A History of Violence

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    296 ratings from 2 sites
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    Site Users Rating
    TheMovieDB 89 6.6
    RottenTomatoes 207 87
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    Name user

    The less you know about this movie before seeing it -- and you really should see it -- the better.

    Name user

    Cronenberg's direction, mirroring the split in Tom, is alternately measured and frighteningly explosive, and, as always, he gives the movie a nasty underlay of sexual perversity.

    Name user

    This peculiarly predictable picture has been calculated, or miscalculated, to set up certain expectations, fulfill them, and then do the same thing again, thereby giving us a chance to see what's coming and, at least in theory, be shocked.

    Name user

    A remarkably convincing examination of heroism, hero worship, and the seductive allure of villainy.

    Name user

    A model of clean, lean storytelling.

    A-
    Name user

    Though this is certainly Cronenberg's most 'mainstream' movie in years, the fact that it's so immediately enjoyable as a terrific thriller does not diminish its less obvious virtues.

    Name user

    Cronenberg isn't engaging in parody or irony. Nor is he nihilistically pandering to our worst impulses: the filmmaking is too measured and too intelligent. He implicitly respects us and our responses, even when those responses are silly or disturbing.

    4/4
    Name user

    David Cronenberg's adaptation of the underwritten graphic novel of the same name is a spare, mean movie of shocking violence and wrenching moral dilemmas.

    4/5
    Name user

    Right from its first, quietly unnerving scene A History of Violence is unmistakably the work of an artist with a purpose.

    Name user

    It has the reticence of a good Western, the shock of black comedy and the naked emotion of fine drama.

    B+
    Name user

    [A] vigorously sublime take on guilt and innocence, the damned and the redeemed.

    Name user

    The first half of the story -- the one shrouded in doubt -- is much more effective than the second half, which is shrouded in bloodletting.

    Name user

    It's rare to find a filmmaker who can deliver such a message and keep us riveted every minute of screen time. But Cronenberg manages it, making A History of Violence one of his best, and most realistic, films ever.

    Name user

    In A History of Violence, director David Cronenberg's delirious wow of a movie about violence and sex and the American dream, cinema regains all its original power to shock and surprise.

    4/4
    Name user

    Mr. Cronenberg has imbued his narrative with a style of personal conviction that is found in only the greatest auteurs.

    Name user

    There's not a scene wasted in the 97-minute unspooling, not a detour that doesn't tell, surprise, horrify, delight.

    A
    Name user

    This is his most mainstream effort yet, but, he's got those Croneneberg touches of violence. It doesn't glorify the violence, it's not gratuitous, it's sudden, it's shocking.

    Name user

    Packed inside David Cronenberg's latest film, which presents itself as gift-wrapped, shoot-'em-up entertainment, is a sobering reflection on our culture's attitude toward violence.

    Name user

    Violence is in the spirit of the hardest-hitting film noir offerings from the '50s, but far more explicit.

    4/4
    Name user

    It is an assured, potent statement from an auteur who isn't afraid to pack deep thoughts into a movie made for a wide audience.

    4/4
    Name user

    An absolutely sensational piece of filmmaking.

    Name user

    Despite the blood, the film follows Cronenberg's marvelous Spider in finding its true horror in the dark corners of the mind.

    3/4
    Name user

    Although the movie maintains, and benefits from, the bare bones of a straight-up action story, what emerges onscreen is deeper and more interesting.

    3/4
    Name user

    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.

    4/4
    Name user

    As the title indicates, this is not a sedate art film. It contains moments of sharp, vicious mayhem and there is a body count. But the strength of the movie lies in its psychological complexity and depth.

    3/4
    Name user

    As a history of Cronenberg, it's a good introductory lecture, detailing his careful composition, mastery of unease and complicated thematic interests. As a Cronenberg film though, it's figuratively bloodless, without any real body to it at all.

    Name user

    A History of Violence is solid entertainment value for the money, but those who think it's saying anything new or profound are kidding themselves.

    3/4
    Name user

    A lot is going on in David Cronenberg's masterful A History of Violence, and you'll miss it if you blink.

    3/4
    Name user

    Cronenberg, like Count Basie on the piano or Hemingway on the page, has mastered the art of economy, paring down his work to its thematic essentials without any loss, and even some gain, in textured complexity.

    Name user

    At the very least it's oddly admirable, at its best it's both passionate and disturbing, two words that come close to describing all of Cronenberg's work.

    B
    Name user

    I defy anyone who sees the opening sequence of A History of Violence not to be drawn into buying a ticket.

    4/4
    Name user

    The movie's brilliance resides in its use of cinematic convention to shatter an illusion of social normalcy.

    Name user

    A History of Violence is shrewd, penetrating and, yes, entertaining. It's also one of the best films of the year.

    A
    Name user

    A gripping, incendiary, casually subversive piece of work that marries pulp watchability with larger concerns without skipping a beat.

    Name user

    With confidence and authority that should cement his leading-man status, Mortensen ably manipulates the tension of a man who's struggling to escape his past as a professional killer and to protect his family from the consequences of his legacy.

    Name user

    A masterpiece of indirection and pure visceral thrills, David Cronenberg's latest mindblower is the feel-good, feel-bad movie of the year.

    5/5
    Name user

    Cronenberg's movie is eerily compelling and darkly humorous. And chilling -- to the bone.

    Name user

    Cronenberg crafts a remarkably interesting thriller, with suspense that is less about what's coming around the corner--often, we know--and more about Tom's slow transformation in the face of terror.

    3/4
    Name user

    This is not a movie about plot, but about character. It is about how people turn out the way they do, and about whether the world sometimes functions like a fool's paradise.

    Name user

    It's possible to imagine the film playing as an action crowd-pleaser to a mainstream genre audience that may not be a bit perturbed by (or even aware of) Cronenberg's stealthy unraveling of the threads of this American life.

    Name user

    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.

    Name user

    It should delight mainstream audiences who prefer their action pictures to have some depth of character, several twists in the plot and a satisfying conclusion.

    Name user

    Coming from Cronenberg, the question arises: Is that all there is?

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