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Valkyrie Valkyrie
Movie Rating:
DVD Rating:
Overall Rating:

Movie Details: View Here

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Tom Cruise
Tom Wilkinson
Bill Nighy
Carice van Houten
Eddie Izzard

Special Features:

Other Info:
Video: Widescreen 1.85:1 Color
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Run Time: 120 min
Rating: PG-13

Synopsis from DVD Cover:
"Tom Cruise gives one of the best performances of his career" (Jeffrey Lyons, NBC/Reel Talk) in this action-packed film from the director of The Usual Suspects and X-Men. Based on the incredible true story of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Cruise) and his ingenious assassination plot targeting Adolph Hitler, this engrossing thriller reenacts the daring operation to eliminate one of the most evil tyrants the world has ever known. Co-starring Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Terence Stamp and Eddie Izzard, Valkyrie delivers gripping suspense and pulse-pounding excitement from start to finish!

Quick Review:
Director Bryan Singer has said that his intentions for "Valkyrie" were, besides making a film about an actual event in history, he wanted to make a traditional, old-fashioned war film in the tradition of "The Dirty Dozen," and despite all the naysayers who couldn't see Tom Cruise as the one-eyed Colonel Stauffenberg, both he and Singer manage to pull it off, creating a suspenseful thriller out of a story whose ending we all already know.

So, if you don't know all the details of this failed attempt on the Fuhrer, it seems the German army was trying to overthrow Hitler (David Bamber), and Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Cruise) is right there at the front of the line. Fighting to change the world's perception of Germany and secure a legacy that proves "not all of [them] were like him," Stauffenberg and his allies work covertly and bravely, thwarted at every turn, to overthrow one of the most dangerous monsters in history.

You know going in to this that it's real, but the plot is so twisty and dramatic that it seems like a well-written piece of political suspense. Things go right, and then go horribly wrong, as only a true-based story can show. We know it's not going to work out, and we want to tell them, but our knowing, as an audience, only adds to our investment emotionally. Cruise, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, and Kenneth Branagh all give outstanding performances, never faltering, whether showing us the joy of victory or the sickening lurch of defeat. It's small moments that give the film a balance of accuracy and subjective fiction, such as certain reaction shots or historically unrecorded dialogue, that lift it from being simply a political thriller into being both full of action and a character study of men dedicated to the idea of preserving their country from a murderous legacy.

Fans of the film - and of history - will enjoy the Two-Disc Special Edition. First, there are two Audio Commentaries, one with Cruise, Singer, and writer Christopher McQuarrie, the other with McQuarrie and writer Nathan Alexander. Both commentaries are full of information and worth a listen if you're into that stuff. "The Valkyrie Legacy" is a documentary about all the real life players, and since it's from The History Channel, it's nerdy good time. The other featurette, "The Journey to Valkyrie," is shorter, and is a pretty typical making of affair.

In Conclusion:
The best history-based films are the ones where you're able to forget you're watching something that really happened until the end, and with "Valkyrie," you actually think Hitler might die.

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