Valkyrie 2008

Critics score:
62 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Ben Mankiewicz, At the Movies: Everybody is I think is good in the film, except Tom Cruise. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: Valkyrie transforms World War II into a boy's adventure. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: Valkyrie doesn't whip you up like that Jewish vigilante avenger picture Defiance, but in this season of throat-grabbing Holocaust movies, its gentlemanliness is most welcome. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: As a suspense movie, this works pretty well. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: Mr. Cruise's performance turns out to be brisk and reasonably plausible, though unexceptional, while the production as a whole succeeds as an elaborate procedural, impressively staged in historical locations. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: You just can't quite enter the world of this film, not in the way that you might have if a more nuanced and less iconic actor had played the central role. Read more

Nathan Rabin, AV Club: Despite its potential to be a turkey for the ages, Singer's blandly proficient historical thriller is fatally forgettable. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Director Bryan Singer keeps the pace fast, and although we know the ultimate outcome, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of what-if thinking. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: With just the slightest tilt toward black comedy, Valkyrie could have been the Dilbert of Nazi movies. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Valkyrie is made with impeccable professionalism and, flying in the face of years of Internet hysteria, is a perfectly acceptable motion picture. The only thing that keeps it from even greater accomplishments may be inherent in the story itself. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Judging by Mark Twain's comment about the music of Richard Wagner (better than it sounds), if Twain were around to see Valkyrie he'd likely say it's better than it seems. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Surely there is some middle ground between a history lesson and mindless action-adventure. The people who made Valkyrie not only didn't find that ground; they weren't even looking for it. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: What if this lesser-known chapter of German resistance had been more deeply captured? What if the moral conflicts running through this movie about love of country and revolt said more about Germany, war and, yes, genocide? Read more

Adam Graham, Detroit News: It's a crafty action flick with a pristine cast that works, ever so briefly, as a wish-fulfillment fantasy. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Valkyrie, as field-commanded by director Bryan Singer, succeeds on its own terms as a handsome hybrid of conspiracy thriller and history lesson, of Mission: Impossible and The Day of the Jackal. Read more

Eric D. Snider, It rarely rises to the level of entertainment you expect from a wartime thriller -- there's something rote and foregone about the whole affair. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: [Cruise is] distractingly bad in this, the iconography of his celebrity so strongly overshadowing his performance. He's just too powerfully contemporary. Read more

Tom Maurstad, Dallas Morning News: Singer keeps the conspiracy racing to its fated conclusion. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: The screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie and Nathan Alexander introduces a seemingly endless series of characters, but there's no time to flesh any of them out enough to make you worry about their fate. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: Based on a true story, Valkyrie aims to be a thriller, not an issues movie, and it succeeds. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: The problem is not that we know the outcome. The problem is the buildup. Read more

Bob Mondello, NPR: What you miss in both Defiance and Valkyrie is inner conflict. Their protagonists have not an instant of self-doubt. They're figures in historical pageants, not characters in a drama. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: Valkyrie is like having to watch someone build a bomb and then never getting to see it explode. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: Valkyrie is a taut suspense flick for grown-ups that asks: What if ruthless German efficiency had been used against Hitler? Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: In Cruise's hands, von Stauffenberg comes off as a very human window into this history and this engrossing and involving movie. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: The film isn't half bad. It's certainly not the unwitting laugh riot that many (me included) expected. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Bryan Singer has capably crafted this war thriller in such a way that one occasionally forgets the foregone conclusion and becomes wrapped up in the excitement of the moment. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: A meticulous thriller based on a large-scale conspiracy within the German army to assassinate Hitler. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Think of Valkyrie as a reasonably entertaining drama about the time Tom Cruise tried to kill Hitler. Do that, and it becomes possible to enjoy the movie. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: For a thriller with a thoroughly foreordained outcome, Valkyrie does a pretty good job at making the viewer's palms sweat. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Singer has a masterful touch with composition, creating tension simply by the way he places his actors around a room. And even though we know how it turned out, the assassination plot remains a gripping tale. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: It may be the same old partners but it's a better dance -- here, at least, history leads and Hollywood follows. Read more

Linda Barnard, Toronto Star: Like the coup whose story it tells, Valkyrie is a near miss, failing to sweep us along for what should have been a dramatic ride. Read more

Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine: It is a well-made film that raises timeless questions about the demands of military duty when they are placed in conflict with higher principles. Read more

Tom Huddlestone, Time Out: As old-fashioned historical escapism goes, this is solid, compelling stuff. Read more

Christopher Orr, The New Republic: The movie... fails by the standards of $100 million Hollywood star action vehicles, and by the standards of World War II Oscar-bait epics. But by the standards of anticipated career-crushing trainwrecks, it's pretty good. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Valkyrie is a World War II thriller without enough thrills. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: Bryan Singer's long-awaited account of the near-miss assassination of Adolf Hitler by a ring of rebel German army officers on July 20, 1944, has visual splendor galore, but is a cold work lacking in the requisite tension and suspense. Read more

Robert Wilonsky, Village Voice: Valkyrie feels like another installment in the never-ending franchise -- not just the action-movie one, but the Tom Cruise one. Like the operation itself, it's a good idea -- just not well-executed. Read more

Philip Kennicott, Washington Post: Valkyrie is a brutally efficient bit of storytelling, and it makes no unforced errors. Read more