Chris Hormann’s review published on Letterboxd:
This may be a graphic novel adaptation but it's not from the school of Sin City or 300. If anything, it resembles a Western, with the bad guys dressed in black, riding into town to take on a good man...or is he?
A History of Violence asks the questions, can we ever leave inherent violence behind? Does violence beget violence. And on a primal level, is certain violence acceptable? There aren't easy answers and certainly there are troubling issues raised.
However the film is remarkably funny for such serious subject matter, although it's a dark humour, steeped in blood. Mortensen is great as the conflicted family man and Maria Bello gives heft to her role as Mortensen's wife. And in a cameo, William Hurt has a hoot as a mobster boss with as much menace as mischief.
That final scene too, as a shamed lion comes back for acceptance into its pride - brilliantly played and without easy resolution.