A History of Violence (2005)

R   |    |  Drama, Thriller


A History of Violence (2005) Poster

A mild-mannered man becomes a local hero through an act of violence, which sets off repercussions that will shake his family to its very core.

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7.5/10
209,873

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  • Viggo Mortensen and Maria Bello in A History of Violence (2005)
  • William Hurt in A History of Violence (2005)
  • Maria Bello in A History of Violence (2005)
  • David Cronenberg in A History of Violence (2005)
  • Maria Bello in A History of Violence (2005)
  • Maria Bello in A History of Violence (2005)

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6 October 2005 | gsygsy
10
| excellent, but not for the kiddies
This is, like all Cronenberg's work, a mythic movie. It occupies the world of "monsters" that Tom Stall's daughter dreams about at the start. It's as if we get to see the little girl's nightmare as the film unfolds. It's because of this poetic, super-real quality that criticisms from the "this isn't real life" brigade have no relevance. The screenplay is exceptionally tight and well-woven - no image is wasted. The subplot of the son's troubles with a school bully parallels the main plot. The very existence of the son is there to show the inheritance - the history - of violence. The sex scenes are there to show the proximity of lust and violence. The end can be nothing other than what it is: as someone else on IMDb has commented, the genie is out of the bottle. This is true for the family in the film, the society we see surrounding the family, and it's true for our families and our society. It's about the inexhaustible rage of humans. It couldn't be more relevant, it couldn't be more timeless. It is well acted and beautifully photographed. I have some minor reservations - did we really need so much of Howard Shore's music? - but on the whole I think this is a superb film. Not for the kiddies, however.

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