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7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 651 Ratings

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  1. Aug 25, 2014
    8
    A History of Violence is raw and compelling. This film will make you question everything, absolutely everything. And for good reason. By the end, you'll understand why Viggo Mortensen is much more than Aragorn.
  2. Jul 25, 2014
    8
    This one is definitely a slow burner, but the pay off is great and as a film, it is certainly something to marvel at. Firstly, the direction from David Cronenberg is great and as this was the first film of his I have seen, it certainly makes me want to continue going through his filmography. In terms of acting, Viggo Mortensen is great, as are Ed Harris and Maria Bello. The only actorThis one is definitely a slow burner, but the pay off is great and as a film, it is certainly something to marvel at. Firstly, the direction from David Cronenberg is great and as this was the first film of his I have seen, it certainly makes me want to continue going through his filmography. In terms of acting, Viggo Mortensen is great, as are Ed Harris and Maria Bello. The only actor whose performance was iffy was Ashton Holmes as Mortensen's son. He struggles at times, especially when on screen with heavyweights like Mortensen and Harris. In addition, the film is filled with tension. The film may be a slow burner and all, but once it kicks into high gear, things are very interesting thanks to these very well developed characters and their interpersonal relationships. While at the end of the day, this is a movie, everything felt very authentic and you really believed these people were who they said they were thanks to great writing, acting, and direction. The film has a smalltown feel as well, which is awesome. The violence is a tad graphic, but it never feels like it is too much, which is also a big plus for me personally. Overall, A History of Violence is a good film that really highlights what a thriller should be like. Expand
  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.
    Expand
  4. Mar 29, 2014
    8
    While exploring richly thematic ideas of harm, family, and the troubled past, David Cronenberg and the case of "A History Of Violence" ultimately craft a fantastically thought-provoking and thoroughly intriguing thriller.
  5. Jul 22, 2013
    9
    This is a top-notch film. It is paced very well and the story is great. I was continuously waiting for the next development to find exactly what was going on. Combine all of this with great acting and you've got something really good.
  6. 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.
  7. Jul 18, 2013
    2
    A History of Violence is not bad its disgraceful. The movie is made in such an uninteresting way with its poor dialogue, below average acting, and a pace that will leave you with a headache. The ending is predictable and frankly a joke.
  8. 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.
  9. 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. Collapse
  10. Nov 8, 2012
    10
    It is very rare that a film is so compelling that it keeps my eyes absolutely glued to the screen from its opening sequence to its final frame. Surely, A History of Violence is one of the great films of the decade.
  11. Dec 16, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie is incredible. The sudden bursts of extreme violence, the acting, the raw sex scenes, everything is top notch. The story amazes, and the ending at the dinner table is one of the most tense and thrilling scenes I've ever witnessed. Expand
  12. j30
    Nov 15, 2011
    9
    Fantastic performances all around, Viggo Mortensen is one of the best actors around today. There's no corny one-liners from the bad guys, it's all raw and violent. There's almost something poetic about it.
  13. Jul 15, 2011
    8
    The Cronenberg trademark gore SFX are here, but so too is a great drama, characters and a story. If it kicks off feeling a little too made-for-TV (a little too saccharine on the domestic bliss angle?) , it pays off later in the adrenaline rush of sudden, brutal realistic violence.
  14. Feb 8, 2011
    1
    It really does believe in itself. Really. Which is tragic, because it is a totally unnecessary and ridiculous mess that I am, to this day, ashamed to ever have seen. Most annoyingly of all, however, is how grossly overrated this sack of over-confident, half-hearted nonsense is. If you are into films, please do not listen to what you hear, and AVOID this film. Utterly shameful.
  15. Jan 3, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie is phenomenal: from the long take, no cutting opening to the incongruity of Ed Harris' car in the small town to Viggo experiencing a rebirth after having killed his brother, to the brilliant and wordless scene that closes the film, this movie is almost virtuoso beyond belief. This film is just about perfect. Expand
  16. Oct 22, 2010
    10
    Exciting, challenging, brilliant. A film that starts in on you hard--but slowly--giving you just one long chance (a monumental single shot sequence) to get up to speed and recognize that if you ever think the story is uneven, implausible, it's because YOU aren't getting it. It's a parable, a morality play, a electrically-fast hand-to-hand combat symphony, but above all, it's aboutExciting, challenging, brilliant. A film that starts in on you hard--but slowly--giving you just one long chance (a monumental single shot sequence) to get up to speed and recognize that if you ever think the story is uneven, implausible, it's because YOU aren't getting it. It's a parable, a morality play, a electrically-fast hand-to-hand combat symphony, but above all, it's about people's wishes to be good and peaceful until they are threatened, when they wish for a savior to step between their lives and the paradox of unsympathetic evil that cannot be dissuaded. If you have ever been in that situation, you know--but may not accept, or like yourself for it--you know that you would destroy that man that threatens you. But then, how to live? Many of us chose to live by avoiding the problem (and who wants to have it?) and therefore letting others destroy for us. This film reminds us: those others that destroy for us have faced the same choice, and come to a different conclusion: they will not avoid. Are they worse for helping us live? Have you watched bullying and done nothing? Have you not been involved? Have you risked yourself for me? If not, don't condemn me for helping you live. Expand
  17. Aug 21, 2010
    9
    Um ato de brutalidade pode desencadear inumeros outros, virar de cabeca para baixo uma comunidade tranquila, desestruturar uma familia inteira, tornar alguem irreconhecivel para si proprio e pelos seus entes queridos, enfim, estilhacar o american way of life. O impeto de violencia existe em nossos genes, como em qualquer outro animal â
  18. Aug 11, 2010
    10
    For as long as humanity has existed we have always been violent we may have not been created that way but somewhere down the line we found out that violence could save us or destroy us. It all depends on if we choose to use violence as a means of salvation or as a means of destruction in David Cronenberg's blunt yet very insightful film raises thought provoking and shocking questionsFor as long as humanity has existed we have always been violent we may have not been created that way but somewhere down the line we found out that violence could save us or destroy us. It all depends on if we choose to use violence as a means of salvation or as a means of destruction in David Cronenberg's blunt yet very insightful film raises thought provoking and shocking questions about the true nature of violence and how it can affect some and change others. how sometimes a single act of violence can make all the difference, how it can change who you are and turn you into a person you told yourself you would never be. This is the story of one man, the story of one family and the story of "A History of Violence". David Cronenberg's violent, brutal and extremely intelligent look into the nature of violence is nothing short of insightful, moving and at times shocking, shocking because it delivers a story so true and unflinchingly honest that turning away from the screen, turning away from the story would be near impossible. It is such a powerful and thought provoking film that just leaps out at you at every turn it shocks and amazes with its brutal violence, it's emotional and heartfelt story of family angst and how the past can sometimes catch up with you. Cronenberg know for his gory horror films and wigged out thrillers has created a stable film of right and wrong, good and evil, life and death. Cronenberg's "A History of Violence" is not a film for the squeamish or the faint of heart what it is a powerful film experiences that leaves you with a haunted and disturbed feeling making you wish you had not seen the film and at the same also making you feel glad you did. This film calls you to watch a film that needs you to watch it to see the darkness of one manâ Expand
  19. JoshT.
    Apr 16, 2010
    3
    At one point, Ed Harris says something like "You're trying to hard to be this other guy; it's painful to watch." I think that summed up most of the movie. There's a message there, and it's deep, no doubt, but morals don't need to be this horribly communicated. Utter junk - I can't believe the critical response this received.
  20. DavidS.
    Feb 15, 2010
    2
    This was hilarious. but that's not necessarily good. the final scene had me in tears almost. the highschool son subplot was so incredibly over the top. it was like leave it to beaver. oh man, and the gratuitous dress-up cheerleader sex at the beginning. classic. reviewers are bought and sold man. i can't believe this. seriously, only watch this movie if you just got some dank.
  21. RodericR.
    Jul 9, 2009
    9
    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 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
  22. Danny
    Dec 9, 2008
    2
    Pretty bad movie, expected a lot better from the initial critics responses. Could have been a TV movie alright. The family just seemed so fake, I couldn't relate with them. Overall I 'd avoid this movie.
  23. TazD.
    Oct 26, 2008
    1
    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.
  24. NK.
    Apr 19, 2008
    7
    Absorbing and well made. I agree with critic, it do agree with some critic it does not add any great understanding. I guess my expectations were incorrect.
  25. jaymorris
    Apr 16, 2008
    10
    The best film of the year, hands down. David Cronenberg's enthralling meditation on violence, and the duality of man's nature and his capacity to change, recalls Anthony Mann's Bend of the River. Mr. Cronenberg has found his James Stewart in Viggo Mortensen; his performance is absolutely mesmerizing. One hopes that this masterpiece launches more teamings of this supremelyThe best film of the year, hands down. David Cronenberg's enthralling meditation on violence, and the duality of man's nature and his capacity to change, recalls Anthony Mann's Bend of the River. Mr. Cronenberg has found his James Stewart in Viggo Mortensen; his performance is absolutely mesmerizing. One hopes that this masterpiece launches more teamings of this supremely accomplished director and his new leading man. Expand
  26. 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.
  27. JamesH.
    Feb 25, 2008
    0
    Boring dull film - you think something may happen then it just ends - absolute tosh.
  28. JenniferW
    Jan 22, 2008
    10
    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 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
  29. StevenB.
    Jan 16, 2008
    0
    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.
  30. IanC.
    Jan 16, 2008
    1
    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 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
  31. chrisrosica
    Dec 27, 2007
    2
    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
  32. WalterF.
    Dec 19, 2007
    10
    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".
  33. RaymondG
    Sep 6, 2007
    10
    Excellent, gripping film! Very complex and moving. Loved the performances of all the main characters, especially Viggo Mortensen's. His character's dilemma is related to that of Matt Damon's in "The Bourne Identity." Very taut and economical. I will remember it for a long time. Maria Bello and William Hurt also do wonderful jobs.
  34. KevinA
    Jul 17, 2007
    1
    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.
  35. SP.
    Jun 8, 2007
    0
    A History of Violence is, no holds barred, the worst movie I have ever seen. Every part of the movie (writing, directing, producing, camera angles, acting) appeared to have been fulfilled by the equivalent of a high school student attempting to complete his end-of-the-semester project the night before it was due. Case in point: The horrendous cheerleader love scene. Whoever wrote that A History of Violence is, no holds barred, the worst movie I have ever seen. Every part of the movie (writing, directing, producing, camera angles, acting) appeared to have been fulfilled by the equivalent of a high school student attempting to complete his end-of-the-semester project the night before it was due. Case in point: The horrendous cheerleader love scene. Whoever wrote that part of the script can feel slightly less bad about his lack of talent by comparing himself to the lumpen who shot the scene. Expand
  36. IH
    Jun 6, 2007
    2
    Oh God. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it scored 81 here. And so many 100s. Incredible. Personally, I think it's.. well... not crap, but pretty dran close. Sure, it might try to tell something about our culture and violence, but really, it does in an awfully painful way. The plot of this movie is about as predictable and uninteresting as it gets, bloody hell, first and Oh God. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it scored 81 here. And so many 100s. Incredible. Personally, I think it's.. well... not crap, but pretty dran close. Sure, it might try to tell something about our culture and violence, but really, it does in an awfully painful way. The plot of this movie is about as predictable and uninteresting as it gets, bloody hell, first and only time I saw it I guessed the ending within the first quarter of the film. And yes, terrible dialog, not that good acting (great actors though, just.. not in this movie), and it's terribly obvious it's only made to make money on the juicy violence. Hypo-bloody-critical, that's what it is. Expand
  37. NickA.
    Mar 27, 2007
    9
    Reading some of the reviews I'm beginning to wonder whether there are two versions of this film! This was a superb insight into marriage, betrayal, revenge and the darker side of the human spirit. It asks some interesting questions mainly just how much will we forgive for love, can we ever truly leave our past behind, can we be two people at the same time, and for parents practice Reading some of the reviews I'm beginning to wonder whether there are two versions of this film! This was a superb insight into marriage, betrayal, revenge and the darker side of the human spirit. It asks some interesting questions mainly just how much will we forgive for love, can we ever truly leave our past behind, can we be two people at the same time, and for parents practice what you preach! The inter-play between Mortensen and his wife is superb,perhaps the best scene is the understated last reel. So subtle but so brilliant. A great film and a major return to form by David Cronenberg. Expand
  38. PatT.
    Mar 21, 2007
    10
    I am generally appalled by the gratuitous violence of so many films these days, yet still I found myself drawn to the flawed protagonist. In spite of its brute force, this is a nuanced movie, with scenes of extreme violence juxtaposed with domestic scenes of calm beauty. Even the brass score adds energy and tension, and the ending was a nice touch as well, with its lack of resolution but I am generally appalled by the gratuitous violence of so many films these days, yet still I found myself drawn to the flawed protagonist. In spite of its brute force, this is a nuanced movie, with scenes of extreme violence juxtaposed with domestic scenes of calm beauty. Even the brass score adds energy and tension, and the ending was a nice touch as well, with its lack of resolution but hint of hope. Ultimately, this film appeals to that very basic human satisfaction of seeing the bullies, mobsters, and thrill killers of the world get their due at the hands of the underdog. Expand
  39. 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
  40. HalB.
    Dec 31, 2006
    7
    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 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
  41. LS
    Dec 28, 2006
    0
    Extremely painful to watch. Boring; unbelievable; terrible dialog. HATED it. I am beyond shocked that the critics were sucked in by this crap.
  42. JoshC
    Nov 20, 2006
    8
    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.
  43. DavidS
    Nov 13, 2006
    0
    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 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
  44. Davis
    Nov 13, 2006
    1
    Any acclaim hurled at this pathetically boring, overwraught, contrived movie is nothing more than an overreaching attempt to partake in the intellectual or artistic. The script is atrocious, with tremendously shallow dialogue and sub-stories that go nowhere and add nothing to the plot development. The sex scenes are contrived and forced. Viggo's acting is pretty convincing, and Ed Any acclaim hurled at this pathetically boring, overwraught, contrived movie is nothing more than an overreaching attempt to partake in the intellectual or artistic. The script is atrocious, with tremendously shallow dialogue and sub-stories that go nowhere and add nothing to the plot development. The sex scenes are contrived and forced. Viggo's acting is pretty convincing, and Ed Harris and William Hurt make the most of their cleche'd, ridiculously comical "villain" roles. But the supporting acting is flat and lifeless, and their characters lack any development whatsoever. This is probably one of the worst films I have ever seen. I put it right above "The Dukes of Hazzard", only because of the occasional interest scene of violence that prevented me from falling asleep. Expand
  45. Eon
    Oct 15, 2006
    3
    Some user wrote "Is Pulp Fiction, or Terminator great for it
  46. JamesD.
    Aug 29, 2006
    3
    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 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
  47. PJW.
    Aug 19, 2006
    2
    Awful. Easily the most lame portrayal of evolution and sociology of violence. Terrible script and horrible acting. Awful.
  48. David.S.
    Aug 4, 2006
    2
    Starts off great and goes nowhere from there. An unbelievable disapointment. All of the subplots were absolulely pointless. What the heck was the point of the son being bullied at school and the intense sex scenes with the wife. Neither had any place in this movie and no connection was ever made. The last straw was the poor ending. In summary another great concept sqaundered in a Starts off great and goes nowhere from there. An unbelievable disapointment. All of the subplots were absolulely pointless. What the heck was the point of the son being bullied at school and the intense sex scenes with the wife. Neither had any place in this movie and no connection was ever made. The last straw was the poor ending. In summary another great concept sqaundered in a meandering journey to nowhere. Shame on each and every critic who touted this movie so highly. These critics are an absolute disgrace to the public at large. Expand
  49. 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.
    Expand
  50. AaronS.
    Jul 24, 2006
    0
    You've got to be kidding. This is a dopey, unrealistic, wooden movie that thinks showing a few scalps blowing off makes it a dangerous, deep look at violence. That scene on the stairs or in the locker room. If you thought that was an insight into the human condition, or even marginal acting, you should stick to Scary Movie.
  51. RuthR.
    Jul 2, 2006
    10
    I loved the subtlety of the performances throughout this beautifully made movie, I loved the silences free from music which allowed the viewers to think and absorb, and I loved the main character who is essentially so much like the man I am married to, and I love that I picked up in that final scene the tiny innuendo that no one else has noticed nor agrees, upon second viewing, is there. I loved the subtlety of the performances throughout this beautifully made movie, I loved the silences free from music which allowed the viewers to think and absorb, and I loved the main character who is essentially so much like the man I am married to, and I love that I picked up in that final scene the tiny innuendo that no one else has noticed nor agrees, upon second viewing, is there. This bothers me not in the least. I know it was there. I saw it, I believe it, and I felt it every time I saw it - four times now. I could never be convinced otherwise, and the fact of it and my sure and certain knowledge of it, makes me feel just a tiny bit superior. There are few things in life that I ever feel superior about - I'm going to keep this one close to my heart and try never to forget it. Expand
  52. PatC.
    Jun 30, 2006
    6
    Slow to develop, builds up steam, then fades away spent. Some interesting subtleties, but mostly unsatisfying.
  53. KC
    Jun 21, 2006
    1
    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 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
  54. MichaelK.
    Jun 10, 2006
    10
    From what I understand, this movie was based on a graphic novel so it definitely has that comic book feel. Watch with an open mind and don't search for holes and you'll enjoy the film. I found myself caring about each character and at times I found the movie very tense. Be warned, both the sex and the violence are at 100%.
  55. LanceC.
    Jun 4, 2006
    2
    I am the kind of movie snob that usually agrees with critics, but I really dont see how this film got any acclaim whatsoever. It was downright boring. The dialogue was laughibly sophmoric and dumb - there is really no other way to say it. We are suppose to feel an affinity for this wierd Norman Rockwell take on small town life. The film starts out with an after school special bully thing I am the kind of movie snob that usually agrees with critics, but I really dont see how this film got any acclaim whatsoever. It was downright boring. The dialogue was laughibly sophmoric and dumb - there is really no other way to say it. We are suppose to feel an affinity for this wierd Norman Rockwell take on small town life. The film starts out with an after school special bully thing with the son. The resolution doesnt really make any sense - nor is there ever any tension. Expand
  56. BernardoS.
    Jun 2, 2006
    10
    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.
  57. JohnBbarton
    May 18, 2006
    9
    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 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 theI 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
  58. 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
  59. JonD.
    May 6, 2006
    8
    This movie was really really good. It was very different which is probably why so many people give it such a low rating. its either a love it or hate it movie. Let me say one thing GRAPHIC NOVEL. The violence is over the top because of this have you seen other graphic novel movies? Sin City perhaps or maybe Road To Perdistion ... the violence is over the top for a reason. That is why some This movie was really really good. It was very different which is probably why so many people give it such a low rating. its either a love it or hate it movie. Let me say one thing GRAPHIC NOVEL. The violence is over the top because of this have you seen other graphic novel movies? Sin City perhaps or maybe Road To Perdistion ... the violence is over the top for a reason. That is why some people dont understand it, because they dont know that its a graphic novel. The story is a little different as well and it probly wouldnt happen in real life but its not supposed to. Overall a very well done movie and most people will either love it or hate it. Expand
  60. S.Packard
    May 5, 2006
    8
    Is Pulp Fiction, or Terminator great for it
  61. J.Young
    Apr 28, 2006
    10
    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 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
  62. JonC.
    Apr 27, 2006
    10
    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 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
  63. EvanS
    Apr 26, 2006
    9
    "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."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
  64. 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
  65. Al
    Apr 23, 2006
    9
    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.
  66. 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
  67. PhengY.
    Apr 21, 2006
    0
    Truly repulsive and inane. My little brother can produce and direct a better movie of the same name if it were a contest. Am I missing something that the critics are seeing.
  68. 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.
  69. BoboS.
    Apr 19, 2006
    0
    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, 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
  70. CarolynB.
    Apr 16, 2006
    3
    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.
  71. VictoriaH.
    Apr 12, 2006
    0
    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.
  72. AaronH.
    Apr 10, 2006
    10
    I can not understand how anyone could watch this movie and give it a rating below a 7. I personally think it deserves a 10. One of the best movies Ive seen because it has a mainstream entertainment quality while also creating an undercurrent of dark and disturbing feeling about the consequences of violence and how a violent past is difficult to escape. I love this movie because it I can not understand how anyone could watch this movie and give it a rating below a 7. I personally think it deserves a 10. One of the best movies Ive seen because it has a mainstream entertainment quality while also creating an undercurrent of dark and disturbing feeling about the consequences of violence and how a violent past is difficult to escape. I love this movie because it entertained me while tapping my emotions and making me think about family, love, and the secrets we all hide. Expand
  73. Sam
    Apr 7, 2006
    9
    I thought this movie was excellently acted, directed and shot. Sure, if you just want mindless violence or cheap gags then steer clear. But if you're prepared to actually invest yourself in and engage with a film, pay attention off your own back instead of expecting it to do all the work for you then you'll find some amazing themes and thought-provoking angles. There are violent I thought this movie was excellently acted, directed and shot. Sure, if you just want mindless violence or cheap gags then steer clear. But if you're prepared to actually invest yourself in and engage with a film, pay attention off your own back instead of expecting it to do all the work for you then you'll find some amazing themes and thought-provoking angles. There are violent scenes in the film, but they serve a purpose rather than being arbitrary or superfluous, like in so many films. Expand
  74. TonyM.
    Apr 6, 2006
    10
    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 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
  75. IgnatzM.
    Apr 5, 2006
    8
    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 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
  76. B.V.
    Apr 4, 2006
    1
    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 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
  77. AdamSinger
    Apr 3, 2006
    10
    Brilliant.
  78. BradK.
    Apr 3, 2006
    3
    Awful acting. Trite story. Awkward script. The only redeeming factor is the visceral thrill of the violence, which only takes you so far. I have never disagreed more with the critics than on this one. The dialogue between the high school students deserves special mention for its gag-inducing powers.
  79. IanK.
    Apr 2, 2006
    1
    I promise, I am not exaggarating when I give this a rating of 1. I should actually give it a 0 because I believe it may possible be one of the worst movies I have -ever- seen (including TV movies), but I gave it a 1 figuring some people may appreciate the soft-core p orn and brief moments of violence. The action in this movie was sooo slow and more comical than intense. I rented this I promise, I am not exaggarating when I give this a rating of 1. I should actually give it a 0 because I believe it may possible be one of the worst movies I have -ever- seen (including TV movies), but I gave it a 1 figuring some people may appreciate the soft-core p orn and brief moments of violence. The action in this movie was sooo slow and more comical than intense. I rented this based upon the Critic Review rating on this site, and I am now convinced the Critics were paid off (and that more money went to the Critics than the budget). The only reason I even sat through more than half this movie was because I was expecting it to get better, or waiting for some incredible twist at the end to fulfill the Critic Rating. I'm being serious. If you don't believe me, watch this. Horrible acting, horrible directing, the most generic cliche script, slow, and the situations were impossible to believe in. Even the sets were impossible to believe, nothing felt or looked remotely real enough to engage in the movie. I encourage anyone to watch the movie if they want to see just how poor the critic rating can be on this website. Expand
  80. 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.
  81. Rizzo
    Mar 31, 2006
    1
    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.
  82. BarryW.
    Mar 31, 2006
    8
    Great Story. Fight scenes are nice and violent and a great performance from vigo.
  83. JeremyW.
    Mar 29, 2006
    1
    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 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
  84. WalkenM.
    Mar 27, 2006
    9
    In A History of Violence, Cronenberg sets out to criticize the very laziness responsible for the popular backlash against this incisive and compassionate film. Only those with no understanding of subtext could determine the film empty beyond its pointed exaggerations of American culture. Cronenberg problematizes the notion of redemption through brutality, ultimately questioning the In A History of Violence, Cronenberg sets out to criticize the very laziness responsible for the popular backlash against this incisive and compassionate film. Only those with no understanding of subtext could determine the film empty beyond its pointed exaggerations of American culture. Cronenberg problematizes the notion of redemption through brutality, ultimately questioning the stability of a society so willing to forgive, and even embrace, the notion of ends-justifying-means violence. Far beyond a purposeless condemnation, Cronenberg composes a cultural critique that does not insult our intelligence, exposing instead an establishing violence that indicts all civilized societies. A History of Violence Expand
  85. 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.
  86. LanceT.
    Mar 25, 2006
    9
    The subtle tones given off by this movie are brilliant. DC has held back his usual difficult to understand plot lines and given us a character driven Marvel. Although you know Tom has been a naughty boy, you want to see him do it again and again.
  87. RussellS.
    Mar 21, 2006
    8
    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 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
  88. JordanM.
    Mar 21, 2006
    7
    Man, narrowmindedness is a bad thing. But as always, some people hate things and some people love things. This movie, i felt was a much needed break from the norm of films today with a realistic feel and a great plot that made you interested in all the character's thoughts. Although the shootout scenes are short, they are VERY satisfying. Also, the ending is a bit unsatisfying, some Man, narrowmindedness is a bad thing. But as always, some people hate things and some people love things. This movie, i felt was a much needed break from the norm of films today with a realistic feel and a great plot that made you interested in all the character's thoughts. Although the shootout scenes are short, they are VERY satisfying. Also, the ending is a bit unsatisfying, some apologies were in order from him. Expand
  89. EvanS.
    Mar 20, 2006
    9
    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.
  90. IsabelC.
    Mar 20, 2006
    3
    I've seen worse so I can't give this film anything lower than a 3, but wow, what a disappointment. And I'm seeing the same comments from other reviewers - how could the professional reviewers have possibly liked this? It's actually a very silly and childish movie, filled with plot holes. Whoever wrote this understands nothing about psychology as the characters I've seen worse so I can't give this film anything lower than a 3, but wow, what a disappointment. And I'm seeing the same comments from other reviewers - how could the professional reviewers have possibly liked this? It's actually a very silly and childish movie, filled with plot holes. Whoever wrote this understands nothing about psychology as the characters reactions to events were preposterous. Parts of it were actually quite embarrassing. Not good. Expand
  91. MarcB.
    Mar 20, 2006
    9
    A great B movie that raises questions many A movies dont know how to raise. Stellar performances all around, especially from the two leads. A Norman Rockwell vision of America on the surface cant hide the kill em all, Faustian demons lurking beneath the surface. Cronenberg does an excellent job of making us mentally involved in the violence and with skillful editing and cinematography A great B movie that raises questions many A movies dont know how to raise. Stellar performances all around, especially from the two leads. A Norman Rockwell vision of America on the surface cant hide the kill em all, Faustian demons lurking beneath the surface. Cronenberg does an excellent job of making us mentally involved in the violence and with skillful editing and cinematography shows the act of violence with quick and brutal speed. Can a killer change? Old habits die hard. Expand
  92. 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.
  93. DaveF.
    Mar 19, 2006
    9
    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.
  94. DavidT.
    Mar 19, 2006
    8
    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. 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
  95. KiwiClay
    Mar 19, 2006
    2
    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.
  96. MikeP.
    Mar 19, 2006
    1
    The only "history" worth noting in this overrated, almost unbearable film is the 1 hour and forty minutes of mine I wasted watching it.
  97. c4logicC.
    Mar 19, 2006
    2
    The problem with this movie is that it is a comic book. The story is completely contrived. I can hear the hollywood pitch in 25 words or less. It hinges on a central improbable conceit, that someone who grew up in a dog eat dog culture can remake himself into his exact opposite. I just can't suspend my disbelief. Tom's skills are not the skills of Mob muscle, they are the skills The problem with this movie is that it is a comic book. The story is completely contrived. I can hear the hollywood pitch in 25 words or less. It hinges on a central improbable conceit, that someone who grew up in a dog eat dog culture can remake himself into his exact opposite. I just can't suspend my disbelief. Tom's skills are not the skills of Mob muscle, they are the skills of black ops, commandos, special forces, ninjas. The whole thing is an ill-conceived adolescent fantasy. I don't know what the critics were thinking! Expand
  98. Cables
    Mar 18, 2006
    10
    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?
  99. ChazG.
    Mar 17, 2006
    8
    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.
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.