Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
A History of Violence
Tom Stall had the perfect life... until he became a hero.
An average family is thrust into the spotlight after the father commits a seemingly self-defense murder at his diner.
-Richie Cusack (William Hurt)
I picked this one up pre-owned from Blockbuster today, ‘cause it was cheap. I think it’s fair to say the disc has seen a history of violence itself. But alas, it worked, so I can’t really complain.
In fact, I’m glad I finally got round to watching this, as it is easily one of director David Cronenberg’s most accessible, yet also superior, works.
Cronenberg ventures into foreign territory with ‘A History’ that, in regards to the plot, plays out like a typical gangster film. It’s a world away from the peculiar and often surreal films he produced across his earlier career, such as Naked Lunch (1991), Crash (1996) or eXistenZ (1999), yet it still…
For many years when I was a lot younger I confused David Cronenberg and David Lynch. They both had silly hair and tended to be very serious looking. Cronenberg made interesting, strange films that required your attention and Lynch made movies I have had real trouble fathoming what they were even about. I have seen more Cronenberg than Lynch and it will probably stay that way for some time as Cronenberg's work suits my taste a little more than crazy Dave.
"A History Of Violence" is a film that was developed from a graphic novel of the same name. As you may have guessed this film is littered with some lovely gratuitous violence mostly dished out by the hand of…
"How do you fuck that up? HOW DO YOU FUCK THAT UP?"
It took Cronenberg more than 35 years to make a film that can be called "normal". This is his most straightforward and weird-less film yet. That's not to say it's simple or conventional; it's actually very complex on an emotional level, reminds me of Dead Ringers in that respect. It follows Tom Stall as he happily goes about his uneventful and peaceful life with his wife and two kids in the small town of Millbrook. At least until he is forced to kill two men who were threatening the customers of his restaurant. This incident gets the attention of Irish mobsters from Philadelphia and dark secrets long forgotten…
The film is brimming with brilliant performances, particularly from Viggo Mortensen and Maria Bello in their central roles, but the most impressive performance came from Ed Harris. He makes full use of his screen time and benefits from a well written script as the frighteningly sinister Carl Fogerty.
The central narrative is gripping from the moment it begins, but is equally matched by tense cutaways into the lives of each member of the Stall family and how they have each been affected by the legendary status Tom has received after his heroic actions.
Cronenberg’s visceral style lends itself to the violence in this film, a tone which lingers throughout the narrative. However, the brilliance of the film comes from its focus on the reactions that are caused by violence. This thoroughly engaging character study is the most mainstream of Cronenberg’s films (that I’ve seen) and is certainly his finest.
This. Is. Insane.
I mean, straight-up mental.
I mean, completely berserk, absolutely psychotic, off-the-rails violent.
And ever so cool.
I've never ever ever watched a film before that had me flinching away from my TV screen like this. How is it that this film is more suspenseful than a horror flick, more graphic than a gangster movie, and more emotional than a romantic drama all at the same time, Christ almighty I'm still shaking just thinking about it.
I just love it when a film takes risks like this. The beginning, with that little girl. How you never really know what's going to happen until it actually happens. How the ending isn't conclusive, but it still feels perfect. Even that…
A couple years ago, this film was firmly in my Top 50. I haven't seen the film for a couple years now, and by the time I did my top 100 Letterboxd list, this was no where in sight. I've decided this film requires a rewatch.
This film is a delight from Cronenberg. It mixes various little film influences together into a great little story. But the film wouldn't work without the acting. Mortensen gives one of his best ever performances as a man with a deeply hidden past identity. Maria Bello is solid with some great acting scenes. Ashton Holmes gives a memorable teen performance as well.
Then you have Ed Harris effortlessly stealing the show, and William Hurt…
This was my first taste of David Cronenberg and I liked it a lot. A compelling storyline about a seemingly ordinary family man who is either the victim of mistaken identity or somebody else altogether whose history of violence has caught up with him. It's expertly pieced together by Cronenberg, with strong performances all around. The tone is dark and moody, even the calm before the storm is unsettling. The violent outbursts are shocking and powerful. Recommended, but not for the kids.
HOLY FUCK!!!! Never have I been amazed by a film like this. I just don't go around throwing positive reviews around, let alone a 9/10, but I've never been as captivated by a film as much as a History of Violence. David Fucking Cronenberg has left me in complete and utter awe. I was never fond of his films, such as Cosmopolis (Ewww Robert Pattinson?), Eastern Promises, or even the Fly. However, A History of Violence transcends those films, but it makes a mark. Of course, my score will probably change due to the fact that I'm still in awe after finishing it 5 minutes after writing this review. History of Violence is not just any regular masterpiece.....It's one of…
This one surprised me. I read a summary of it and just assumed that it would be another mafia tale. However the actions made by the characters in this film are often very unexpected. Not to mention, the violence is pretty damn awesome. I don't want to spoil it for any but I highly recommend it.
I can't say that i'm a fan of Cronenberg and that's probably because i haven't seen enough of his movies, The Fly which is good, Eastern Promises which i re-watched a few months ago and reminded me of how good that movie was and then Videodrome which is a complete mind f*ck that i didn't really enjoy. Then we had A History of Violence which might have been my introduction for Cronenberg, and i remember liking the movie and it's been since then in the back of my mind waiting for the re-watch. Is this my favorite from him?
A History of Violence is Directed by David Cronenberg and it stars Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris, Ashton Holmes, Kyle…
I think this is the best Cronenberg. That last scene hit like a ton of bricks this time around- and uncovered layers of ambiguity I had never seen before.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
One of Cronenberg's most commercial endeavors and one of his best films. Biology perpetually marches toward atavistic regression and reinvention is futile.
"In this family, we do not solve problems by hitting people!"
"No, in this family, we shoot them!"
Pretty entertaining thriller; it reminds me for some reason of Drive because the dull, silent and some what confusing scenes are made up for by ultra-violent action sequences.
William Hurts performance was overrated though; as in he should not have been nominated for an Oscar for his small role because it was average.
The owner of a small town diner becomes a hero after foiling a robbery and killing both perpetrators. After having his face plastered all over the television he is paid a visit by some shady characters who claim to know him. Excellent film about how violence has taken its place in every aspecct of the American way of life.
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
- Citizen Kane
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- The Rules of the Game
- Tokyo Story
Another year, another update. 2012 List can be found here.
The following is a really extensive and great list of…
- Citizen Kane
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Tokyo Story
- The Rules of the Game