A History Of Violence

A History Of Violence

****

Reviewed by: The Remote Viewer

Here's a shock: a David Cronenberg movie that actually features characters viewers can empathise with. None of them turn into insects, or try to screw televisions. Most surprisingly, it's a David Cronenberg that doesn't involve the "new flesh" or body horror of any kind.

In a sleepy American town, family man Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) enjoys running his own diner. He's married to wife Edie (Maria Bello), with whom he has the sort of boring mid-life sex that we all live in fear of, but things are about to change.

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When Tom kills two men in the act of trying to rob his diner and a new face arrives in town, that of the much-scarred Carl Fogarty (Ed Harris), you'll begin to wonder whether Tom really is the man he claims to be.

Mortensen produces a decent performance as a man that might be hiding a guilty secret. But the real standout performances come from Harris, who is chillingly effective as the sinister Fogarty, and Bello, entirely convincing as a woman whose world may be falling down around her. It's a shame that William Hurt ruins an otherwise good performance by putting on a sub-Sopranos Noo Yawk accent.

If any Cronenberg fans think that he might have gone soft in recent years, A History Of Violence will prove otherwise. It's extremely violent and yet I am glad to be able to tell you that it is also probably Cronenberg's best movie since the massively underrated Naked Lunch.

It'll be interesting to see what the veteran Canadian does next.

Reviewed on: 06 Oct 2005
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Violence begets violence in a study of retribution and small town defiance.
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Read more A History Of Violence reviews:

The Exile *****
Scott Macdonald *****
Gator MacReady ****

Director: David Cronenberg

Writer: Josh Olson, based on the graphic novel by John Wagner and Vince Locke

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris, William Hurt, Ashton Holmes, Peter MacNeill, Stephen McHattie, Greg Bryk, Kyle Schmid, Sumela Kay, Gerry Quigley

Year: 2005

Runtime: 96 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US

Festivals:

Glasgow 2012

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If you like this, try:

Eastern Promises
No Country For Old Men