A History of Violence


Let me make once thing perfectly clear.  In this review, I’m not going to say one thing about the movie.  Not one damn thing.  Sure, I’ll talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the film and probably swear a lot as I’m prone to do, but as for the plot and story goes… you’re not hearing a peep from me.

I don’t have any unruly intentions in mind.  I just think that this movie is a lot more enjoyable the less you know about it.  Me, I had a preconceived notion what this film was about before I saw it, but I mislead by some poor advertising.  I didn’t know jack about it and just ended up loving it more.

So, you’re not hearing crap about it from me.   Like it or not, you will be surprised!

So, what can I say about A History of Violence without giving away any of the plot points of this movie?  Quite a bit, actually, because this is a remarkably crafted movie that really isn’t a thriller but comes off as one.

Without going into specifics, this is a movie about violence (which should come as no small surprise) and how it infects idyllic family life and about the steps that people can take to get rid of the violence that has followed them.

In the end, A History of Violence is a strange and yet remarkable movie that doesn’t follow the tired old cliches and doesn’t hit you from any particular direction.  Is it a thriller?  Yes and no.  It’s a thriller and a tragedy… sort of a thrillagedy of sorts.

If I had any movie to compare it to in terms of tone and feel, I’d have to go with 2000’s Unbreakable however, unlike Unbreakable which seemed to be full of quiet moments, A History of Violence is a quiet movie interrupted by loud moments.  It’s these loud moments that give the movie its tragedy and its poignancy.  It’s the loud moments you really hate to see, but drive the plot foreword as violence infects a good people like a virulent disease.

I guess it’s no small secret that I was won in by this movie.  A History of Violence may not be the big action movie that the ads were making it out to be, but it’s a great movie in other more important respects.  This is a movie about family and about the means we take to protect it… even if those means are otherwise unthinkable.  This is a movie about how past sins catch up to you thought you’ve done your best to bury them.  This is a movie about family and how important it is.

Simply put.  I loved this quietly odd movie.  Catch it when you can.

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About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.