A History of Violence ★★★★

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.

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