Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 616 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Tom Stall is living a happy and quiet life with his lawyer wife and their two children in the small town of Millbrook, Indiana, until one night their idyllic existence is shattered when Tom foils a vicious attempted robbery in his diner. (New Line Cinema)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. 100
    Other films this year will have to sweat bullets to match the explosive power and subversive wit of David Cronenberg's A History of Violence. It slams you like a body punch and then starts messing with your head.
  2. A masterpiece of indirection and pure visceral thrills, David Cronenberg's latest mindblower, A History of Violence, is the feel-good, feel-bad movie of the year.
  3. 90
    Cronenberg holds up a mirror, but he leaves it up to us to recoil at what we see.
  4. It ranks high on the Cronenberg scale as one of his more disturbing forays into depravity.
  5. 80
    Ed Harris and William Hurt deliver inspired turns as the villains.
  6. Don't let the slow, deliberate pace fool you. A lot is going on in David Cronenberg's masterful A History of Violence, and you'll miss it if you blink.
  7. This sort of investigation has been done so masterfully by Sam Peckinpah in "The Wild Bunch" and Oliver Stone in "Natural Born Killers" that, in a sternly utilitarian sense, we don't need Cronenberg. He is not, as far as I have seen, in their class. He proves it again in A History of Violence.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Nov 8, 2012
    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. Expand
  2. SamS.
    Nov 11, 2005
    Woo hoo.
  3. EvanS
    Apr 26, 2006
    "Ther are so many plot holes in this movie." I have seen this on all of these user reviews and i would like to say that there are NO plot holes. The movie is leaving us with questions we cant figure out. That's what makes it so good. 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
  4. GlenF
    Oct 2, 2005
    The violence is fun but the acting is laughable at times. Very surprised at the praise this movie recieved. It's also very predictable.
  5. RichardG.
    Oct 3, 2005
    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
  6. Printninja
    Nov 16, 2005
    Predictable story, unerotic sex scenes, unemotional characters, unengaging plot, unplausible "historical" motivations, "violence" limited mainly to a few rediculous fight scenes (hey, at least they didn't use wires.) Basically a lot of character types we've seen before, doing things far less effectively then their predecessors. The last 20 minutes, (which by that time has you praying for some sort of payday for all your patience), is so contrived it is barely watchable. The ending is so insipid you may burst our laughing (I did - no doubt to stop myself from screaming.) Summary: Uniquely unoriginal. Stay home. You've seen it all before, done better, in better movies. *The 2 (rather then 1) is for the Cronenburg gore we've all come to know and love. Expand
  7. Elie
    Oct 1, 2005
    This was the worst movie I have ever seen. The writing was the biggest bunch of hack tripe I have ever heard. I cannot believe even one critic liked this. Don't see this. It will make you angry. Expand

See all 314 User Reviews

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