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History of Violence, A (BD) [Blu-ray] (2009)

Viggo Mortensen , Maria Bello , David Cronenberg  |  R |  Blu-ray
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (566 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, William Hurt, Ed Harris
  • Directors: David Cronenberg
  • Writers: Josh Olson
  • Producers: Chris Bender, J.c. Spink, Toby Emmerich, Justis Greene, Kent Alterman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 2, 2012
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (566 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001JNNE1O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,610 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "History of Violence, A (BD) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We never truly know people April 3, 2008
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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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bloodlust as part of the human condition 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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174 of 235 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cronenberg at his masterful best December 25, 2005
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This movie will keep you guessing.
Published 1 day ago by Katy's Dad
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Enough
Ashton Holmes was miserably bad in his role, as was Heidi Hayes (I'll cut her some slack for age), but the rest of the movie was pretty good. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Published 1 day ago by Jill Lynn Malloy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film!
Great actors and great film though it is brutal in maybe three scenes...but acceptable brutal because of it expressed the film...Viggo was magnificent!
Published 3 days ago by Jenna
5.0 out of 5 stars Yeah...I'm Joey
This is just a great movie! Great cast of characters!

"I see you still have a talent for the killing...that's exciting"
Published 3 days ago by Shawn Akey
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting movie for 16+ viewers
good flick, a bit predictable but still enjoyable to watch.
Published 9 days ago by rob
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Ok movie. Both the people and the action are slow moving
Published 28 days ago by Robin Hellreich
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is a well written, well acted thriller. It will take your breath away.
Published 1 month ago by elaine cassidy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie - rented it twice
Well paced and acted. My favorite Viggo Mortensen movie so far. Plus Ed Harris is excellent as a bad guy. Check it out.
Published 1 month ago by Bill White
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie. Delivered quickly
Great movie. Delivered quickly.
Published 1 month ago by Everett
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Topic From this Discussion
Pretty good movie, terrible DVD cover
Not a superfluous observation! I dig the flick but you're
so on it about the cover......velveeta time. Definitely
not up to par with the film. Good call!
Feb 5, 2011 by Mark O. Avery |  See all 2 posts
Region free?
Yes it is. Bookmark this site:

At the top you can click on other regions too, and see if the discs will play in your Region A (or 1) player... In case you ever want to import anything.
Mar 15, 2010 by J. Higgins |  See all 2 posts
What was Tom/Joey?(spolirs)
Joey was indeed some sort of hit man for the mob, and his brother was the boss. Joey gets some kind of awakening, changes his name, runs away, falls in love and settles in a small Indiana town. He's living a great life. He owns a diner, has a loving wife, a son and daughter. But some really bad... Read More
Sep 24, 2013 by suzietoo |  See all 2 posts
Reviews getting posted
My reviews appear inmediatly after I post them. Maybe you're doing something wrong.
Apr 25, 2006 by mrblack |  See all 2 posts
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