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Canadian director David Cronenberg, whose impressive oeuvre includes such disparate works as THE DEAD ZONE, THE FLY, DEAD RINGERS, M. BUTTERFLY, and SPIDER, has made what might be the best film of his career with A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE. Loosely based on the graphic novel by John Wagner and Vince Locke, the movie stars Viggo Mortensen as Tom Stall, a quiet, easygoing family man who runs a diner in a small Indiana town. But when two dangerous criminals come into the restaurant prepared to wreak havoc, Stall turns hero and shoots them both. After Stall's story is blasted all over the media, Philly mobster Carl Fogaty (an excellent Ed Harris) shows up, claiming that Tom is actually former hit man Joey Cusack--and they've got some important business to finish. While Stall insists that Fogaty is mistaken, his family--his wife, Edie (Maria Bello); teenage son, Jack (Ashton Holmes); and young daughter, Sarah (Heidi Hayes)--gets dragged into the danger that constantly threatens to explode. Cronenberg, whose films often deal with the fantastical, the futuristic, and the supernatural, has done a masterly job creating a wholly believable modern world where evil lurks just around the corner. Howard Shore's tense, moody music complements the outstanding acting in a violent, powerful film that is not to be missed.
Number of Discs: 1
Rating: R (MPAA)
Film Country: USA
"Some of the performers -- especially Maria Bello as the hero's wife and Ed Harris as a mysterious stranger -- are gripping."
Movieline's Hollywood Life - Stephen Farber (09/01/2005)
"The family tableau that ends the film is as chilling and redemptive as anything Cronenberg has ever crafted....You won't know what hit you."
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (10/06/2005)
"Cronenberg plays that pulp-revenge thriller plot with a perfectly pitched straight face throughout..."
Uncut - Stephen Dalton (10/01/2005)
"It's about the violence that surpasseth all understanding -- a cataclysm of awful consequence that unfolds with insidious intimacy and a Cronenbergian delight in the animal squish and shock of torn bodies." -- Grade: A
Entertainment Weekly - Lisa Schwarzbaum (10/07/2005)
"A masterpiece of indirection and pure visceral thrills, David Cronenberg's latest mindblower, A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, is the feel-good, feel-bad movie of the year."
New York Times - Manohla Dargis (09/23/2005)
"Cronenberg's masterful, intelligent and gripping meta-thriller leaves us pondering about our enduringly perverse desire for alternative realities, in which surrogate violent alter egos run righteously and preposterously amok."
Sight and Sound - Richard Falcon (10/01/2005)
"[With] a fabulous Ed Harris in Blues Brothers shades as a mutilated Mob smoothie; the best William Hurt in years; and career-topping work by both leads. Always keeping us unbalanced, VIOLENCE finally seems less eccentric than scintillatingly original."
USA Today - Mike Clark (09/23/2005)
"[I]t's tight, exciting, and, let's not forget, hilarious."
Premiere - Glenn Kenny (02/01/2006)
Ranked #1 in Uncut's Best Films Of 2005 -- "An heroic mainstream comeback for director David Cronenberg....A modern American masterpiece."
Uncut - Uncut Staff (01/01/2006)
Included in Entertainment Weekly's Top Ten Films Of The Year -- "Right to the last shot, this thrilling, hardheaded movie refuses to draw conclusions....This is the best movie of the year."
Entertainment Weekly - Lisa Schwarzbaum (12/30/2005)
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