Movie Review: Valkryie

January 12, 2009 - 4 Comments

by Jim Barnes

Alright, I went to Valkryie. I did so with some trepidation mostly due to the casting of Tom Cruise as Claus Von Stauffenberg. Also, I generally expect Hollywood to screw up historical subjects, so I was doubtful about this one. Oddly enough, I found that I actually enjoyed it.

Valkyrie Filming In Berlin

The supporting cast is excellent. In particular, Bill Nighy does a fine job as General Olbricht and Kenneth Branagh is a scene-stealer in his small role as General von Tresckow. The film is suspenseful, even if you do know pretty much what happens (most people probably don’t) and generally sticks to the basic facts. I was also pleased that there were no glaring anachronisms. Reenactors who do German impressions may see more in this area than I did, but I didn’t notice anything that jumped out. The short African sequence showed a fair amount of trucks, tanks and other heavy equipment, and I thought it looked pretty good.

I guess the thing that impressed me most of all was that as I got into the movie, I kind of forgot that it was Tom Cruise that I was watching. That came as a pleasant surprise. The screenwriting was tight and the action moved quickly. It definitely succeeds as a suspense thriller. That it was beautifully filmed on location doesn’t hurt anything.

Overall, if you can get by Cruise being in the lead role, I would recommend it.

Some other reviews:

Comments (4)


January 19th, 2009 at 3:31 am    

Thanks for the review Jim.
I’ve been wanting to see this one and had heard mixed reviews. Yours is one I appreciate and value as we share a common interest in the subject. Another one I want to see is “Defiance.” I will chime in on that one when I see it. Incidentally, I know of three black WWII veterans in my immediate area that were in the unit portrayed in the “Miracle at St Ana.” My friend had some interesting stories to tell of his units exploits though none relating to the movie.

Jim Barnes

January 19th, 2009 at 9:24 am    


Thanks. I saw ‘Defiance’ on Saturday and loved it. I haven’t caught ‘Miracle at St. Ana’ yet, but intend to do so. There are a number of interesting movies out this season.


January 26th, 2009 at 9:57 pm    

Jim, I saw Valkryie this weekend with my daughter. I enjoyed this one and thought he did the role of Stauffenberg justice. I had a tougher time with the English accents than I did with Cruise’s American accent. That aside, I found the movie compelling despite the military historian in me knowing the outcome. I appreciated the fact that it was fairly wide reaching in presenting those involved with the plot to kill Hitler and I think it pushes this through well to the average movie-goer. It rates a B+ from my daughter and I hold that in high regard. A majority of the audience was +/- 3yrs of her age and the movie was packed to the tune of people sitting on the floor…not bad! Can you say F-I-R-E C-O-D-E !!!


January 26th, 2009 at 10:09 pm    

Next for me is Defiance. I will be attending that one with Oksana. Alina will be out with her friends. I’ll write when I see that one. BTW. I’m hoping to get my uncle (26th Yankee Div – Bronze Star at Metz I believe it was) and my friend from the 92nd (Miracle at St Ana – negro segregated) Infantry battalion out to Reading for the Air Show. I give my friend credit (and I have told him such) I don’t know if I would have made the sacrifice for a nation not willing to treat me as an equal against a regime that was racist in itself.
Sorry, I’ll save that for another sounding board, another time.
Misha, veteran: USMC, ANZAC, USAF 81-96

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