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A History of Violence (2005)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 162,204 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 1,106 user | 432 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

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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(graphic novel), (graphic novel), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 43 wins & 45 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sheriff Sam Carney
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Billy
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Bobby Singer
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Gerry Quigley ...
Mick
Deborah Drakeford ...
Charlotte
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Sarah Stall
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Charlie Roarke
Bill MacDonald ...
Frank Mulligan
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Storyline

This is the story of a mild-mannered man, named Tom Stall, who becomes a local hero through an act of violence, he lives a happy and quiet life with his lawyer wife and their two children in the small town of Millbrook, Indiana. But one night their idyllic existence is shattered when Tom foils a vicious attempted robbery in his diner. Sensing danger, he takes action and saves his customers and friends in the self-defense killings of two-sought-after criminals. Heralded as a hero, Tom's life is changed overnight, attracting a national media circus, which forces him into the spotlight. Uncomfortable with his newfound celebrity, Tom tries to return to the normalcy of his ordinary life only to be confronted by a mysterious and threatening man who arrives in town believing Tom is the man who wronged him in the past. As Tom and his family fight back against this case of mistaken identity and struggle to cope with their changed reality, they are forced to confront their relationships and the... Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Tom Stall had the perfect life... until he became a hero. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal violence, graphic sexuality, nudity, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

30 September 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Una historia violenta  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$34,911 (Chile) (17 March 2006)

Gross:

$89,838 (Chile) (31 March 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During an interview, Viggo Mortensen stated that during the shooting of the first bar scene with Ed Harris he could not stop laughing, and as a result, the scene had to be re-shot several times. Due to Viggo Mortensen's behavior, Ed Harris completed the scene without pants; he only wore his underwear, yet this cannot be seen as the bar table impedes our view. Thus, Viggo Mortensen had to act seriously while Ed Harris was not wearing any pants, and this is the scene that is used in the movie. See more »

Goofs

When Edie gets up from the stairs after her passionate encounter with Tom, she pulls her skirt down. The next time the camera shows her she again pulls her skirt down. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
William Orser: So we keep headin' east?
Leland Jones: Yeah, that's the idea.
William Orser: Stay out of the big cities?
Leland Jones: Uh-huh.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Too Commercial for Cannes (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Club Hoppin'
Written by Michael Foster and Darrell 'Digga' Branch
Performed by Blinky Blink
Courtesy of Spirit Music Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An Unsettling Film Which Defies Description (nearly)
7 October 2005 | by (Hamilton, Ontario - Canada) – See all my reviews

Leaving this film (just an hour ago now) I heard a phrase rolling over and over again in my head: "Wow. Wow". I cannot find adequate words to relate. I found myself saying "Why?...Oh my god!...How?...Wow...". The film touches, it festers, crawls all over and inside you. The film does (I think) what Cronenberg intended it to do; frighten. I'm speaking of real fear that is not spoken out loud, not discussed or screamed about,or even fully understood. The best and only word I have to describe the film is that it is "unsettling".

I won't discuss the points relating to the sexuality of the film but will quickly address the violence. I read Cronenberg's answers to some questions raised by the film, most relating to the violence itself. He mentions that it is "intimate, nasty, brutish and quick" also going on at length on the utilitarian nature of the violent acts in the film. This is perhaps the first film I've seen to display violence in, what I consider to be, a true sense. It is over so quickly and before one can marvel at it, the guilt and terror washes over like waves in a storm. It's relatively refreshing, albeit downright sickening, to see a film that can still shock the hell out of what is thought to be a desensitized generation.

That being said, one must remember that an author, poet, director etc. NEVER has the final say on what a book, poem or film's meaning is or what its symbols or set pieces are about. Each person in turn must have his or her take on the medium. I'd like to close with my final and wholly overriding thought concerning "A History of Violence": It is a film which I desperately wish to see again but equally compelling is the urge to never, ever see it again. Never have such strong yet equally conflicting views about something so trivial as a film entered my psyche.

The rating of 10 is based on my personal experience with the film, not necessarily the merit of the film itself.

You may interpret that as you will.


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