Valkyrie

Valkyrie Image
Metascore
56

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

User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 232 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.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) Expand

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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. The mechanics of the actual plot are pretty amazing. Singer has assembled a top-notch international cast.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    Has visual splendor galore, but is a cold work lacking in the requisite tension and suspense.
  4. Reviewed by: Jenni Miller
    63
    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. 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.
  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: 53 out of 78
  2. Negative: 5 out of 78
  1. VladimirV
    May 25, 2009
    10
    A very good movie about real facts in history.
  2. AlexB.
    Dec 26, 2008
    10
    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 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
    9
    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 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. Collapse
  4. jt
    Jan 4, 2009
    8
    The critics, whether intentionally or not, have misjudged this film.
  5. MarkB.
    Jan 22, 2009
    7
    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 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. M.A
    May 20, 2009
    6
    Pretty much OK to watch, but you forget it fairly quickly.
  7. PaulS
    Dec 25, 2008
    0
    A fully disappointing film that failed to thrill or intrigue me, and that makes Adam Sandler look like a serious Oscar contender in 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 78 User Reviews

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