A History of Violence (2005)

A History of Violence (2005)

2005 R 96 Minutes

Drama | Thriller | Crime

An average family is thrust into the spotlight after the father commits a seemingly self-defense murder at his diner.

Overall Rating

6 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • BarneyNuttall


    4 / 10
    Surprisingly, I found this film to be very tepid. In my head, there is a constant battle between two levels, on which I have differing opinions of the movie. On a dramatic level, I think the film is cliche, heartless and lukewarm. Some moments of dialogue are unbelievably predictable; our bully named 'Bobby' has razor-sharp cheekbones, slicked-back hair, and a varsity jacket which might as well read Evil #1 on the back. Yet, and this mainly comes through in the third act, the psychoanalytical level of who our protagonist really is and violence as a gene is weaved in subtly, thanks entirely to Cronenberg's direction which is well-mannered with hints of his earlier works in moments of grotesque violence.

    I just cannot get past the Twin Peaks melodrama which churns out story beats that have no amount of subtlety whatsoever. Some moments reminded me of the early Sam Raimi Spiderman movies, particularly a scene involving our favourite bully Bobby. In Spiderman, you want to see those story beats. Seeing them compliment the farcical nature of the superhero genre, making for a satisfying movie. In a drama, we need twists and turns. The edges of our seats should be gripped as if we were dangling over a cliff's edge. Instead, we are left dangling over the edge, with Cronenberg's direction desperately trying to hold on.