7.5/10
193,679
1,125 user 444 critic

A History of Violence (2005)

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.

Director:

Writers:

(graphic novel), (graphic novel) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
1,829 ( 126)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 37 wins & 72 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A Russian teenager living in London who dies during childbirth leaves clues to a midwife in her journal that could tie her child to a rape involving a violent Russian mob family.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Naomi Watts, Viggo Mortensen, Armin Mueller-Stahl
The Road I (2009)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In a dangerous post-apocalyptic world, an ailing father defends his son as they slowly travel to the sea.

Director: John Hillcoat
Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Kodi Smit-McPhee
The Fly (1986)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz
Appaloosa (2008)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two friends hired to police a small town that is suffering under the rule of a rancher find their job complicated by the arrival of a young widow.

Director: Ed Harris
Stars: Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Renée Zellweger
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

30 September 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Una historia violenta  »

Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$31,493,782 (USA) (3 February 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The first four minutes and 28 seconds of the movie at the seedy roadside hotel is a single, uninterrupted take without a single cut until Billy enters the motel office. See more »

Goofs

As Edie is fumbling to load the shotgun, a white box with extra shells can be seen by the closet door. In the shot of her finally getting the gun loaded, the box is gone. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
William Orser: [Leland and Billy walk out of the motel room] So we keep headin' east?
Leland Jones: Yeah, that's the idea.
William Orser: Stay out of the big cities?
Leland Jones: Uh-huh.
William Orser: I think I'm tired.
Leland Jones: [Leland smiles] Yeah. Me, too.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Parasite Memories: The Making of 'Shivers' (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
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.


224 of 405 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?