Valkyrie (2008)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Valkyrie</strong> (2008)

(In theaters, February 2009) It’s Nazis-versus-Nazis in this film adapted from one of World War 2’s most intriguing footnotes: the culmination of various plans by Germans to assassinate Hitler and seize control of the government. Of course, the fact that the plot remains a footnote is the biggest problem facing the film: We know that it won’t succeed, and we can guess the fate that awaits the co-conspirators. But working within those limits, Valkyrie accomplishes a modest success: It creates enough suspense even through a tremendous amount of exposition, and seems to remain generally true to the historical facts even when they don’t suit the purposes of a conventional thriller. Tom Cruise himself is competent in the lead role, although the often-unrecognizable group of high-caliber actors that surround him often given more remarkable performances. It all adds up to an entertaining, respectable film, made with old-school polish. (There’s also a few strong links to be made between this film and other recent German depictions of WW2 from inside the Nazi regime, like Downfall and Black Book) Hollywood has a hard enough time with facts that any half-decent attempt to stick to them should be applauded.

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