Valkyrie Reviews

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garyX
Super Reviewer
½ January 24, 2009
Anyone who has seen The Desert Fox will be familiar with this story, but instead of concentrating on Rommel, it examines the role of Claus Von Stauffenberg in the plot to assassinate Hitler after many of his officers began to question not only his tactics but his sanity. The theme of the two films is actually very similar; to show that not all of the German military or its people were Nazis, and there were some who were willing to sacrifice their lives to try and stop him. For me the most interesting part of the film takes place after the bombing when a plan is implemented to take over Berlin and I had no idea how far it went into effect and how close it came to succeeding; I can't help but wonder how different the world would be now if Olbricht had shown a bit more backbone or the meeting hadn't been moved to an outside location. From a technical point of view, it's unsurprisingly very solid, with classy direction from Bryan Singer and quality performances all round, although as usual it is very difficult to divorce tiny Tom from his screen persona. In all it's a very interesting history lesson that inevitably suffers from the fact that we all know how the story is going to play out and suffers in comparison to the gut wrenching intensity of Downfall. A good, solid war film nonetheless.
thmtsang
Super Reviewer
December 25, 2008
Historical drama. A number of inside attempts were made by Germans to assassinate Hitler. This movie tells the story of one of those plots. Tom Cruise leads a group of men to assassinate Hitler. Even though you know that Hitler committed suicide in real life, the movie makes you wish the outcome was different. Good story and cast. Only problem - everyone uses their own accents.
Super Reviewer
August 16, 2012
They conquered all Europe, the Nazis, so how could they fail assassinating the one madman behind it all, I've often wondered. Singer manages to put a human face on the proceedings, a true explanation, though more actual German inclusion would've been welcome in this retort to the countless "they're all evil" films out there. Tense and gripping, the work only suffers in that the subject is perhaps larger than a mere film can contain. Nonetheless a very good work.
Super Reviewer
January 5, 2009
When this film came up in a thread awhile back I was shocked to hear Cruise playing a part, well I now eat those words with a side order of beans. Cruise finally grows up and gives the best performance I have seen in his career possibly, and the fact its in a proper decent film which means something makes it even more powerful.

An excellent film from start to finish is all I can say, very moving and extremely strong in performances. The whole film was very tense all the way, I could feel myself really sweating despite the fact I knew the outcome. You wanted them to succeed you really did, you think it will be alright and they could pull off a major political overthrow, the fact they don't does crush you at the end...it is brilliantly done.
Its not a heavy film laden down with heavy politics like some films can be, its very straight to the point and doesn't ease up anywhere. It shows how many people inside the Third Reich were against Hitler and his plans from high up officials all the way down the ranks. I never knew there were so many attempts at Hitler's life

This is also a good film for the German people, I'm sure they have to endure much from films in the past where all Germans are portrayed as evil, this will balance the past somewhat I hope. It was also amazing to read at the end credits that Stauffenberg's wife only died in 2006!

Every cast member is brilliant...the cast itself is A class, even the minor roles are played well. The look is perfect and seems historically accurate, the sets are all really impressive and wardrobe is spot on. There isn't much action in this film so don't be expecting the usual war film stereotype, its mainly talk, but the words are real, hard, powerful, based on fact and don't give you a moments pause as the tension and suspense builds to its heart breaking finish.

Like 'Schindler's List' this is a serious film, not quite in the same league or as harsh of course but cannot be ignored. My only down point is maybe it would have been even better if all cast spoke in German and the film had English subs, that would have really been authentic but hard to do I guess. Full marks :)
Super Reviewer
½ December 7, 2008
The true story of the plot to murder Adolf Hitler in 1944 is rather well known in Germany, but probably less so in other countries. The cast they combined for this is outstanding, probably could have used a few more Germans in German roles, but it's hard to complain about the starpower meeting here. Director Singer takes on the events of those fateful days and goes through them very detailed but breathlessly exciting. Even if you know how it ends, you can't help but sit on the edge of your seat. It's pretty enthralling to see how close the war was to ending a year before it actually did. An interesting and very entertaining history lesson with top notch acting performances.
Fun fact: no less than four actors in this film have also been in Pirates of the Caribbean 3.
Super Reviewer
December 14, 2008
A near miss. There was a lot going for this one, including a strong cast, conspiracy-theory intrigue and a sizeable amount of action. Unfortunately, it took a while to get going, and overall, it just interrupts itself too often, spinning its wheels for most of the first hour before the plot really takes off. A good enough movie, but nothing special. Catch it on TV some time.
Super Reviewer
August 25, 2011
Bryan Singer's version of Valkyrie is the most thorough I've seen so far but for all the technicals they get right, they also let certain aspects slip. It did feel like an old war film for the 40s/50s but it lacked the charm. I'm looking forward to seeing Jo Baier's Stauffenberg (Operation Valkyrie) as I can't help but think that to tell the story properly, you have to film it in its native tongue. Not horrible but it still doesn't make up for Superman Returns Mr. Singer!
Super Reviewer
½ July 19, 2011
Tom Cruise wanting to do a Schiendlers List emotional movie, or a pretty good World War II movie. I cant decide. Watch it and tell me what you think.
Super Reviewer
½ December 22, 2008
Makes me think of Inglorious Basterds mixed with Minority Report. Hitler is the base, with the action and insubordination of Cruise.
Super Reviewer
July 29, 2010
a really good world war 2 movie about a team of nazis who devise a plan to kill hitler. B+
maxthesax
Super Reviewer
July 15, 2010
"Night of The Generals" it's not, and of course Tom Cruise isn't even in the same universe as Peter O'Toole, but given all that, there is a good level of suspense and a wanting to see how it all plays out; in spite of the foreknowledge that, of course, the plot fails.

The strength of the film lies in the wonderful supporting charactors, from Tom Wilkenson, to Terance Stamp, to Kenneth Branagh and even Eddie Izzard - but somehow there is an emotional detachment, even though the film attempts to show Cruise's family and how, in the middle of the takeover, he wants his secretarty to keep trying to dial his wife.

The film is earnestly shot, no gimmicks or special effects - and this is all for the better. Still, for all the great potential of the conflict of service to your ruler vs service to your country, the film never quite infuses that moral angst, and even though witnessing the eventual executions, you just don't get the emotional kickback.

That this type of film was even made, here in the 21st century, is a wonder, and I'm glad I watched it; but, as is the case with so many films, upon reflection you can see the possibility for greatness, but realize that the film missed capitalizing on that possibility.
TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
½ June 17, 2010
Valkyrie is an awesome, action war drama that puts to light one of the most ambitious coups during the reign of the Nazis during the second World War. Though a flawed film, Valkyrie is a suspenseful film and is very well acted. People seem to give this film bad press because of Tom Cruise's involvement in the project. He gives performance and this is one of his best since The Last Samurai. However many film goers judge Cruise's casting due to the fact that he's a Scientologist. Just because he's part of a cult doesn't make his performance suffer. A well made and told film about the July 20th 1944 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Valkyrie is a terrific Thriller and will keep you on the edge of your seat. But if you feel like you'll hate this film, watch the film Der Untergang (Downfall) about the last ten days of Adolf Hitler's life. Despite all it's flaws, Valkyrie is still a pretty good history lesson, and may sp[ark an interested in reading on the actual event.
Super Reviewer
½ June 14, 2010
A solid, finely crafted film concerning the last of fifteen known assassination attempts on Adolf Hitler's life. Tom Cruise turns in yet another impressive performance, as a physically marred, yet emotionally sturdy leader of the group that set off a bomb near Hitler, but failed in taking his life. While it's certainly not a great film (the use of the English language takes away from the authenticity of it - I think using the German language with English subtitles would've done wonders for this film), it's a good look at an important movement in world history.
Super Reviewer
½ February 1, 2010
A well made film with a great line up of great actors! A little light on action was the only slight let down for me. The build up of tension as the details of the plan of action are thought out, then the series of events after the attack make it an interesting film.
Super Reviewer
½ January 11, 2010
Definitely Bryan Singer's best movie by far, this was a near perfect thriller. Even though everyone essentially knows the plan to kill Hitler fails, they don't necessarily know how or why. Tom Cruise was perfect as was the rest of the cast. Even though they didn't use German accents, it was a good idea in the long run much like Enemy at the Gates. The visual style of the movie was amazing, I was really impressed with seeing a flawless 1940s Germany.
Super Reviewer
½ November 29, 2007
A taunt, tense, intelligent and riveting World War two thriller. A stylish, well-crafted and superbly performed film. It burst with high-tension, action and suspense. A tremendous and brilliant cast of truly amazing actors. This is Tom Cruise's resurrection, he gives a truly outstanding performance. It stands with some of his best acting work like Collateral and Magnolia. One of the best and strongest performances of his career. It has first-rate and terrific performances by Tom Wilkonson, Terrance Stamp, Eddie Izzard, Bill Nighy and Kenneth Branagh. A spectacular and explosive thriller that's both character driven and terrifically entertaining. It knows how to develop it's characters and story wonderfully in this incredible true story. An exhilarating, breathtaking and spellbinding film from start to finish. It will keep you on the edge of your seat. What a fantastic movie. Director, Bryan Singer's finest hour, he separates from the superhero genre back into the game of smart suspense thrillers. A masterpiece. It shines with greatness. An exciting, thrilling and powerful film.
The Gandiman
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2010
Strong story hampered by distracting Cruise and the odd decision to have actors use their natural accent.
DerekA101
Super Reviewer
May 19, 2009
Valkyrie is a well told little-known true story about officers inside Hitler's staff that attempt to assassinate him. Anchored by strong acting and excellent, fast-paced political narration, Valkyrie still never seems to lift off. It's a very nice pseudo-documentary that is interesting to know, but falls short of being a successful film. It's kind of ho-hum. Thanks for the info Mr. Bryan Singer, but I'm afraid I'll probably never visit this one again.
Daniel Mumby
Super Reviewer
½ October 16, 2009
After the release of Downfall, a German-language film about the last days of Adolf Hitler, it seemed no longer acceptable (or at least no longer credible) for Hollywood productions about Hitler and Nazi Germany to be produced in English. Action films like the Indiana Jones series will always be able to get away with it, as perhaps will slightly pretentious dramas like The Reader. But serious and self-conscious efforts, like Hitler: The Last Ten Days and The Bunker, can no longer be taken as anything but tongue-in-cheek. Even with the great talents of Alec Guinness and Anthony Hopkins respectively playing Hitler, today they look stilted and laughable.

In the case of Valkyrie, however, it pretty much gets away with it. Unlike The Bunker or other such films, there seems to be a ?knowingness? to it, a postmodern recognition that, in light of Downfall, no English-language film about the Nazis can ever claim to be definitive, and hence it is foolish to try. The only problem, resulting from this, is that it never quite decides how serious it wants to be. It flits between being a pure popcorn action thriller and a more cerebral moral drama, doing both aspects fairly well, but never quiet settling on one or the other.

The casting reflects this dilemma. On the one hand, we have a crowd of seasoned, serious British actors like Kenneth Branagh, Terence Stamp and Bill Nighy, all of whom can be called upon to deliver solid dramatic performances ranging from Shakespeare and Thomas Hardy to The Hitch-Hikers? Guide to the Galaxy. And yet on the other hand, we have the one-time definitive American action hero Tom Cruise in the lead role, and Eddie Izzard playing a comic foil which could easily work as a dumb sidekick, just as John Hannah did with Brendan Fraser in The Mummy.

The script is largely believable, and is generally well-acted, especially by Cruise, who seems to have lost a lot of weight for the part, particularly in his face. Bryan Singer?s direction is largely unremarkable for the first half, though he does manage to create genuine tension in the bunker scenes where the bomb finally goes off. The actual scenes of Operation Valkyrie, however, are both aestethically pleasing and unremarkable.

In short, Valkyrie is by no means a terrible film, but it walks the tightrope between serious and frivolous in a sometimes shaky way. Like a Coen Brothers film, you?re never really certain whether things are going to be brooding and dark, or simply forgettable and flippant. In years to come it will hold up a lot better than other Hollywood Nazi flicks, and it is a return to form for Tom Cruise, but otherwise you shouldn?t queue up to see it.
Willy T
Super Reviewer
½ September 9, 2009
Based on a true story, this movie is about a proud military man, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg who is a loyal officer and serves Germany happily, all the while hoping that his plan to kill Hitler will work and also hoping that it will happen before Germany and Europe are destroyed.

You can tell that this movie is good and well put together because it is 2 hrs. long but it only seemed to be about an hour and a half, so the film moves along very smoothly. The opening action scene is very intriguing as is the story from almost start to finish. Also, a lot of other critics are ripping on Tom Cruise's performace as he plays the charecter who is in charge of the plan to kill Hitler (Claus von Stauffenberg). They're saying that he is annoying, ruins every scene that he is in, and they're mad that he nor any of the other cast has a german accent. First of all, I thought Tom Cruise did a good and powerful job playing a true charecter that is hard to figure out. Secondly, even if the cast tried to put in a German accent, instead of screwing it up, they made a good move by keeping everything in their natural accents.

This movie definately doesn't end on a happy note. Eventhough the film tells us that Hitler eventually killed himself, why can't we see that on screen so the audience can have somewhat of a happy ending. Instead, the movie ends in a sort of bland way. I don't think i have ever seen any Hitler movie where it actually shows Hitler killing himself on screen. They almost always show the good people getting tortured and killed, but never Hitler. Also, did you notice i said "the story is intriguing from ALMOST start to finish"? Well, that's because there are a few scenes in this movie that drag on as Stauffenberg and his group just keep talking about how they're going to kill Hitler. Just do it already!

Overall, Valkrie is good, well edited, and well put together. The music is great and and adds to the intensity and good dialouge throughout the film, especially towards the end. This is not a chick flick though, but there is no doubt that history buffs will love Valkyrie.
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