Up 71 this week

A History of Violence (2005)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  30 September 2005 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 178,834 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 1,113 user | 435 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.



(graphic novel), (graphic novel), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 34 wins & 60 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | 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
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After the bankruptcy of their father's stonemasonry firm, brothers Nicola and Andrea emigrate to America to restore their fortunes. After many adventures and near-disasters, they end up in ... See full summary »

Directors: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani
Stars: Vincent Spano, Joaquim de Almeida, Greta Scacchi
Uranus (1990)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After World War II, a small French village struggles to put the war behind as the controlling Communist Party tries to flush out Petain loyalists. The local bar owner, a simple man who ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Berri
Stars: Philippe Noiret, Gérard Depardieu, Michel Blanc
On Tour (2010)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Joachim, a former Parisian television producer had left everything behind - his children, friends, enemies, lovers and regrets - to start a new life in America. He comes back with a team of... See full summary »

Director: Mathieu Amalric
Stars: Miranda Colclasure, Suzanne Ramsey, Dirty Martini
Colonel Redl (1985)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Set during the fading glory of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the film tells of the rise and fall of Alfred Redl (Brandauer), an ambitious young officer who proceeds up the ladder to become ... See full summary »

Director: István Szabó
Stars: Klaus Maria Brandauer, Hans Christian Blech, Armin Mueller-Stahl
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young journalist (Lespert) helps the French President compile his memoirs.

Director: Robert Guédiguian
Stars: Michel Bouquet, Jalil Lespert, Philippe Fretun
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A doomed love between a paper merchant and a courtesan.

Director: Masahiro Shinoda
Stars: Kichiemon Nakamura, Shima Iwashita, Shizue Kawarazaki
Congorama (2006)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An eccentric Belgian inventor travels to Québec to search for his family, which uncovers a secret history between two seemingly unrelated people.

Director: Philippe Falardeau
Stars: Olivier Gourmet, Paul Ahmarani, Jean-Pierre Cassel
Trotta (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Director: Johannes Schaaf
Stars: András Bálint, Rosemarie Fendel, Doris Kunstmann
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After another cardiac arrest, Armand knows he doesn't have long to live. But after more than 70 years in the same house, he doesn't want to die anywhere else. His wife, Rose, has secretly ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Pierre Lefebvre
Stars: Marthe Nadeau, J. Léo Gagnon, Marcel Sabourin
Codine (1963)
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An ex-convict struggles to survive by brute force alone in a turn-of-the-century slum in Braila. Codine (Alexandre Virgil Platon) is the thug who served 10 years for murdering a friend. He ... See full summary »

Director: Henri Colpi
Stars: Alexandru Virgil Platon, Razvan Petrescu, Françoise Brion
The Novena (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Director: Bernard Émond
Stars: Elise Guilbault, Patrick Drolet, Marie-Josée Bastien


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 {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

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?


For the sex scene on the stairs, David Cronenberg was concerned about the two actors getting hurt on the hard wooden steps. He asked his stunt man whether or not he had any stunt pads to soften up the stairs. The stunt man laughed, saying that in the twenty years he had been working as a stunt man, no director had ever asked him for stunt pads for a sex scene. Pads were not used for most of the scene however, and in the shot when Edie is naked on the bed with bruises visible on her back, make-up was used to hide the amount of bruises that Maria Bello received from the scene. 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 »


References Larry King Live (1985) See more »


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

A gripping experience with complex themes
14 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this film at a special screening in NYC on Tuesday. It is superb both in direction and acting. Both the sex and violent scenes are quick and direct. While the violence is quite graphic, as to be expected with Cronenberg, the camera does not linger on it at all. The real story is told through the emotional dynamics in the family as the plot unfolds. Mortensen's performance as Tom Stall is brilliant and wonderfully nuanced and the entire cast is first rate. Maria Bello as the wife and Ashton Holmes as the son and Ed Harris as the "heavy" are spot on. William Hurt's scene is a standout. There are moments in the film where you laugh and then are horrified within seconds. DC doesn't dumb down to the audience but enjoys the complexities of human reactions to issues of identity, violence and society's view of "good" versus "bad" violence. I still can't get this film out of my mind. I'm definitely planning on seeing it again when it opens widely. Highly recommended.

208 of 367 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What does 'A History Of Violence' mean? mveffa
William Hurt's "Bro-heem!" ?? film_ophile
Genny Cream Ale thebe123-484-488327
What's with all the hate? felipe-kira2
The Film Score (background music) michaelxx-30942
Maria Bello's Nude Scene lamone32
Discuss A History of Violence (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: