A History of Violence

A History of Violence Image
Metascore
81

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

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 772 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)

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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. David Cronenberg's brilliant movie -- without a doubt one of the very best of the year.
  3. 90
    Cronenberg's movie manages to have its cake and eat it--impersonating an action flick in its staccato mayhem while questioning these violent attractions every step of the way.
  4. It ranks high on the Cronenberg scale as one of his more disturbing forays into depravity.
  5. A sobering reflection on our culture's attitude toward violence.
  6. 75
    Although there's little wrong with the first two-thirds, A History of Violence slides onto a tangential path during its final act, and this misstep reduces the production's overall effectiveness.
  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
    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 finalIt 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. janiej
    Nov 10, 2005
    10
    Viggo Mortensen captures this complicated character very effectively. This movie should receive a 10 for the sex scene alone. That scene is a Viggo Mortensen captures this complicated character very effectively. This movie should receive a 10 for the sex scene alone. That scene is a 5 minute mini-movie conveying the complex feelings of both characters without a spoken word. Excellant film. Expand
  3. 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 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
  4. 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 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. Expand
  5. 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 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. Expand
  6. ChadB
    Jan 4, 2006
    2
    TERRIBLE. I'm not usually bothered by violence in movies, but this was just random extreme violence and uncomfortable sex scenes. I was TERRIBLE. I'm not usually bothered by violence in movies, but this was just random extreme violence and uncomfortable sex scenes. I was about to walk out and ask for my money back when the movie inexplicably ended. Expand
  7. Elie
    Oct 1, 2005
    0
    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 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 321 User Reviews

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