Valkyrie | Chicago Reader

Valkyrie

Rated PG-13 120 minutes

Every good caper movie offers an assortment of vividly rendered conspirators, a requirement unfulfilled by the German postage stamps who populate this World War II adventure. Tom Cruise stars as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, the Nazi officer who led a plot to assassinate Hitler in July 1944; the movie's long-delayed release and the idea of Cruise stomping around in jackboots and an eyepatch have invited endless ridicule, but at least he's fully invested in the project, which is more than one can say for the mercenary Brits propping him up (Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Terence Stamp). As a suspense movie, this works pretty well: director Bryan Singer (X-Men, The Usual Suspects) maintains a crisp pace as the plotters set out to kill the fuhrer with a briefcase bomb, and the historical details of the botched coup, which exploited one of Hitler's own contingency plans to mobilize the army reserves and disarm the SS, are inherently interesting.

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