Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) is living a happy and quiet life with his wife (Maria Bello) and their two children in the small town of Millbrook, Indiana, but one night their idyllic existence is shattered when Tom foils a vicious attempted robbery in his diner. Sensing danger, he takes action and saves his customers and friends in the self-defense killings of two-sought-after criminals.
Heralded as a hero, Tom's life is changed overnight, attracting a national media circus, which forces him into the spotlight. Uncomfortable with his newfound celebrity, Tom tries to return to the normalcy of his ordinary life only to be confronted by a mysterious and threatening man (Ed Harris) who arrives in town believing Tom is the man who's wronged him in the past. As Tom and his family fight back and struggle to cope with their changed reality, they are forced to confront their relationships and the divisive issues which surface as a result.
A History of Violence is directed by acclaimed filmmaker David Cronenberg (Dead Ringers). The film stars Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings), Maria Bello (The Cooler), William Hurt (The Village) and Ed Harris (Pollack).
Names of characters were changed from the movie because the actors wouldn't be able to pull off Italians and the mobster connection wasn't supposed to be figured out right away.