David Cronenberg is back from his time in the wilderness. It’s been almost 20 years since his box office peak, The Fly, and his films in the decades since have been either non-commercial or aggressively non-commercial (M. Butterfly hasn’t even been released on DVD yet). Interestingly, Cronenberg didn’t leave behind an ounce of his artistry when he made The Fly – that was no sell out. His latest film, A History of Violence, is his most expensive, and probably his most mainstream. But like The Fly, it’s no sell out. In fact, it’s a magnificent film, a work of startling beauty and horror that may redefine the director for a new generation.

A History of Violence is a film best seen before reading this, or any other, review.