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Valkyrie 2008 PG-13 CC

At the height of WWII, a group of German officers hatched a plot to assassinate Hitler and seize control of the military command in order to end the war.

Starring:
Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh
Runtime:
2 hours, 0 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama, Thriller
Director Bryan Singer
Starring Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh
Supporting actors Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Carice van Houten, Thomas Kretschmann, Terence Stamp, Eddie Izzard, Kevin McNally, Christian Berkel, Jamie Parker, David Bamber, Tom Hollander, David Schofield, Kenneth Cranham, Halina Reijn, Werner Daehn, Harvey Friedman, Matthias Schweighöfer, Waldemar Kobus
Studio MGM
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
9/10 Stars

Forget all the negative hype surrounding Valkyrie, because I assure you it is false. Bryan Singer has made a well-crafted thriller that kept me and my family on the edge of our seats until the end - even though we all know what the story's unfortunate outcome. Also, many tabloids were making this out to be the movie that would permanently cripple the career of Tom Cruise. This is entirely false. Cruise delivers a fine performance, and this hatred I can only assume is related to his rather odd personal life. Tom Cruise is as strong of an actor as he ever was, and I won't let something like turning Oprah's couch into a playground deny the fact that the man has talent, and is a truly passionate actor (and seriously, he does have a slight resemblance to Stauffenberg).

The movie is based on the last of fifteen known attempts on the life of German dictator Adolf Hitler (I'm sure everyone will have him in a nice "Five Most Evil People" list), and has Tom Cruise playing Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, who of course was the key player in the assassination attempt. Ultimately this attempt failed (as we all know Hitler would die by suicide nine months later), but that doesn't keep Valkyrie from being an addictively engaging film.

Every member of the cast does their part well, not jockeying for superiority in any way. More importantly Cruise does not grandstand in this movie, fading in with the rest of the cast, rather than trying to stand above them like you'd expect, given his past films. Cruise gives a performance similar to 2005's War of the Worlds, where he does a good performance, but he never tries to overpower the other members of the cast.
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Format: Blu-ray
All Historical Dramas faithful to the actual events run the risk of being dry and boring. Fortunately, although it is a bit dry here and there, the producers of Valkyrie didn't stray too far in that direction. The story is well-told, and I did not feel that it dragged or got into excessive and boring detail at any point. If you are a student of WWII, and particularly this famous failed attempt to assassinate Hitler, you will be pleased with the quality of the film, the acting, and the film's faithfulness to facts and to the tone of the times. The film brings forth many details of which I was not aware, and the historical facts I know-of from past research are accurately portrayed.

It is clear computer graphics are used extensively in this film, since many of the scenes could not have been filmed in any other way, more than 60 years after events took place. The special effects are for the most part well done, and are not intrusive - clearly used only as needed to support the story instead of being an excuse to show-off a studio's CGI capabilities.

As for acting, this story was an excellent vehicle for Tom Cruise. I feel Cruise's portrayal of Colonel von Stauffenburg, who was a central figure in the assassination plot and this story, was excellent and believable. Some may argue that the characterization is a bit wooden, but I suspect this may be intentional on Cruise's part, and in keeping with the historical figure: a decorated soldier filled with anger towards Hitler, who could survive in the upper levels of the German Army only by masking his true feelings.

The rest of the cast is phenomenal. I was amazed at the number of familiar and respected actors and actresses that appeared in relatively minor roles throughout the film.
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7 Comments 138 of 155 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
As a history buff, I was complelled to see this film from the get go. The fact that critics were particularly brutal led me to believe this was indeed an excellent film. I was very pleased to see it stuck to the facts even if some of the details are rather mundane. The cinematography does an excellent job at placing you in the era as if you were a bystander to the events before you.
The acting was simply top notch. Tom Cuise elevated himself with his performance. He was quite believable and true to the accounts of Colonel Stauffenberg. I reject the accounts by critics that this was a Gerry Maguire performance in uniform. The supporting cast is award worthy. it is rare to find a cast that works so seemlessly together. I believe the director deserves particular credit for this achievement.
Bottom line, Valkyrie is a top quality film worthy of your time. Forget what all those bitter, envious critics says, see it for yourself and then judge the film in it's merits.
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Format: Blu-ray
I don't want to waste time here repeating what others have said about this film and its attention to historical events. That aspect seems to be covered well and little I could say would add value in that area.

What I would like to comment about and somewhat warn those thinking about the Blu-ray version of this film is that the audio levels and fluctuation there in may drive viewers a little batty. What I mean is that for much of the film the dialogue is going to be quiet, almost at a whisper level. That is as it should be since a lot of the activity is secretive discussion of treasonous plans, but.... well, there's a problem in that if you adjust the volume up so you can hear most of the dialogue when normal (non-whisper level) dialogue comes along it may nearly blast your ears. Most certainly any explosions, thunder, or other noise will do the job and chase you out of the viewing area.

I wish this wasn't a problem here, and perhaps in a different home theatre configuration it might not be a problem at all, but I bring the problem up so that others might be forewarned.

In other aspects the Blu-ray is excellent. Video quality is superb though the color scheme is primarily earth tones (military hues and browns and grays). The color levels are good and the image is clean and clear. Given that the film is 'new' it should be expected that the transfer would be pristine.

Most definitely worth viewing, and arbitrarily worth a purchase for World War II film buffs.
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