Metascore
81

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

User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 625 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
    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. Collapse
  2. SamS.
    Nov 11, 2005
    10
    Woo hoo.
  3. 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. 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. 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 disturbing) Dead Ringers. I actually winced at the bad acting in "A History of Violence". Expand
  5. 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 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
  6. JimK.
    Nov 26, 2005
    2
    Nonsense. Utter cliche rubbish. I walked out on this film, and I haven't done that in years.
  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 critic liked this. Don't see this. It will make you angry. Expand

See all 316 User Reviews

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