History of Violence doesn’t look back

7 Nov

David Cronenberg has crafted a superb drama about a small town restaurant owner and family man Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) that has his past catch up to him when two unexpected visitors pull their guns on his restaurant patrons.  Instinctively, Tom kills them and becomes a local hero, but his celebrity brings more bad than good when Carl Fogarty (Ed Harris) and his henchmen believe Tom is former gangster named Joey Cusack.

Josh Olson’s adapted screenplay is clear, but complex story filled with twists and unexpected moments that leave a lasting impression. Cronenberg continues to expand his range and deliver an impeccable gangster film with some brilliant performances. Mortensen’s presence on the screen is mesmerizing while William Hurt turns in a stellar performance as a disgruntled gangster looking for payback. Cronenberg’s films have a deliberate pace like a metronome that moves methodically beat after beat, until those special moments magnify the film’s brilliance.

WORD COUNT: 153

Adam’s Grade: A-

Chuck’s Grade: B

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