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A History of Violence - One Minute Review

A small town Indiana resident, Tom Stall, runs a diner where everything is normal and everyone is friendly until a couple of guys show up with trouble on their minds. When these guys pull out their guns and threaten his customers and waitress, Tom springs into action, dealing them devastating blows with amazing ease and grace. When this act earns him a front-page recognition in the local newspapers and some amount of publicity on the national television, strangers from Philadelphia start knocking his doors. We learn that Tom Stall is Joey, a criminal who is running away from his past and desperately wants to be a 'normal' small town guy.

A History of Violence is as much about the ability of a man to survive in the face of danger as much as it's a love story. Tom Stall is under extreme pressure to be a sparkling example of non-violence to his son, but fails because of a mob on his toes. When his criminal history becomes evident to his wife and kids, they accept him - not out of a family force but with love, because he has been a great husband and father and treat his past spell as an aberration that is ignorable. Viggo Mortensen plays Tom Stall to perfection, who is ably supported by Mario Bella as his wife. David Cronenberg, the director has achieved a feat that has become rare in Hollywood these days: silent moments are more powerful and thought provoking than action sequences. For a movie with violence in it's title, that's really saying something.

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