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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far exceeded my expectations!
Given that this was made and released as a mainstream film with a big Hollywood name (Cruise) in the leading role, I had wrongly assumed that this would turn out to be another glitzy mis-recreation of an important historical event. How wrong I was! I was very pleasantly surprised with the treatment of the subject matter which was both sensitive and accurate: a rarity...
Published on 15 July 2010 by Dan the man

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well crafted film but..........
The film was well produced and crafted, art direction brilliant, acting by and large good, accents a bit dodgy but generally I enjoyed it. However (and there is a big however) why oh why must the enjoyment of DVD's these days be ruined by the horrendous sound quality. In some cases, we could barely hear some of the actors speaking. The sound is turned up. Then you get the...
Published on 16 Nov 2012 by Pip Gundill


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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far exceeded my expectations!, 15 July 2010
By 
Dan the man (North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Valkyrie [DVD] (DVD)
Given that this was made and released as a mainstream film with a big Hollywood name (Cruise) in the leading role, I had wrongly assumed that this would turn out to be another glitzy mis-recreation of an important historical event. How wrong I was! I was very pleasantly surprised with the treatment of the subject matter which was both sensitive and accurate: a rarity indeed!
Whoever has adapted this important historical event into a screenplay has done a tremendous job creating characters who are believably human (complete with flaws) whilst remaining faithful to the events. The cast is an excellent line-up of some of the best serious actors currently treading the boards and I was pleasantly surprised at just how much British talent is showcased here. It is obvious that a great deal of homework has been done and this could serve as a great lesson to other film-makers that you do not have to distort, invent or change the facts of history to make it entertaining (NB: U571, Pearl Harbour, Inglorious Basterds!).
I would recommend this film to anyone who has even a passing interest in WW2 or even viewers who simply enjoy a good tale well told.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superior effort from Tom Cruise, 9 July 2011
By 
Chris White (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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When it comes to Tom Cruise movies, there are normally two certainties. Namely: the poster art will consist solely of his face and no matter what the situation, his character will have availed himself of impeccable dental care.

Cruise may be nominally the star but to surround himself by such capable talent on both sides of the camera lifts Valkyrie above his average vehicle. It's directed by Bryan Singer, who reunites with his Usual Suspects collaborators Christopher McQuarrie (co-writer) and John Ottman (composer and editor). The ensemble includes Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson and Terence Stamp.

The subject matter also represents a departure. The true-life story of an assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler means everyone knows up front that he won't be riding off into the sunset, having got the girl who 'completes' him. In fact, Cruise's physical resemblance to the person he portrays, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, is uncanny.

Von Stauffenberg was an outspoken opponent of the Hitler regime and the prime mover behind a daring plan to eradicate the dictator from the scene once and for all. The fact that Der Führer didn't meet his end after walking into an elaborate mousetrap makes witnessing what might have been all the more fascinating. Indeed, the tension is ramped up throughout and despite their being on a hiding to nothing you find yourself rooting for the conspirators.

The one potential sticking point is the use of the actors' natural speaking voices instead of German accents. It's obvious that some of the cast would be better at them than others so this is neatly transitioned right at the beginning. You soon accept that it's a theatrical convention and doesn't detract from your enjoyment.

Singer employs a bright colour palette, which helps the Blu-ray format shine to its best advantage along with a powerful DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack. The disc isn't light on extras either, with two commentaries and several featurettes covering the making of the film and a feature-length documentary about its historical background.

In a break with tradition, Cruise has allowed the cover art to include all the principal cast. Alas, his teeth remain a lighting cameraman's nightmare. It is nonetheless very highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Accurate Morality Lesson., 19 Dec 2014
This review is from: Valkyrie [DVD] (DVD)
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Historical dramas usually have one thing going against them, history. How do you build a tension filled plot when everyone knows the outcome? That was Bryan Singer's biggest problem in the making of this brilliantly constructed thriller than focused on the unsuccessful attempt by a leading group of German officers to assassinate Adolf Hitler in the Summer of 1944. Bringing together an all star cast that would put most productions to shame, Singer made us invest our faith in these men who tried in vain to do the right thing.

Led by Tom Cruise as colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, a disillusioned officer who finally wakes up to the atrocities his country has committed under Hitler, he joins a secret committee with plans to replace The Fuhrer. This group of men harbor ambitions to seize control of the country and seek an alliance with the Western Allies in order to save Germany from the Russians. The plot is complex and full of hazards, but each conspirator holds his nerve as von Stauffenberg detonates a bomb inside Hitler's Wolf's Lair in Rastenburg. From then on in it's all or nothing as step by step their plans are set in motion.

With a cast that includes Cruise, alongside Brits Tom Wilkinson, Terrence Stamp, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, and Tom Hollander, as well as European class acts Thomas Kretschmann, Christian Berkel, and Carice van Houten, this film is a monumental achievement.

It looks glorious, frighteningly so. Authentic to the point of shivers, Singer recreates a Berlin adorned with Nazi insignia and full of uniformed troops that cast a shadow over humanity itself. This is visually one of the best looking WWII movies around, and with a script penned by Christopher McQuarrie has real class to it. It may have a Hollywood feel to it, but both the message and the sacrifice these men made is given the respect it deserves.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I unexpectedly enjoyed it,, 31 May 2009
This review is from: Valkyrie [DVD] (DVD)
I was a little hesitant to see this movie since it's an historical story & also because of the mediocre reviews, I expected to be bored, but my husband wanted to see it & I thought that I would fall asleep watching, as usual, but I was wrong. The movie engaged me from the beginning & even though I knew the ending, the movie was quite captivating & kept me up waiting to see what will happen. A very nice surprise. Also Tom Cruise was great even though I don't care for him much lately he really gave this movie a soul. Well done.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'A WELL PORTRAYED HISTORICAL DRAMA', 19 Dec 2014
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Valkyrie [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Not sure why some of reviewers didn't rate the film very highly ?
I think to enjoy the film you would maybe need to be interested in what is now 'Historical Events'...in that contex it was most certainly a well portrayed movie.
The 'Valkyrie' assassination plot was of course the best documented attempt on 'Hitler's' life ( there were many others, shame he didn't ever seem to 'get-it' that he wasn't as popular as he'd imagined )
In this film it portrays several high-ranking 'German-Officers and other personnel planning to kill 'Hitler' along with some of his closest 'Military' allies, the plot was, once the deed was done an immediate take-over of the military and government would be implemented, along with the arrest of Generals and S.S.officers loyal to 'Hitler' bringing an early end to hostility.
Failure's concequences were all too well known, the risks were great
But the prize for success would be to save thousands of lives and bring about peace.
For me this is one of the best and most demanding role's 'Tom Cruise' has undertaken,it's a good film,a well told 'historical' drama coupled with a great cast.
Good Picture and Sound Quality Throughout.
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60 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply outstanding, 12 Jun 2009
By 
J. Champs "Jay Neuf" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
As an expert on Nazi Germany, having studied the subject for over 35 years, having grown to understand its causes and motivations and how these lead to an appalling - yet well stated intent - to massacre and conquer, this film simply captivates and overwhelms. I had heard a great deal of criticism levelled at Tom Cruise for attempting to play a 6ft 2 Colonel who is regarded as the chief hero of the German resistance.

However, with one tiny inaccuracy at the start of the film, it proceeded in its relentless journey to impress time after time, with its locations, infinitesimal attention to detail which can only be described as a triumph of research and its utterly moving telling of a story doomed to fail from the day it was conceived.

If ever there was a tale about how not to carry out a military coup this is it. Endless good intentions utterly ruined by a total failure of communications.

I found the scene at The Berghof, when Stauffenberg has to get Hitler to sign the Walkure amendment to enable the plan to take shape, simply unbearable in its tension. Every member of the senior German government was instantly recognisable to me without any names being used and most of them not speaking, they were that superbly portrayed and chosen. The exceptional detail of the Berghof layout was just awe-inspiring.

The aircraft scene (which there is an interesting documentary about on the disc) is again outstanding, this is exactly how Hitler travelled. Even the way everyone reluctantly puts out their cigarettes (Hitler loathed smoking)as he arrives. The focus on a mosquito biting a guard - emphasising the sultry summer heat and mosquito infested Rastenburg site was genius. You didn't have to do it, but in doing so, for detail freaks like me, this was extraordinary.

The acting was outstanding, simple as that. I may not get an Oscar or any awards, but I regard this film as one of the finest historical recreations ever made.

To all involved thank you. I and several others were in floods of tears at the end when I saw this twice at the cinema, and already three times on Blu-Ray. Never mind the digital copy that sits on my iPhone so I can bore others to death at will.

I cannot say anything bad about this film. It was a risk to make it, asking for massive criticism and yet its sensitivity, detail and accuracy, especially using (even if unintentionally in one case) the actual locations where possible, just made it as near perfect as can be reasonable 65 years past the event.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful Piece of History, but..., 21 May 2009
By 
Martin A Hogan "Marty From SF" (San Francisco Bay Area) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Valkyrie [DVD] (DVD)
There have been five versions of `Valkyrie' told on screen in the last twenty years. 1990 had the excellent Brad Davis in "The Plot To Kill Hitler", 2004 had "Operation Valkyrie" by Sebastion Koch and 2008 produced two films, "Killing Hitler: The True Story Of The Valkyrie Plot" and "Operation Valkyrie: The Stauffenberg Plot To Kill Hitler". For those interested, the word valkyrie is derived from `old horse' valkyrja (referring to the slain on the battlefield) and the verb kjósa (meaning "to choose"). Together, the words mean "chooser of the slain." A word chosen by Hitler himself. The story tells of the 1944 attempt by several High Command German Officers to asassinate Hitler and take over control of the German government. Colonel Stauffenberg led a resistance group who amanged to plant a bomb in Hitler's battlefield headquarters. The bomb went off. We all know how Hitler really died.

Now this year we have "Valkyrie" starring a host of grand actors like, Tom Wilkinson, Terrance Stamp, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy and Eddie Izzard. Hitler is played to perfection by a lesser-known actor named David Bamber. All sport British/German accents, which helps the credibility of the story. Then we have Tom Cruise as Colonel Stauffenberg. He is horrendously and miserably miscast. The beginning of the film has a Tom Cruise sound-alike German voice speaking that tries to slowly evolve into Cruise's American voice. It's as big a bomb as the one that goes off in Hitler's bunker.

The direction by Bryan Singer is, of course, well done with first class cinematography and surround sounds of explosions and gunfire. All the acting is first rate, except for Tom Cruise who rarely raises his voice and looks meek and stoic throughout the film. I am sorry to bash Mr. Cruise, but he is just terribly miscast. He shows little emotion, drive or passion. Brad Davis in the 1990 version was excellent, showing a wide range of emotions, especially towards the plot, his companions and his family. In fact, Davis successful changes his accent even if it isn't perfect German or British.

The Singer film is perfectly adequate, but I found myself sighing every time Cruise appears on film (and not the good kind of sighing). Singer does manage to be faithful to the original story, only changing some scenes to highlight Cruise. Many of the scenes of the Stauffenberg house, the bunker in the forest and others are identical and it manages to feel like WWII Germany (it was filmed there), but the ending set-up seems contrived, even if it is true. The Stauffenberg family was imprisoned and released a few years later, something not noted in the Singer film.

If you have never heard the story, it is an amazing part of history. The supporting cast couldn't be better and Director Singer knows how to handle suspense and the horrors of war. However, Tom Cruise is simply "Risky Business" Tom Cruise in a German uniform. He is completely out of place. Enjoy the film with that warning.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well crafted film but.........., 16 Nov 2012
By 
Pip Gundill (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Valkyrie [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The film was well produced and crafted, art direction brilliant, acting by and large good, accents a bit dodgy but generally I enjoyed it. However (and there is a big however) why oh why must the enjoyment of DVD's these days be ruined by the horrendous sound quality. In some cases, we could barely hear some of the actors speaking. The sound is turned up. Then you get the music coming in and it's like being surrounded by a wall of sound so it has to be turned down. We've noticed this in the last few years. In the cinema there isn't such a problem. The sound in these multiplexes is phenomenally loud, both speech and music. It's certainly spoiling this viewer's enjoyment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WAR FILM, 15 Dec 2010
By 
Neil Brennan "garion" (Rochdale, Lancs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Valkyrie [DVD] (DVD)
A very good war film of a true event towards the end of World War 2, which could have changed the course of history. Good acting by all especially Tom Cruise who is excellent, and he is very well backed up. Even though you know what will happen, you are still at the edge of your seat watching this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor film, at the begining you have cruise writing ..., 22 July 2014
By 
Mr. P. Davis (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Valkyrie [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Very poor film, at the begining you have cruise writing and his thoughts out loud in German with subtitles, this then very awkwardly changes into American talking the film is then rubbish from there in (2 min). All the German roles are played mainly with American or English accents with no effort to cover then up! It makes the whole film look like you are watching a high budget fancy dress reproduction of something. You keep forgetting I am watching a supposidly German story based in Germany about the Germans. You can always bet that the Americans we ruin any 2nd WW film they make.
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Valkyrie [UMD Mini for PSP]
Valkyrie [UMD Mini for PSP] by Bryan Singer (UMD Mini for PSP - 2009)
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