Valkyrie (PG-13)

Drama 120 December 25, 2008
By Robert Wilonsky
Its intentions are noble: to make a hero of out the forgotten man, Claus Philipp Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise), who tried to kill Hitler in 1944 in order to seize control of Germany and broker a truce with the Allies. But Valkyrie has no interest in truly memorializing him; this isn’t really Oscar fare, even though its based-on-a-true-story baggage, period clothing. location setting and reputable A-list cast (Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Eddie Izzard, Kenneth Branagh, Terence Stamp) suggest as much. What to do with a movie that’s impossible to spoil (you do know the ending, right?) and winds up with the hero assassinated by a coward? (Didn’t work out well for that Jesse James movie last year, either–I mean, the ending was right in the title.) Well, the supporting performances are top-notch, but Cruise is all we see here—Ethan Hunt in an eye patch. Even when saying goodbye to his wife and kids for a final time, his Satuffenberg never seems like a man for whom there’s anything at stake—maybe missed dinner reservations. Valkyrie feels like another installment in the never-ending franchise—not just the action-movie one, but the Tom Cruise one.
Bryan Singer Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Carice Van Houten, Thomas Kretschmann, Eddie Izzard, Christian Berkel, Terence Stamp, Stephen Fry Christopher McQuarrie, Nathan Alexander Bryan Singer, Christopher McQuarrie MGM


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