Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 204 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In a country in the grips of evil, in a police state where every move is being watched, in a world where justice and honor have been subverted, a group of men hidden inside the highest reaches of power decide to take action to eliminate one of the most evil tyrants the world has ever known. (United Artists) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  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. 75
    Valkyrie, despite being a more straightforward thriller, is less gripping than "Downfall," the most recent film in which Hitler had significant screen time.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. The history itself is the main appeal here.
  6. It's slickly executed, handsomely acted for the most part and utterly easy to forget.
  7. 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.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 75
  2. Negative: 5 out of 75
  1. VladimirV
    May 25, 2009
    A very good movie about real facts in history.
  2. AlexB.
    Dec 26, 2008
    A luring story of courage and defiance. obviosuly we know how it ends, so don't be critical of the rather straightforawd plot (as many are). and no, it's not a war movie so dont expect constant explosions and huge action scenes other. Above all else, it's a testament to the men who had the guts to defy hitler's germany. Perhaps the film could have explored their motives more, but it did make clear the bravery inherent in them. Still, it was fascinating to see how close Cruise's "coup" came to altering history; this movie explores the chapter history books left out. Expand
  3. CarolS
    Jan 23, 2009
    I, too, have no idea why critical and public acclaim for this picture isn't better. I found the movie engrossing even though I knew the history behind it. Not every "action" flick has to have a constant barrage of bombing and things otherwise violent! Grow up, people. Cruise looks like the Colonel, and is restrained in his "Cruise-like" performance, and yet no less intense. Co-stars were exceptional. Expand
  4. QBeing
    Jan 5, 2009
    I agree with the San Francisco Chronicle. History is what is appealing here. You know the outcome, but to see how the details unfolded. I found very interesting. I certainly prefered this to the long dragging Benjamin Button. Expand
  5. MarkB.
    Jan 22, 2009
    It's all in the eye. Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) loses one of his (plus 70% of his fingers) in a wartime explosion, and when visiting Adolf Hitler, snaps on an artificial one presumably because of the Fuehrer's high regard for physical perfection...but in most other situations makes do with an eye patch. Why not wear the fake orb ALL the time? This may hold the key to why von Stauffenberg's assassination plot, admirable as its intentions may be, was doomed to failure from the start: von Stauffenberg simply calls too much attention to himself. (This tendency is further explored in one of Valkyrie's best sequences: von Stauffenberg, upon being chastized for not "heil Hitler-ing", immediately, sarcastically overcompensates.) Of the sudden pack of Nazi/ Holocaust-themed movies suddenly surrounding us, Valkyrie is the most traditional, genre-based, and old-fashioned; it could've played quite snugly in 1966 on a very satisfying double bill with The Dirty Dozen. (At age 52, I was the audience's spring chicken at the showing I attended.) Even though most of us already know the outcome of von Stauffenberg's plot going in (or at least SHOULD, depending on how good a job our public schools are doing) Valkyrie still succeeds at being not only surprisingly and admirably tense and suspenseful, but even heartbreaking as we come to know something that our heroes are blissfully (and tragically) unaware of. (Adolf's resiliency becomes Hitchcock's famed bomb-under-the-table.) Director Bryan Singer's comic book adaptations (particularly Superman Returns) suffer from a heavy dose of misplaced gravitas, but given the urgency of his subject matter here, this time his approach is just right. And can we all just lay off Tom Cruise already? The man did a few silly things in public and paid for them (and shouldn't even have had to do THAT for exercising his right to publicly express his religious beliefs; it's a disgrace that he had to appear on TV to defend his friend and fellow believer John Travolta's during a very private, tragic time in the latter's family life) and Cruise's trademark on-screen quality--steely determination (never better displayed than in his "Love it or leave it!" speech in Born on the Fourth of July, where he's desperately trying to convince himself) is abundantly present here. Besides, nobody ever talks about Cruise's SECOND most noticeable acting quality...his utter generosity. Cuba Gooding Jr., Ken Watanabe and Jamie Foxx have scored Oscar nominations or awards playing opposite him, and Cruise is equally both self-effacing and self-assured here in allowing such Brit heavyweights as Kenneth Branagh, Tom Wilkinson and Eddie Izzard to pilfer their scenes. Cruise hasn't quite seen a Robert Downey Jr.-like resurrection this year, but between this movie deservedly coming off far better than expected, and his one-for-the-books turn as Dancing Hollywood Butthole in Tropic Thunder...hey, the man is still young! Expand
  6. JayH
    May 14, 2009
    Two big flaws: It should have gone the route of "Downfall", and been a historical drama instead of a routine thriller. Second, I could not help but think of how many many actors would have been sooooo much better cast than Tom Cruise. He is not the least bit convincing. The production is excellent - good art direction, cinematography etc. Expand
  7. PaulS
    Dec 25, 2008
    A fully disappointing film that failed to thrill or intrigue me, and that makes Adam Sandler look like a serious Oscar contender in comparison. It had all the elements to make an amazing thriller, but Cruise totally failed to convince me in his role. Not just that, but I have to ask who thought releasing a film about Hitler on Christmas day was a good idea? Springtime, for Hitler, and Germany. Expand

See all 75 User Reviews