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Valkyrie Movie Poster

Year: 2008
Director: Bryan Singer

Valkyrie Download

Cast:

Tom Cruise (Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg), Kenneth Branagh (Major-General Henning von Tresckow), Bill Nighy (General Friedrich Olbricht), Tom Wilkinson (General Friedrich Fromm), Carice van Houten (Nina von Stauffenberg), Thomas Kretschmann (Major Otto Ernst Remer), Terence Stamp (Ludwig Beck), Eddie Izzard (General Erich Fellgiebel), Kevin McNally (Dr. Carl Goerdeler (as Kevin R. McNally)), Christian Berkel (Colonel Mertz von Quirnheim), Jamie Parker (Lieutenant Werner von Haeften), David Bamber (Adolf Hitler), Tom Hollander (Colonel Heinz Brandt), David Schofield (Erwin von Witzleben), Kenneth Cranham (Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel), Halina Reijn (Margarethe von Oven), Werner Daehn (Major Ernst John von Freyend), Harvey Friedman (Dr. Joseph Goebbels), Matthias Schweighöfer (Lieutenant Herber), Waldemar Kobus (Police Chief Wolf-Heinrich von Helldorf)

Storyline:

In Nazi Germany during World War II, as the tide turned in favor of The Allies, a cadre of senior German officers and politicians desperately plot to topple the Nazi regime before the nation is crushed in a near-inevitable defeat. To this end, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, an Army officer convinced he must save Germany from Hitler, is recruited to mastermind a real plan. To do so, he arranges for the internal emergency measure, Operation: Valkyrie, to be changed to enable his fellows to seize control of Berlin after the assassination of the Fuhrer. However, even as the plan is put into action, a combination of bad luck and human failings conspire on their own to create a tragedy that would prolong the greater one gripping Europe.

Reviews:

First, I want to say that some time ago I learned to distrust critics and instead read the reviews here on IMDb. I've never been misled, even when an equal number of viewers liked and disliked the same movie because that let me know there was a matter of taste in play, and that's fine. Sometimes a movie pleases everyone, but that's so rare I cant really think of one. People have different tastes and that's good. But the value of IMDb reviews is that they are based on a genuine response to the movie - not a bias, or some other agenda.

For example, the Fox critic Roger Friedman listed this movie as one of the worst of 2008 - without having seen the movie. That's right. He rated it without seeing it. It was a classic and reprehensible case of bias and perhaps even bigotry since he was engaging in Tom Cruise bashing which is usually practiced in conjunction with dissing Tom's religion.

So I don't trust critics to tell the truth or give an unbiased review.

I saw Valkyrie and enjoyed it immensely. I've studied the Hitler period and was familiar with most of the events but the movie educated me while it thrilled and entertained me. It is a movie I was happy to take my teen-aged children to see because it also educated and entertained them. I thought the cast did a great job. The script was outstanding and the direction excellent. Tom Cruise gave a dimension to Von Stauffenberg that deepened my understanding of the events. The supporting cast were brilliant.

I highly recommend it.

PS. It's some time since I wrote this review and I took thirty minutes tonight to read the other reviews on this movie, not surprisingly they are mostly very positive and unanimous in praising it. Interestingly, the critics, including the one named above, who trashed the movie without even seeing it, obviously did so in an effort to kill it at the box office. While many other reviewers noted this too, I'd like to point out that those critics and possibly some of the people who 'dont like Tom Cruise because of his weird religion' are actually following the same path that made it possible for Hitler to kill off millions of Jews who also had a 'weird religion'. Considering the historical background of Valkyrie I find that quite ironical.

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Ignore the silly comments of some critics who want this movie to fail. Schickel, Ebert and the L.A. Times got it right. If you're a World War II history buff like me, you'll appreciate the fine effort that is Valkyrie. It shows that American filmmakers as unlikely as Tom Cruise and Bryan Singer can compete with the likes of the Downfall creators in handling such subject matter. Like World War II itself, the full story of the July 20 plot is long and intricate and cannot be fully told in the confines of a two hour feature film. There are certainly many peripherals to the story - its tentacles ran deep into the Nazi diaspora; thousands were executed or "disappeared" (including Irwin Rommel who was not portrayed in the film) - to say nothing of the mixed motives in those Germans wishing to see Hitler dead. These are all subjects that have already been explored and no doubt will be again in the future. Suffice to say, Singer and editor/composer John Ottman focused on the heart of this story: Hitler was destroying Germany/Europe and the July 20 plotters bucked the odds to stop him. The performances from this exceptional cast are first rate. Think what you want about Tom Cruise and Scientology - I'm no big fan of either - but judge the work on its merits. Cruise may not win an Oscar for his portrayal of von Stauffenberg, but he more than gets the job done. In terms of scope, the locations, battle scenes, costumes/uniforms, staging/settings, you can't ask for more in a WWII movie. There's nothing fake, nothing phony to spoil the period experience and vfx are seamless as they should be. If you're expecting a formula Hollywood thriller a la Bourne or M.I., you may be disappointed, but as a serious adult drama Valkyrie delivers the goods. It took some balls to make this movie and UA has earned its kudos.

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