Valkyrie (12A)

Film

690.691.x480.film.valkyrie.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
Rate this
 

Time Out says

Posted: Tue Jan 20 2009

DVD is ruining historical education in this country: with hundreds of movies now available, there’s no reason for the families of middle England to gather around the TV on a wet bank holiday afternoon to watch ‘The Colditz Story’ for the umpteenth time. But help is at hand: in ‘Valkyrie’, Tom Cruise doesn’t  just set out to beat the Boche, but to save the great British Sunday.
It’s surprising that Hollywood never got around to making an all-star epic about the plot of July 1944, in which a group of disgruntled generals, led by the aristocratic von Stauffenberg (Cruise), attempted to off the Führer and rescue Germany’s reputation. The failure of the assassination plan, and the attempted coup that followed, marked the end of organised Germanic resistance to Hitler’s regime.

Director Bryan Singer takes a staunchly old-school approach, assembling a cast of reliable British thesps and dividing the action between swastika-adorned wood-panelled offices and rainswept, shadowy Berlin streets. The period is exactingly recreated, with the camera lingering lovingly over leather jackboots, snarling dogs and those fetishistic, immaculately starched uniforms.
‘Valkyrie’ has serious flaws: the script, by Nathan Alexander and Singer’s longtime compadre Christopher McQuarrie, takes an age to get going and steers clear of any moral ambiguity. Too many of the prestigious cast –  notably Kenneth Branagh and token female Carice van Houten –  are underused, and the accents are simply ludicrous, with Cruise’s mid-American drawl sitting awkwardly alongside Branagh’s cultured RP and the Führer’s Teutonic whine. But as old-fashioned historical escapism goes, this is solid, compelling stuff.
0

Reviews

Add +

Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Jan 23, 2009

Duration:

121 mins

Users say

0
<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:11
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|27
1 person listening
Dave

Get out more, blib? I'm out 6 nights per week. I do need a day of rest! I'm not John Lennon - I can't do Eight Days a Week. I agree with your last two sentences. Valkyrie is an excellent film (which doesn't preclude it could be better), and accents shouldn't interfere in the enjoyment of it. Another excellent film, in this case regarding the frustration of dealing with leadership, is Stanley Kubrick's 1957 "Paths of Glory" which starred Kirk Douglas and concerned itself about the Souain Corporal's Affair. "Paths of Glory" is based upon the true story of four French soldiers, under General Géraud Réveilhac, unfairly executed for mutiny during World War I; their families sued, and while the executions were ruled unfair, two of the families received one franc each, while the others received nothing. Sounds a lot like today. Just replace execution with Agent Orange. As for the 'what ifs' - that's called making a choice. Whether it's a choice about everyday things (Should I see Valkyrie tonight or the Pink Panther 2?), or extraordinary things (What if Yamamoto had invaded Hawaii? What if JFK survived Dallas? What if the July 20 Plot worked and Hitler was killed?), "what if" is part and parcel of decision-making.

Dave

Get out more, blib? I'm out 6 nights per week. I do need a day of rest! I'm not John Lennon - I can't do Eight Days a Week. I agree with your last two sentences. Valkyrie is an excellent film (which doesn't preclude it could be better), and accents shouldn't interfere in the enjoyment of it. Another excellent film, in this case regarding the frustration of dealing with leadership, is Stanley Kubrick's 1957 "Paths of Glory" which starred Kirk Douglas and concerned itself about the Souain Corporal's Affair. "Paths of Glory" is based upon the true story of four French soldiers, under General Géraud Réveilhac, unfairly executed for mutiny during World War I; their families sued, and while the executions were ruled unfair, two of the families received one franc each, while the others received nothing. Sounds a lot like today. Just replace execution with Agent Orange. As for the 'what ifs' - that's called making a choice. Whether it's a choice about everyday things (Should I see Valkyrie tonight or the Pink Panther 2?), or extraordinary things (What if Yamamoto had invaded Hawaii? What if JFK survived Dallas? What if the July 20 Plot worked and Hitler was killed?), "what if" is part and parcel of decision-making.

Michael

One of the best films I've seen in a long time. It's a very straightforward film about a bonafide historical event. Some critics have called the film boring. If the actors and script had leaned more towards the sensational; the critics more than likely would have said it was over the top. It is neither, but rather strikes a nice balance between drama and realism. I've never been a Tom Cruise fan; but I try to give any performer a chance to show what he can do. This may be the best work Tom Cruise has ever done. The whole cast was excellent; as were the other aspects of the film. Some of the settings were gorgeous; and for the most part, seemed quite authentic. They should, since many of them were filmed in actual historical locations. The greatest movie ever made ? Why, no, but good enough that it entered my Top Ten today. The whole cast and crew have my sincere respect and admiration. A single tear trickled from my eye as I witnessed the inevitable fate of the rebel soldiers.

Michael

One of the best films I've seen in a long time. It's a very straightforward film about a bonafide historical event. Some critics have called the film boring. If the actors and script had leaned more towards the sensational; the critics more than likely would have said it was over the top. It is neither, but rather strikes a nice balance between drama and realism. I've never been a Tom Cruise fan; but I try to give any performer a chance to show what he can do. This may be the best work Tom Cruise has ever done. The whole cast was excellent; as were the other aspects of the film. Some of the settings were gorgeous; and for the most part, seemed quite authentic. They should, since many of them were filmed in actual historical locations. The greatest movie ever made ? Why, no, but good enough that it entered my Top Ten today. The whole cast and crew have my sincere respect and admiration. A single tear trickled from my eye as I witnessed the inevitable fate of the rebel soldiers.

pasaglenia

I saw this film for my birthday treat and it was memorable. One of the best films I've seen in a long time.My husband also enjoyed it.

pasaglenia

I saw this film for my birthday treat and it was memorable. One of the best films I've seen in a long time.My husband also enjoyed it.

usman khawaja

this is better as a movie then all the award winners this year -shame about tom cruise though i nwish they had cast someone convincing as the baron -still it was more interesting then both button and slumdog and reader

Marsellus

Saw this yesterday... Historical accuracy and controversy aside, the film was interesting enough in that it offered a different kind of WW2 film than we usually get from Hollywood. Germans are typically confined to the bad guy roles in WW2 films so it was a refreshing change to see them portray the heroes this time around. However, as a film Valkyrie was let down by a lack of action or suspense. Perhaps developing the supporting characters and making more of the previous attempts on Hitler's life would have helped. (Where did Ken Branagh disappear to?) There was a lot more discussing of plans than actually carrying them out. This film is not M:I-4 as the trailer led me to believe. Still... it was nice to learn about a little known piece of history.

jo

I think most of you have forgoten this is a movie review page!!we all have our own opinions on the war,and most of us didn't live through it!the only thing I have to say about it all is I totally agree with mr vallence (i assume he is an older man as he seems to think like the older generation who lived through it all and actually heard of these things over the "wireless"!)my grand father was over in normandy and my grandma went through the war with three children who all remember it as well as aunts and uncles (one off my grandad's brothers married a german girl he met days before the war ended,he was in germany at the time as a soldier who had landed at d-day!!)so I do know how people from that time feel about these "hero's".Anyways this is MY thoughts on the FILM.can't stand tom average actor,thought he did well in this part but still a little sitff.It started of well and then became slightly boring for awhile,when they got round to doing the biussiness it picked up again.the support cast were great but as some1 has said already not used anywhere near enough,I was looking forward to seeing kenneth on the big screen again!the plot was true to the reallity and yes I agree with others german language would have been better as in downfall but it would put the majority off(there were only 15 of us there as it was!)but they could have at least done "the accent"!this is only my opinion of the film and I AM NOT BARRY NORMANS DAUGHTER just to clarrify things as this film (as all war movies!)has stirred up old wounds and opinions!it's good to see that people still care about what happened and still have enough rage and opinions to carry on like this as it is 60 years ago but it should not be forgotton or swept under the carpet that's when it will happen again!I just wish that we could "forgive the germans" as they are only people like us and the majority of the real villians of the war are dead!

bill

the best film i have ever seen ever. Have no clue why some idiots criticise this for accents ect this film is amazing. It made me cry at the end when they were all shot and hung, it made me cry. It also has action and i loved this film. Who cares at the accents or actors. We're hardly going to get some old german people to try blow up Adolf Hitler because most Germans would/nt dream of it. This film makes you realise just how brave and selfless some people are in the world. Knowing if you mess this up then you die is so selfless as he only thought of others. They never should have died, they should have been praised. One problem with this though. If you kill Hitler you die, so why not when you see him you pull out a gun and shoot him till all your bullets go because it would've been worth it. Oh well , Stauffenberg was the bravest man ever he if i were him i never would have done it what a brave man. This is simply an amzing film with an amzing cast well done to everyone involved with the making of Valkyrie. 5 stars out of 5 from me.

bill

the best film i have ever seen ever. Have no clue why some idiots criticise this for accents ect this film is amazing. It made me cry at the end when they were all shot and hung, it made me cry. It also has action and i loved this film. Who cares at the accents or actors. We're hardly going to get some old german people to try blow up Adolf Hitler because most Germans would/nt dream of it. This film makes you realise just how brave and selfless some people are in the world. Knowing if you mess this up then you die is so selfless as he only thought of others. They never should have died, they should have been praised. One problem with this though. If you kill Hitler you die, so why not when you see him you pull out a gun and shoot him till all your bullets go because it would've been worth it. Oh well , Stauffenberg was the bravest man ever he if i were him i never would have done it what a brave man. This is simply an amzing film with an amzing cast well done to everyone involved with the making of Valkyrie. 5 stars out of 5 from me.

Paul

This film would have been decent if it wasn't for the actors. When you are making a film about Nazi Germany I really feel that it should be done in German with subtitles. English speaking actors talking in American & English accents simply does not cut it. There were a few moments where I actually burst out laughing at how awful some of them sounded.

Dave

While reading everyone's postings here, I was reminded of the quip falsely attributed to Voltaire (I'm sure I'm paraphrasing)- "I disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it." I see a lot of idealism in some of the postings. Idealism is one thing, and reality very often quite different. Idealism says to protest what is wrong. Reality is you get fired, you're sprayed with tear gas or water cannon, you're shot dead at Kent State, you and your family are sent to the Gulag (if you're not all shot). Reality is all that, and smaller things that may hurt even more (believe it or not), like your friends/coworkers suddenly not saying "good morning," "how ya doin," "Manchester really got trashed on Sunday!" or just looking the other way when you near them. Idealism may rule the mind, but survival rules the body. In any court of law, the threat to society is what must ultimately be decided upon. The threat of an adult performing the same act, whether it's carjacking, armed robbery, rape, driving drunk, systemic or spur-of-the-moment murder, or even littering is higher than the threat of a child repeating it. Adults have had years in which to practice these acts. Very many of them live a lifestyle that demands they act in a certain manner, and so they do. The real threat to society is not the performer of the act, but the idea of the act being a sane way to live. For instance: I lose control of my vehicle, hit a light pole and knock it down. It is immaterial whether I lose control because of black ice on the road, or a child darts out onto the road, or I'm talking on my phone. I have performed the act of hitting the pole. Of course, the idea that hitting light poles with my car is something to do every day, or every now and then, is patently insane. The rabid Nazi is one of these people. Addicted to the glitz and glamour of absolute power, they were as helpless as any using crack addict. Those ones were insane. Do you honestly think that today's courts would not send someone for psychiatric evaluation if they dressed up like a Nazi, goose-stepping though town, shooting and yelling that Jews and Gypsies were the cause of all our problems? Of course they would. Food for thought: Is the real rabid Nazi any less insane than the fake rabid Nazi that I just described? I don't think so. The greatest impact the Allies had on ensuring Nazism would not rear its ugly head again was to rebuild Germany after the war. Churchill was right about 10 million things, but he was very much wrong in wanting to turn Germany into an agricultural nation. We all know where feudalism got us. I could facetiously say that Nazism is Feudalism in black leather. How does all this fit in this forum regarding the film Valkyrie? We have crack addicts in our individual national societies today, but they are not the sum of all Britons, or of all Americans, or of all Canadians. Neither were the rabid Nazis the sum of all Germans. One of the many difference between us is that Nazi Germany was (news flash!) run by rabid Nazis. Can you imagine our nation being run by crack addicts? The details would be different, but the substance would be the same (no pun intended). Whether you have a thick head or not, try to understand the idea - Not all (fill-in-the-blank) are bad. Conversely, try to remember the one idea we seem to forget - Not all (fill-in-the-blank) are good!

Dave

While reading everyone's postings here, I was reminded of the quip falsely attributed to Voltaire (I'm sure I'm paraphrasing)- "I disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it." I see a lot of idealism in some of the postings. Idealism is one thing, and reality very often quite different. Idealism says to protest what is wrong. Reality is you get fired, you're sprayed with tear gas or water cannon, you're shot dead at Kent State, you and your family are sent to the Gulag (if you're not all shot). Reality is all that, and smaller things that may hurt even more (believe it or not), like your friends/coworkers suddenly not saying "good morning," "how ya doin," "Manchester really got trashed on Sunday!" or just looking the other way when you near them. Idealism may rule the mind, but survival rules the body. In any court of law, the threat to society is what must ultimately be decided upon. The threat of an adult performing the same act, whether it's carjacking, armed robbery, rape, driving drunk, systemic or spur-of-the-moment murder, or even littering is higher than the threat of a child repeating it. Adults have had years in which to practice these acts. Very many of them live a lifestyle that demands they act in a certain manner, and so they do. The real threat to society is not the performer of the act, but the idea of the act being a sane way to live. For instance: I lose control of my vehicle, hit a light pole and knock it down. It is immaterial whether I lose control because of black ice on the road, or a child darts out onto the road, or I'm talking on my phone. I have performed the act of hitting the pole. Of course, the idea that hitting light poles with my car is something to do every day, or every now and then, is patently insane. The rabid Nazi is one of these people. Addicted to the glitz and glamour of absolute power, they were as helpless as any using crack addict. Those ones were insane. Do you honestly think that today's courts would not send someone for psychiatric evaluation if they dressed up like a Nazi, goose-stepping though town, shooting and yelling that Jews and Gypsies were the cause of all our problems? Of course they would. Food for thought: Is the real rabid Nazi any less insane than the fake rabid Nazi that I just described? I don't think so. The greatest impact the Allies had on ensuring Nazism would not rear its ugly head again was to rebuild Germany after the war. Churchill was right about 10 million things, but he was very much wrong in wanting to turn Germany into an agricultural nation. We all know where feudalism got us. I could facetiously say that Nazism is Feudalism in black leather. How does all this fit in this forum regarding the film Valkyrie? We have crack addicts in our individual national societies today, but they are not the sum of all Britons, or of all Americans, or of all Canadians. Neither were the rabid Nazis the sum of all Germans. One of the many difference between us is that Nazi Germany was (news flash!) run by rabid Nazis. Can you imagine our nation being run by crack addicts? The details would be different, but the substance would be the same (no pun intended). Whether you have a thick head or not, try to understand the idea - Not all (fill-in-the-blank) are bad. Conversely, try to remember the one idea we seem to forget - Not all (fill-in-the-blank) are good!

Andrew Thomson

A well put together movie based on fact. Powerful story allthough historically you know the outcome. The acting was very good with a great number of British actors, all of whom were tremendous in their part. Tom Cruise what talent! As normal makes it look easy. I could watch it again.

Andrew Thomson

A well put together movie based on fact. Powerful story allthough historically you know the outcome. The acting was very good with a great number of British actors, all of whom were tremendous in their part. Tom Cruise what talent! As normal makes it look easy. I could watch it again.

Tim H

Gripping.. but not for most ladies I suspect.. it is grey, teutonic and utilitarian. This is not light entertainment. good use of £6:50 !

Tim H

Gripping.. but not for most ladies I suspect.. it is grey, teutonic and utilitarian. This is not light entertainment. good use of £6:50 !

Nathan Burrell

If you want pure gripping and moving piece of history than this film had it all.Ok Tom Cruise role was not oscar material but I thought he played the role just right.

Nathan Burrell

If you want pure gripping and moving piece of history than this film had it all.Ok Tom Cruise role was not oscar material but I thought he played the role just right.

alexi

A truly awful film, Brian Singer has rendered boring and unbelievable a story that should be fascinating, Cruise brings no depth to the role and most of the supporting cast, with the excpetion of Tom Wilkinson, are not very good either.

Nick

I thought this was an excellent movie. No doubt these people had made compromises in their lives but in the end they did what they believed had to be done.........to the point of paying with their lives.

Nick

I thought this was an excellent movie. No doubt these people had made compromises in their lives but in the end they did what they believed had to be done.........to the point of paying with their lives.

antony

excellent performance from Cruise, yep! so the movie too. I was impressed, we know the end of the story but the developpement is particular, must-see.

antony

excellent performance from Cruise, yep! so the movie too. I was impressed, we know the end of the story but the developpement is particular, must-see.