REVIEW: ‘Valkyrie’

Tom Cruise
Kenneth Branagh
Bill Nighy
Terence Stamp
Rated: PG-13

Tom Cruise’s latest film has him play Colonel Stauffenberg, an officer in the German military who decides to join a plot to kill Hitler after seeing the devastating effects of World War II.

The film follows Stauffenberg, along with other German military officials, coming up with a plan labeled Valkyrie to kill Hitler, arrest the Nazi leadership and surrender to the Allies.

Despite knowing how the second World War turned out, “Valkyrie” still works as an effective espionage thriller. Watching the execution of the plot to kill Hitler was not only eye-opening in how elaborate it was, but also heart pounding as the situation continued to thicken.

The movie also works thanks to how it manages to get to the point. The film doesn’t waste time with unnecessary subplots and instead has a precise focus to become a believable period piece.

Cruise is really fantastic as the lead character, fully displaying the desperation, fear and uncompromising attitude Stauffenberg had through the assassination plot. The supporting cast, mainly Nighy and Stamp, fully round out the talented crew.

While this movie does work as a thriller,though, it does at times feel like a dramatization you might see on TV. The film could have used a bit more ‘cinematic’ moments to add some depth.

Overall, though, Valkyrie works and can keep an audience engaged by its suspenseful story. 4 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, and I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2009 graduate of Rainy River College and a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University in Moorhead. At MSU, I studied journalism and film. Outside of movies, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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