Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
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  1. The movie works like a clock. A few minor quibbles aside (the casting of Hitler, for instance), Valkyrie is a highly intelligent and deeply engrossing historical drama and, frame for frame, the year's most suspenseful nail-biter.
  2. The film is a minor Christmas miracle: It succeeds on its own terms, despite the gossip hounds' best blood-sniffing efforts, and dares to be an entertainment rather than a statement.
  3. 75
    A taut suspense flick for grown-ups.
  4. 75
    Tom Cruise is perfectly satisfactory, if not electrifying, in the leading role.
  5. The mechanics of the actual plot are pretty amazing. Singer has assembled a top-notch international cast.
  6. 75
    Valkyrie, despite being a more straightforward thriller, is less gripping than "Downfall," the most recent film in which Hitler had significant screen time.
  7. The result is a fairly co-ordinated effort that, despite a few miscues, yields a consistently watchable film.
  8. Singer has crafted a fine film. One just wishes for greater details -- and a different ending.
  9. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Has visual splendor galore, but is a cold work lacking in the requisite tension and suspense.
  10. Reviewed by: Scott Mendelson
    Valkyrie just misses out on being a great film (it’s no Black Book), but it easily merits mention as a good one.
  11. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Once Singer dispenses with the introductory pathos and gets to the nuts and bolts of Stauffenberg's plan, Valkyrie becomes an admirably modest and compact suspense thriller.
  12. A perfectly acceptable motion picture. The only thing that keeps it from even greater accomplishments may be inherent in the story itself.
  13. 70
    As a suspense movie, this works pretty well: director Bryan Singer (X-Men, The Usual Suspects) maintains a crisp pace as the plotters set out to kill the fuhrer with a briefcase bomb, and the historical details of the botched coup, which exploited one of Hitler's own contingency plans to mobilize the army reserves and disarm the SS, are inherently interesting.
  14. A brutally efficient bit of storytelling, and it makes no unforced errors. It is admirably free of any Spielbergian effort to squeeze sentimentality or inspirational lessons out of what is a complicated and morally complex story.
  15. Once the plotters plunge into action, though, Valkyrie becomes both an exciting thriller and a useful history lesson.
  16. 63
    Tom Cruise starring in the fact-based story of a plot to kill Hitler by Nazi Col. Claus von Stauffenberg sounds like Oscar bait. It isn't. And the sooner you accept it, the more fun you'll have at this satisfying B movie.
  17. It's a procedural, often absorbing, rarely surprising, about a briefcase bomb and a near-miss. Yet there's no question the film feels dodgy and vague when it comes to the personalities and ideology of the men onscreen.
  18. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    It's a smooth, compelling, almost suspenseful (more on that in a bit), and slightly hollow Hollywood period piece.
  19. Reviewed by: Jenni Miller
    Marketed as a combination of a popcorn-munching actioner, but that's somewhat misleading -- it's also a well-researched historical thriller. Unfortunately, it ends up not succeeding as either.
  20. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    A film more concerned with 'how' than 'why' or 'who', Valkyrie would have benefited from more scrutiny and complexity. Still, once the bomb goes off, the thrills come in spades.
  21. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    A World War II thriller without enough thrills.
  22. 50
    The film improves once the assassination attempt goes awry, but the audience is never truly invested in the actions of these heroic men.
  23. The history itself is the main appeal here.
  24. Reviewed by: Robert Wilonsky
    Valkyrie feels like another installment in the never-ending franchise -- not just the action-movie one, but the Tom Cruise one. Like the operation itself, it's a good idea -- just not well-executed.
  25. 50
    Bryan Singer’s solid direction and some flavorful supporting performances from the dependable likes of Bill Nighy, Eddie Izzard, and Tom Wilkinson keep Valkyrie within the realm of handsome mediocrity.
  26. It's slickly executed, handsomely acted for the most part and utterly easy to forget.
  27. If Mr. Cruise doesn't work in Valkyrie, it's partly because he's too modern, too American and way too Tom Cruise to make sense in the role, but also because what passes for movie realism keeps changing, sometimes faster than even a star can change his brand.
  28. 50
    Valkyrie's political and military subjects may have sounded like sure-fire thriller material. Wilkinson alone proves that a suspense film thrives on intriguing characters struggling to survive. Nothing in Valkyrie is as compelling as watching tides of calculation crash across Wilkinson's face.
  29. 50
    Neither a masterpiece nor an embarrassment, but a workmanlike picture that sits, inoffensively, in the middling space between.
  30. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    As action movies go, Valkyrie is pretty short on action.
  31. Directed by Bryan Singer in a break from his gayish superhero movies, it's a low-key procedural with a dollop of suspense--although perhaps not enough to make up for the foregone conclusion.
  32. 50
    What makes Valkyrie more depressing than exciting is that it forces you to ask, against your judgment, what, exactly, he achieved.
  33. Reviewed by: Cammila Albertson
    The notorious action star keeps his bombastic persona remarkably reeled in, and the resulting film is earnest, somber, and extremely modest -- almost to a fault.
  34. Sadly, it lacks the classic awfulness that might have lifted it into the pantheon of Truly Bad Movies. Instead, what we have here is a garden variety bad movie, of which there have been all too many lately.
  35. 40
    We all know how it ends, and that foreknowledge dooms Singer's hotly anticipated and much troubled account of the attempt on Adolf Hitler's life.
  36. If there are Nazis fighting other Nazis in a movie and it's still boring, something's gone wrong. Valkyrie has a coterie of problems, and represents a whole new front in Tom Cruise's public relations war, but first and foremost there's the tedium.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 211 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 76
  2. Negative: 5 out of 76
  1. Jan 5, 2015
    Valkyrie isn't particularly lacking in aspects but it also doesn't excel in any. The costumes are great but other than that there isn'tValkyrie isn't particularly lacking in aspects but it also doesn't excel in any. The costumes are great but other than that there isn't anything about it that can be considered great. It's just decent. Full Review »
  2. Aug 31, 2014
    Valkyrie is filled with ample potential for an excellent look at Nazi-controlled Germany. Unfortunately between a weak screenplay and anotherValkyrie is filled with ample potential for an excellent look at Nazi-controlled Germany. Unfortunately between a weak screenplay and another poor performance from Tom Cruise, Valkyrie is shelved with the group of unsuccessful Holocaust films. Full Review »
  3. Apr 2, 2014
    This one is not bad at all. The thrills are there and the ending sequence, even though we know it is coming, is as tragic as it should haveThis one is not bad at all. The thrills are there and the ending sequence, even though we know it is coming, is as tragic as it should have been. However, in spite of that, the story feels...rushed. For example, the story felt a little on the short side and the character development, as seems to be the case with many films based on military actions, seems to be pretty thin as well. But, on the plus side, the acting was really good across the board. Tom Cruise caught a lot of flack here, but I enjoyed his performance here. It was a really nice, reserved, dramatic, and thoughtful, performance, that was by no means the best acting job I have seen, but it was far from the worst. Full Review »