Stars indicate the most critically-acclaimed movies.
11th Hour, The
Stars indicate the most critically-acclaimed movies.
History of Violence, A
MPAA RATING: R for strong brutal violence, graphic sexuality, nudity, language and some drug use
Starring Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, William Hurt, Ed Harris, Ashton Holmes, Heidi Hayes, Stephen McHattie, Greg Bryk, and Peter MacNeill
Tom Stall (Mortensen) is living a happy and quiet life with his lawyer wife (Bello) 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)
|GENRE(S):||Drama | Suspense/Thriller|
John Wagner (graphic novel)
Vince Locke (graphic novel)
|DIRECTED BY:||David Cronenberg|
DVD: March 14, 2006
Theatrical: September 23, 2005
|RUNNING TIME:||96 minutes, Color|
Named Best Picture of 2005 by the Toronto Film Critics Association. Nominated, Golden Palm, 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
All critic scores are converted to a 100-point scale. If a critic does not indicate a score, we assign a score based on the general impression given by the text of the review. Learn more...
Raymond G gave it a10:
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.
Kevin A gave it a1:
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.
S P. gave it a0:
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.
I H gave it a2:
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.
Nick A. gave it a9:
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.
Pat T. gave it a10:
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.
Riren gave it a4:
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.
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