A History of Violence 2005 R CC

Amazon Instant Video

(586) IMDb 7.5/10
Available in HD
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An average family is thrust into the spotlight after the father (Viggo Mortensen) commits a seemingly self-defense murder at his diner.

Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello
1 hour, 36 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

A History of Violence

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller
Director David Cronenberg
Starring Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello
Supporting actors Ed Harris, William Hurt, Ashton Holmes, Peter MacNeill, Stephen McHattie, Greg Bryk, Kyle Schmid, Sumela Kay, Gerry Quigley, Deborah Drakeford, Heidi Hayes, Aidan Devine, Bill MacDonald, Michelle McCree, Ian Matthews, R.D. Reid, Morgan Kelly, Martha Reilly
Studio New Line
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Great acting, great story, great movie.
Sadly, William Hurt comes into the movie much too late and in the portion of the film that just doesn't work that well.
A Customer
"A History of Violence" is a great film.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Chad A. B. Wilson on April 3, 2008
Format: DVD
So much has been written about this film and the title. For most, the movie is about the way violence is encoded in our lives and how we all have an underlying current running through us. I think the movie is really the study of the relationship between the two main characters--Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) and Edie (Maria Bello).

These two actors are amazing the film, especially Bello, who deserves to become a household name. Their intereactions are always spot on as they drive the plot. The sideways glance, the tense look, the loving smile: every part means something.

These two characters are madly in love after seventeen or such years of marriage, and we see it through different ways. The first half of the movie is there to set up their relationship and the love they feel. But then everything is turned upside down, and we realize that these two people who have shared everything and love one another dearly really know nothing about what lies beneath. It's as if they have only shared a part of themselves.

It's this interaction and realization that makes the film so great. The plot almost seems beside the point; it's merely there to make use see the characters.

I give the film four stars instead of five because of some of the scenes were out of place, almost as if Cronenberg couldn't decide what kind of film to make. William Hurt is good at the end, for instance, but his character didn't fit. Watch the movie for the main characters' interactions and go along with the rest.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 3, 2005
Not since STRAW DOGS (1971) have I seen a film that so strikingly makes the point that the capacity for violence is an inseparable part of the human condition. Even the meek inheriting the Earth have it - if pushed far enough.

Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) and wife Edie (Maria Bello) live in a small mid-western town with teenage son Jack (Ashton Holmes) and young daughter Sarah (Heidi Hayes). The couple own, and Tom manages, a diner on Main Street. One night at closing, two psychopathic killers enter the eatery to rob the place and have some bloody fun. (We know they're psychopaths because the film's opening sequence shows them brutally murdering a family that owns a roadside motel.) As his waitress is about to be raped, Tom reacts in a way that would make Dirty Harry proud. The killers are rendered dead in pools of blood, coffee, and broken glass, and Tom, with his foot impaled by a knife, becomes a local hero that makes the national TV news. However, this notoriety draws out of the woodwork a scarred, Mafia hit man from Philadelphia, Carl Fogarty (Ed Harris), and a pair of associate thugs. Carl insists to Tom and Edie that the former is really Joey Cusack, a big city killer that tried to take out Carl's left eye with barbed wire. Tom, of course, denies that he's ever been to Philly. Edie believes her husband. At least she does until witnessing his reaction when Fogarty et al confront Tom on their front lawn after they kidnap Jack. Maybe Hubby has secrets, you think?

At first, the audience believes that son Jack is a spineless wimp - until he's pushed too far in the hallway of his high school by a bully that's been tormenting him. (Is there an inheritable gene for mayhem, you might ask.) From all of us who've had sand kicked in our faces, way to go, kid!
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175 of 236 people found the following review helpful By A. Sandoc on December 25, 2005
Format: DVD
What can I say about David Cronenberg's latest work that hasn't already been said by film critics everywhere? My answer to that has to be: not much. A History of Violence will remind people that David Cronenberg is one of the more underappreciated film directors of the last 30 years and also one of its master craftsmen. Using a loose-adaptation (yet echoing some of the book's themes) of the John Wagner and Vince Locke graphic novel of the same name, Cronenberg creates a multi-layered film dissertation about the nature of violence. I will pause for a moment and say that the film also delivers as a taut, gripping, thriller that looks to ape the action-films of blockbusters past, but Cronenberg's skill as a director manages to keep the film above it's B-movie aspirations.

More well-known as the creator of eccentric and unusual fare with legions of fans and admirers in the horror community, David Cronenberg may have his most mainstream and accessible film to date since his remake of The Fly. In A History of Violence Cronenberg's existentialism continues to show as he probes through the dark and shadowy corners of human behavior and instinct. He posits a question of whether people as a whole --- no matter how saintly, well-balanced, and civilized --- secretly revels in the violence they see around them even as they denounce and feel uncomfortable around it. Some have seen this film as something of a historical commentary of the American history and how the nation itself has been shaped by its acceptance of violence and its many repercussions. I would say that those people are not far off the mark, but to compartmentalize Cronenberg's film to such a narrow focus is not fair to the film.
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