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A History of Violence (2005)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  30 September 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 177,007 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 1,113 user | 434 critic | 37 from

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.



(graphic novel), (graphic novel), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 44 wins & 49 nominations. See more awards »



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


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 {}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


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:




| |


Release Date:

30 September 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Una historia violenta  »

Box Office


$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$515,992 (USA) (23 September 2005)


$89,838 (Chile) (31 March 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The names of "William Orser" and "LeLand Jones" are a play on the name of the character actor Leland Orser. See more »


Tom's truck is a GMC when he is working on getting it running. However, when driving to Philly, you can see Chevrolet is written on the steering wheel. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in Las Vegas: History of Violins (2006) See more »


Life of a Fool
Written by Paul Burch
Performed by Paul Burch
Courtesy of Bloodshot Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Well, what did you expect?
2 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I read through a lot of these comments, and it seems quite a few people who have given this film a bad rating based their judgment on either the sex scenes, or the gore (or both). Well, it's called "A History of Violence", and it's directed by David Cronenberg! What did they expect? The film is, simply put, amazing. Anyone who enjoys Cronenberg's other films will greatly appreciate this one. It speaks on many levels, and I suggest seeing it more than once to fully take it all in. Beautiful performances all around. I felt as though that is how people put in a situation like that would really act. I had a smile on my face the entire film because I have been waiting all summer (or longer) for a film of this caliber, and it was worth it.

502 of 779 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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