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 January 2007 | ccthemovieman-1
| The Good & Bad Of 'A History Of Violence'
This was a very intriguing movie, for the most part. It had some things that really turned me off, but also things that made it extremely interesting at times.

There is excellent suspense in this movie which builds beautifully. It begins with a nice, soft- spoken modest guy named "Tom Stall" (Viggo Mortensen), a guy who runs a café in a small Indiana town. He suddenly becomes a hero when a pair of serial killers enter his establishment, threaten to rape the waitress and possibly kill the rest of the people inside and Tom disposes of them with quick action. He gets national attention for his heroics, but that just brings in a couple of mysterious people into town. One of them, "Carl Fogarty," (Ed Harris) calls "Tom" by another name: "Joey."

That's our first glimpse that "Tom" may not be "Tom," but some guy named "Joey" from Philadelphia who used to have mob connections. That turns out to be true. In fact, "Joey" was a brutal killer in his past days. I won't divulge any more of the story for those who haven't seen it. It's simply a good story about how our past can come back to haunt us, especially if their is anything illegal or immoral in it.

I liked the fact that the action, although violent at times, was not overdone. Most of the movie is pretty low-key.

What I didn't care for, or thought stretched credibility, was our hero's wife, who was way too big-city-hard looking and profane to be some small-town country girl who would marry such a nice guy as "Tom." Maria Bello ("Edie") did not fit what this character should have looked and sounded like. Also, Tom's son "Jack" morphed from a nice old-fashioned, meek, picked-on school kid to a sullen, wise-guy, profane macho man in no time. That was unrealistic, unless they were trying to infer the kid was exactly like his old man. Speaking of profanity, 14 uses of the Lord's name in vain in less than 80 minutes was offensive, at least to me.

William Hurt gets third billing in the film but only shows up with 14 minutes left! Granted, his role is a memorable one, however. Harris also had few lines for someone who gets good billing. Another guy I thought was pretty cool was the sheriff, played by Peter MacNeill. He had bigger roles than Harris or Hurt but got no billing.

Overall, offensive material notwithstanding, this was a unique film and one I would would watch again.

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Box Office


$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$364,000 25 September 2005

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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