A History of Violence

Rated R 95 minutes 2005

Two thugs have come to rob the diner of Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen), a small-town guy living the idyllic life with his postcard wife (Maria Bello) and their swell kids. Tom stalls the bad guys with a coffee pot to the face and a pistol to the gut (director David Cronenberg just loves showing the carnage, the trembling bits of flesh dangling off shattered bone). Tom's a hero now, but the attendant publicity brings to town scarred, one-eyed Carl Fogarty (Ed Harris), who claims Tom inflicted his wounds back when Tom was a Philadelphia mobster. Tom claims he's got the wrong man, but Carl's not to be dissuaded, and it doesn't take long to figure who's telling the truth. The trailer suggests the entire film's constructed as a case of mistaken identity, but the filmmakers aren't interested in that lousy tease, just the ramifications of it: Can a man truly change? Well, no, probably not. But they know theirs is a shrug of a question, so they distract and amuse rather than labor over it.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.historyofviolence.com

Director: David Cronenberg

Writer: Josh Olson

Producer: JC Spink and Chris Bender

Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris, William Hurt, Ashton Holmes, Steve Arbuckle, Jason Barbeck, Greg Bryk, Sumela Kay and Morgan Kelly


A History of Violence

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