A History of Violence

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7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 659 Ratings

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  1. Jul 19, 2013
    6
    I wonder how a movie can go from suspenseful and absorbing to seemingly worthless and uneventful. By the end, the storyline was pathetically simplistic. I hated the ending. It was as if everything that kept me entertained disappeared and was replaced by some peculiar straightforward garbage. However, that shouldn't diminish the fact that the majority of the film was very solid.
  2. Jan 6, 2013
    6
    A History of Violence has it's plus points (a good story, some cool over-the-top murder action and some kinky sex) but they're offset by some ham-fisted scripting, flat direction and too many sub-plots that don't come together. The movie ends up being decent entertainment but still feels somewhat half-baked.
  3. Apr 2, 2014
    5
    A history of violence was the first movie ever that i realized that a one and a half hour movie can be painfully long.
    i was completely shocked by the overall terrible performances, even from Viggo Mortensen and i was shocked again when i knew that William Hurt was nominated for an academy award for his terrible awkward performance, and what made it worst is the directing.
    Yes the
    A history of violence was the first movie ever that i realized that a one and a half hour movie can be painfully long.
    i was completely shocked by the overall terrible performances, even from Viggo Mortensen and i was shocked again when i knew that William Hurt was nominated for an academy award for his terrible awkward performance, and what made it worst is the directing.
    Yes the directing was terrible coming from the director of Eastern promises. from the first 5 minutes i realized that the movie was slow, and i was kinda hoping for it to be like a cool directorial thingy, but it's not, it kept going like this making the movie painful to watch.
    i just seen Eastern promises and i really liked it, Viggo Mortensen character was dark and the story had depth but here, we have a shallow character that just playing awkward to the point that even the connection between family members were awkward and unreal, i mean come on, a teenage boy kiss his mother good morning every day seriously ?
    and i'm not against nudity in films but the wife coming out of the bathroom completely naked was pointless and stupid, it was like "hey, we can do this and that" and the sex scene on the stairs was awkward, i genuinely felt that i was watching a movie by M. Night Shyamalan.
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  4. Nov 22, 2012
    5
    Was this a bad film? Not at all. Was this a great film? Not at all. Was this an ok film? Yes. A History Of Violence is just a so-so film. There are things that I really enjoyed about the film. However, I had a problems. I had a unfulfilled feeling in me watching this movie. I kept on expecting moments of greatness. There were several parts in this film that just lead you on, and theWas this a bad film? Not at all. Was this a great film? Not at all. Was this an ok film? Yes. A History Of Violence is just a so-so film. There are things that I really enjoyed about the film. However, I had a problems. I had a unfulfilled feeling in me watching this movie. I kept on expecting moments of greatness. There were several parts in this film that just lead you on, and the second you think something big is going to happen....... nothing happens. There is all this tension and conflict in the characters, but I feel so unfulfilled by the end of the flick. I really wanted it to expand on several plot points. I felt like I watched the beginning and the middle of the film. It was as if there was something else in store, but it wasn't shown. Now the title does live up to the film. There is much violence in this film, but the violence is not as interesting as many other great films. Watch this film if you want to. Watch it if you don't. Like I said, its not the worst or the best film. It is just ok. Expand
  5. Jul 24, 2015
    6
    Great start to the movie through the first hour and then the last 30 minutes got kind of wacky and the personality of the main character did a 180. Overall a good movie, but surprised the critics rated it so highly.
  6. KC
    Oct 3, 2005
    6
    The bad acting, unbelievable circumstances, strange soundstage work, and predictable story make this just a watered down Cronenberg flick without anything strange to keep it interesting. Cronenberg's flicks often play out like a series of disjointed events, and this one is no different. Too bad that style doesn't play to this type of movie as it does to the excellent (and The bad acting, unbelievable circumstances, strange soundstage work, and predictable story make this just a watered down Cronenberg flick without anything strange to keep it interesting. Cronenberg's flicks often play out like a series of disjointed events, and this one is no different. Too bad that style doesn't play to this type of movie as it does to the excellent (and disturbing) Dead Ringers. I actually winced at the bad acting in "A History of Violence". Expand
  7. MarcR.
    Oct 1, 2005
    5
    I don't get to the theater as much anymore, but when I do I want my precious time, not to mention almost ten bucks a ticket, to be worth it. So I check out what the critics and others are saying and try to give the pros their respect and the benefit of the doubt. But every time I pass up a movie rated poorly for one that is critically acclaimed I wind up sitting there wishing I went I don't get to the theater as much anymore, but when I do I want my precious time, not to mention almost ten bucks a ticket, to be worth it. So I check out what the critics and others are saying and try to give the pros their respect and the benefit of the doubt. But every time I pass up a movie rated poorly for one that is critically acclaimed I wind up sitting there wishing I went to see the movie all the critics panned. This movie was slow, unevenly directed, cinematically washed out, predictable and ultimately not very entertaining. Next time I go to the movies I'm going to skip the due diligence and ignore the critics until after I've seen it. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised and get my money's worth. Expand
  8. BradB.
    Oct 17, 2005
    4
    Croenenberg's direction is uneven, slow, and prodding....he gets very little out of his actors, especially the five year old girl. William Hurt was miscast as Joey's "Philly" brother. D - movie from a B list director.
  9. KristinaE.
    Oct 2, 2005
    5
    Bad. Boring. Repetitve. Bland. Unconvincing. Comic book and dramatic script at wrong times. Emotions were toyed with. Very drawn out, contained not much more than an exact replica of the trailer. Funny, to the point W.Hurt = A.
  10. RobT.
    Oct 3, 2005
    5
    The story was not very interesting especially once the plot unfolded. Ed Harris, William Hurt, and Mario Bello did a great job acting; the others were below average probably due to the inconsistency of how their characters developed. Final thought: A disappointing film that was loaded with potential.
  11. PhilM
    Oct 9, 2005
    5
    It was OK. Entertaining but not the "great" movie the critics make it out to be. A little predictable and light on substance. More of a renter, don't pay full price to see it.
  12. JoeyT.
    Mar 20, 2006
    6
    Because of the rave reviews by the critics I was expecting more. The movie is entertaining but had little to offer in the way of story. The acting is good but you won't be moved by any of the performances. All in all I was midly dissapointed.
  13. rostokova
    Oct 10, 2005
    5
    A History of Violence is a simple film whos deadpan delivery, extreme violence and sexual aggression have elevated its critical status. The setup is simple and tailored to character development rather than narrative revelation, yet little depth in character is accrued during the film's course. Despite a fine performance by Viggo Mortensen, the script is far too spare in its treatment A History of Violence is a simple film whos deadpan delivery, extreme violence and sexual aggression have elevated its critical status. The setup is simple and tailored to character development rather than narrative revelation, yet little depth in character is accrued during the film's course. Despite a fine performance by Viggo Mortensen, the script is far too spare in its treatment of his character, and lacks the psychogical tension and unease of Cronenberg's excellent Dead Ringers. The central implication that man can't change his nature, only suppress it, is explored superficially and mostly for gratification. Equally the ending's suggestion that violence may often be integral to the creation of the American dream is certainly subversive, but warrants further examination, rather than genre neatness. Blue Velvet also showed there was something dark beyond the picket fence; but it was assured, poetic and contained a subconscious as well as visceral threat. In comparison 'History' seems slight and hollow, its deadpan, off-beat delivery just a distraction from its vacuity. Expand
  14. GlenF
    Oct 2, 2005
    6
    The violence is fun but the acting is laughable at times. Very surprised at the praise this movie recieved. It's also very predictable.
  15. JohnS
    Oct 5, 2005
    5
    I have come to trust the MetaCritic Ratings as amazingly reliable. But I have to say that this movie, while entertaining, was flawed on so many levels. The formula that it was trying to achieve was very transparent, but it only occasionally succeed at making it work. Watch it from the perspective of the relationships. Few of them had any authenticity to them at all. Watch it from the I have come to trust the MetaCritic Ratings as amazingly reliable. But I have to say that this movie, while entertaining, was flawed on so many levels. The formula that it was trying to achieve was very transparent, but it only occasionally succeed at making it work. Watch it from the perspective of the relationships. Few of them had any authenticity to them at all. Watch it from the perspective of logic, a guy who has committed himself to a new life is not going to put his life in danger like that. The movie almost counts on viewers assuming that people actually think and act like they do on TV to make it work. Well crafted, but hollow and contrived. Expand
  16. ErikB.
    Oct 6, 2005
    4
    Awesome violent action scenes. Crap downtimes. I love how we spent 10 minutes at the beginning getting to know the bad guys who got killed in about 15 seconds.
  17. walterc.
    Oct 8, 2005
    4
    Film had great potential for the first 1/2, but got sappy afer that including a number of unnintended laughs from the audience. Some great acting out of Hurt and Harris, but not enough to bouy the rest of the film.
  18. Chuck76
    Sep 27, 2005
    6
    I'm really surprised at the ratings this film is getting, I thought the acting was terrible at times and the plot as thin a cigarette paper. One of thoses movies you'll look back on and think "it wasn't that good actually". Very average.
  19. Darkmage
    Jan 13, 2006
    4
    This movie is actually quite good. The reason for my low rating is the critical acclaim that the movie is receiving. I'm sorry -- everyone is asking what caused the Hollywood slump in 2006 -- maybe it is because a movie such as this one is touted as having such a ingenuis plot. A grade 5 student could have come up with this storyline! If this is what the critics think is a A-1 movie, This movie is actually quite good. The reason for my low rating is the critical acclaim that the movie is receiving. I'm sorry -- everyone is asking what caused the Hollywood slump in 2006 -- maybe it is because a movie such as this one is touted as having such a ingenuis plot. A grade 5 student could have come up with this storyline! If this is what the critics think is a A-1 movie, you have your answer as to the sorry state of the movie industry. Expand
  20. JamesB.
    Mar 10, 2006
    4
    Awful Rendition Of A Awesome Graphic Novel, The Only Thing I Liked About This Movie Was The No Holds Barred Violence That Ensues. Other Than That Don't Waste Your Time With This Movie Read The Book Instead.
  21. MarkP.
    Apr 23, 2006
    4
    I too am astonished at how well this movie was received by critics, especially since I typically favour critical darlings. Moreover, I am astonished that many user comments found herein have unreservedly proclaimed this movie a "masterpiece." Frankly, to those of you who have accused the individuals who responded poorly to this movie as
  22. ErwinK.
    Apr 20, 2006
    6
    Overrated. I agree with most of the previous user comments. It is well acted and directed, but the story is weak. There is one plot twist near the beginning, which is already given away in the title of the movie anyway. And that's about it. There is no pay-off of another plot twist at the end of the movie. That's it. Nothing special.
  23. TonyB.
    Aug 1, 2006
    5
    This often extremely slow-moving and sometimes outright boring film has to be one of the more overrated ones of 2005. Its excellent acting by all concerned is its only significant merit. Despite the gushing of many critics who should know better, there is definitely less here than meets the eye.

    P.S. I wish Ruth R would share with us the tiny innuendo that obviously had such a great
    This often extremely slow-moving and sometimes outright boring film has to be one of the more overrated ones of 2005. Its excellent acting by all concerned is its only significant merit. Despite the gushing of many critics who should know better, there is definitely less here than meets the eye.

    P.S. I wish Ruth R would share with us the tiny innuendo that obviously had such a great effect on her.
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  24. Riren
    Feb 3, 2007
    4
    This movie makes no statement about violence in our culture. Our "hero" discovers one day that he's very good at killing people and that he has some ties to a vicious and vague mob/mafia. How could he not know such things about himself? The eventual explanation is pathetic. As we wait for the reveal, with minimal suspense or intrigue along the way, there is an overgrown subplot about This movie makes no statement about violence in our culture. Our "hero" discovers one day that he's very good at killing people and that he has some ties to a vicious and vague mob/mafia. How could he not know such things about himself? The eventual explanation is pathetic. As we wait for the reveal, with minimal suspense or intrigue along the way, there is an overgrown subplot about his son's aptitude for violence, which is promptly dropped after putting us through a terrible and cliched roll of high school angst. It is not resolved midway through the movie; it is forgotten. None of the characters are fully realized, and most don't pass one dimension. Every attempt at two-dimensional characters is forced. The movie has good actors who make a handful of the scenes quite entertaining, but there is nothing else worthwhile in it. It's a movie that banks on its premise, then fails to deliver, and never develops a plot; instead, it throws disjointed scenes at you. Worse still, while it doesn't develop a plot, it is uncomfortably boring. Movies based on superheroes understand storytelling far better than this grittier graphic novel joint. Expand
  25. SusanM.
    Oct 11, 2005
    5
    I am disappointed in this movie...I thought I was really going to like it but actually it didn't move me at all. I don't HATE it, and I don't LOVE it. It was just another movie, forgettable at best. I give it a 5 because that's a very neutral score and I am feeling very neutral about it.
  26. DanT.
    Oct 13, 2005
    5
    I'm a huge Cronenberg fan. I've enjoyed multiple viewings of all his films, but this time . . . The plot line does not serve the film's own themes. Cronenberg in interviews point to 3 ways to read "history of violence" : "(1) a man with a long history of violence; (2) the historical use of violence as a means of settling disputes, and (3) the innate violence of Darwinian I'm a huge Cronenberg fan. I've enjoyed multiple viewings of all his films, but this time . . . The plot line does not serve the film's own themes. Cronenberg in interviews point to 3 ways to read "history of violence" : "(1) a man with a long history of violence; (2) the historical use of violence as a means of settling disputes, and (3) the innate violence of Darwinian evolution." This is great, but I didn't see this film as the most effective way to explore these themes. --- And William Hurt sucked. Expand
  27. Tbush
    Nov 6, 2005
    5
    I really wanted to like this movie more than I did...HONEST! It just didn't generate much in the way of excitement and was pretty predictable after about the first ten minutes. The characters were flat and unlikeable and, while I do enjoy a little boobage now and again, the sex scenes were more than a little stomach churning. I give it a '5' which I think is pretty fair.
  28. Atkinson
    Oct 17, 2005
    6
    Spot on design, well shot and adequate to good performances, but the movie never sold me on the characters' internal conflict. Going into the movie, I didn't know much at all about the plot. But after the initial confrontation in the diner, I could see the path laid out before us; Tom was going to have to confront the past he tried so hard to put behind him; his wife would Spot on design, well shot and adequate to good performances, but the movie never sold me on the characters' internal conflict. Going into the movie, I didn't know much at all about the plot. But after the initial confrontation in the diner, I could see the path laid out before us; Tom was going to have to confront the past he tried so hard to put behind him; his wife would reluctantly succumb to the love for the man he'd become; and his teenage son would rebell but ultimately respect his father for what he had to do. In all, the plot seemed too contrived with the stereotypical conflicts you would expect from a past-that's-come-back-to-haunt-you story. Expand
  29. MichaelD.
    Oct 2, 2005
    6
    Hugely overblown. It has a great story but it develops far too quickly and nonsensically. Nothing is natural or real in the dialogue. Cliches abound. I believe it tries to be too many things. For example, it seems like an unhappy marriage of an earthly thriller and a "Kill Bill"-style thriller, that leaves you feeling detached from either aspect. Still, interesting and worth the rental.
  30. Alex
    Oct 20, 2005
    5
    This movie does have so much potential. The plot was very slow to develop and in the end it seemed lacking. They could have done soo much more with it; some flashbacks or something, please! It did have some really good fight scenes, but they were too few and far between. It has some good acting, and some very interesting characters, despite being severly underdeveloped. The weakest This movie does have so much potential. The plot was very slow to develop and in the end it seemed lacking. They could have done soo much more with it; some flashbacks or something, please! It did have some really good fight scenes, but they were too few and far between. It has some good acting, and some very interesting characters, despite being severly underdeveloped. The weakest character being the high school "bully". I would not call this a "bad" movie, although its miles away from a "good" movie. Dont waste your time going to the theaters, catch it on DVD. Expand
  31. JulienC.
    Oct 23, 2005
    5
    Very disappointing, I just love Viggo and I can't believe he is part of this flat story. I was expecting a real interesting story about our society's issues and it turns into a hollywood recipe... don't go thiere if you like smart movies.
  32. MartinX.
    Oct 3, 2005
    5
    Interesting premise, but a huge disappointment. The themes and questions that arise are not dealt with in any substantive way. While many scenes are vibrant, many others seem plucked from an after school special. The teenagers are laughably bad. Has Cronenberg been to a high school recently? Ever? Cronenberg has demonstrated a perverse sense of humor in teh past. I can't help but Interesting premise, but a huge disappointment. The themes and questions that arise are not dealt with in any substantive way. While many scenes are vibrant, many others seem plucked from an after school special. The teenagers are laughably bad. Has Cronenberg been to a high school recently? Ever? Cronenberg has demonstrated a perverse sense of humor in teh past. I can't help but wonder if he's secretly laughing at people who take this film seriously. Expand
  33. JohnL.
    Oct 3, 2005
    5
    This clunky script is much ado about nothing. The themes aren't explored at all. The pacing is uneven and the villains are inept and silly. Was Maria Bello's character supposed to be an attorney? Sure didn't act with much wisdom or decisiveness. And the teenaged son's subplot was laughably cliche and contrived. This film reminded me of A SIMPLE PLAN, another overrated, This clunky script is much ado about nothing. The themes aren't explored at all. The pacing is uneven and the villains are inept and silly. Was Maria Bello's character supposed to be an attorney? Sure didn't act with much wisdom or decisiveness. And the teenaged son's subplot was laughably cliche and contrived. This film reminded me of A SIMPLE PLAN, another overrated, tedious exercise in small town exposure to 'big city violence.' Ho hum. Expand
  34. RichardG.
    Oct 3, 2005
    4
    The critics are way off on this movie.... Its only critically acclaimed because it has a strange ending and because it was so gorey. It is not a very good movie. The acting was TERRIBLE. The leading female actress overacted in every scene. No one gets to understand why the characters are so obtuse, and maybe we shouldnt, maybe its a part of the "art" of it, but at least give us a good The critics are way off on this movie.... Its only critically acclaimed because it has a strange ending and because it was so gorey. It is not a very good movie. The acting was TERRIBLE. The leading female actress overacted in every scene. No one gets to understand why the characters are so obtuse, and maybe we shouldnt, maybe its a part of the "art" of it, but at least give us a good package, some good camera work, and some good acting, and dialogue. Not a very good movie for actually movie goers Expand
  35. DeerkC
    Oct 4, 2005
    4
    This movie is critically over-rated. It's somewhat well acted, but oddly paced, at times inconsistant, annoying and, worse, outright dull. It's a plodding, pointless affair, with little in the way of intrigue or mystery, and what 'plot' there is to weave the scenes together is predictable, and uninteresting. Eventually becomes typical action-movie fair, but without the This movie is critically over-rated. It's somewhat well acted, but oddly paced, at times inconsistant, annoying and, worse, outright dull. It's a plodding, pointless affair, with little in the way of intrigue or mystery, and what 'plot' there is to weave the scenes together is predictable, and uninteresting. Eventually becomes typical action-movie fair, but without the budget or effects. It's ultimately pointless, people die, but nothing really changes. This movie is not in the least entertaining. Save your dollars. Expand
  36. pacowe
    Oct 5, 2005
    4
    I'm surprised at the positive reviews this film is garnering. I enjoyed the film somewhat, but only because I thought certain parts were intentionally humorous. The more I think about the overacting, the slow pace, the gratuitous sex scenes and the ultraviolence, the more I dislike the film.
  37. RoseS.
    Oct 5, 2005
    5
    Very disappointing dialog between the family members I expected more substance. The violence was handled very well. I was very disappointed. The ending???? it just comes full circle.
  38. Robk
    Oct 6, 2005
    4
    A suprisingly bad film. The film overall had a lack of directing, which is surprising since this film was directed by the same man who directed Crash. The acting needed to be so much more and the plot itself missed a few twists and turn that the story desperatly needed. I was looking forward to seeing this movie, but now that I've seen it I wish I'd never heard of A History of Violence.
  39. Monty
    Sep 24, 2005
    5
    Intriguing but ultimately pointless yarn - about a small-town family thrust into a cycle of violence - is elevated somewhat by solid cast and the assured hand of director David Cronenberg. Viggo Mortensen plays gentle family man, Tom Stahl, accused of leading a double life after he manages to overpower two killers who appear in his diner. Cronenberg, as usual, strives for profound themes Intriguing but ultimately pointless yarn - about a small-town family thrust into a cycle of violence - is elevated somewhat by solid cast and the assured hand of director David Cronenberg. Viggo Mortensen plays gentle family man, Tom Stahl, accused of leading a double life after he manages to overpower two killers who appear in his diner. Cronenberg, as usual, strives for profound themes but he never manages to get the plot or characters out of first gear. Expand
  40. ClintM.
    Mar 25, 2006
    6
    Not a bad movie by any means and definitely interesting to watch, but still wasn't quite all that I had hoped or expected.
  41. SteveA.
    Apr 21, 2006
    4
    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 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
  42. MiKE
    Apr 2, 2006
    4
    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.
  43. JenniferR
    May 11, 2006
    4
    [***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 [***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
  44. PatC.
    Jun 30, 2006
    6
    Slow to develop, builds up steam, then fades away spent. Some interesting subtleties, but mostly unsatisfying.
  45. Silver
    Oct 16, 2005
    5
    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. 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
  46. ShSch
    Nov 7, 2005
    5
    [***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.[***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
  47. MattA.
    Dec 9, 2005
    5
    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 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
  48. JakeS.
    Dec 9, 2005
    4
    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.
  49. JustinK.
    Jan 29, 2006
    6
    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.
  50. BobM.
    Feb 16, 2006
    4
    very disappointing given the critics' reviews. second rate thriller and very predictable.
  51. DanC.
    Mar 16, 2006
    6
    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 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
  52. LK.
    Apr 11, 2008
    6
    This movie kept me entertained, yet it was predictable and had little message. The acting was good, the plot nothing special.
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. 90
    Cronenberg holds up a mirror, but he leaves it up to us to recoil at what we see.
  2. Clever and fast-paced thriller.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    Lack of depth, complexity or strangeness make this a relatively routine entry for the director.