scenes, unemotional characters, unengaging plot, unplausible "historical" motivations, "violence" limited mainly to a few rediculous fight scenes (hey, at least they didn't use wires.) Basically a lot of character types we've seen before, doing things far less effectively then their predecessors. The last 20 minutes, (which by that time has you praying for some sort of payday for all your patience), is so contrived it is barely watchable. The ending is so insipid you may burst our laughing (I did - no doubt to stop myself from screaming.) Summary: Uniquely unoriginal. Stay home. You've seen it all before, done better, in better movies. *The 2 (rather then 1) is for the Cronenburg gore we've all come to know and love. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
VincentV.Nov 18, 2005
I wouldn't listen to those who give it horrid reviews. The truth is, this was a great, well written film.
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10
frankb.Nov 24, 2005
Excellent.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
AnonymousMCDec 14, 2005
As you can tell I did not enjoy this movie. I was not expecting a "cinematic bloodbath" and thus was neither shocked nor disappointed with the films amount of violence. That being said, I did not find the violence to be in any wayAs you can tell I did not enjoy this movie. I was not expecting a "cinematic bloodbath" and thus was neither shocked nor disappointed with the films amount of violence. That being said, I did not find the violence to be in any way referential to a predominant cultural perception of violence. If it was a stunning and subtle commentary on society, I would like to know what comment it was attempting to convey. That violence is inevitable because people will simply take advantage of you otherwise? Indeed, one could say that Mortenson was goaded into violence by his past, but once he received the initial impetus he lashed out at both his wife and his son making a compelling argument against his ability to confine his violent tendencies to a mere defensive stance. Or perhaps the message was: kill them before they kill you and then gon on with your life as if murder meant nothing. What a compelling and subtle way to cheapen the value of life by; presenting that those who are against you are expendable. One hardly feels any sympathy, however, for a man whose alleged attempts to start a new life is based upon lies and denial. Of course, most of the characters were predicated on stupidity; instead of perhaps catching a ride with one of his many acquaintances in town or perhaps using that thing they call a phone, "Tom" limps his whole way home. Rather than calling the police, the family stands around and waits for the bad guys to come get them at the big show-down between Mortenson and Harris. The mafia is apparently confined to one household. Tom throws his gun in the lake that is RIGHT NEXT TO THE MANSION after killing "the mafia". And of course all of these unfolded in a stale and predictable plotline (hm, I wonder if he's telling the truth? but not really. and yeah, this is the first time we've seen the kid whose picked on at school retaliate and come out on top). And then there is the dialogue. I admit, I would have upped my score if at the part where his brother says "So you like that? Living on a farm, milking cows and shit?" if Tom/Joey had turned and deadpanned "No. We don't milk the shit". But no, the dialogue was not understated, it was lacking in both emotion and content.
I have no problem with people who might have seen something in this movie that I didn't see. But I would ask them to cite because I just don't understand!
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0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
PDignamDec 29, 2005
Excellent movie.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
DavidSNov 13, 2006
One of the worst movies I have ever seen. Simply a collosal disappointment. The acclaim heaped upon this movie by critics proves one thing: critics are shallow, simple-minded followers who are utterly devoid of creativity and unable to think One of the worst movies I have ever seen. Simply a collosal disappointment. The acclaim heaped upon this movie by critics proves one thing: critics are shallow, simple-minded followers who are utterly devoid of creativity and unable to think for themselves. It's too bad someone could not have spoken out against this movie earlier, before we all wasted our money and 96 minutes of our lives watching it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
LSDec 28, 2006
Extremely painful to watch. Boring; unbelievable; terrible dialog. HATED it. I am beyond shocked that the critics were sucked in by this crap.
0 of 0 users found this helpful