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After my first viewing, I rated this movie 3 stars. I have now watched it a second time, and amended my rating to 4 stars. Historical biopics are difficult by definition - you either end up with boring... Read more hagiography, or else corrupt historical fact in an attempt to 'spice' up the story.
Unless you already have some background knowledge of the timeline and events around 20 July 1944, it can at first be challenging to keep all the characters straight. A second viewing revealed a lot of detail I had missed the first time round.
This account of the 20 July plot (there are others, have a look at the German TV movie Operation Valkyrie, and you'll see how it's easy to make this into a wooden and confusing tale) sticks very closely to its research; the production is flawlessly authentic; direction and camerawork are excellent; and the story is told with real panache and drama.
The team obviously went to extraordinary lengths to physically match actors to their real counterparts. Do check out the very good documentary extras (Journey to Valkyrie and Legacy of Valkyrie). The similarity in looks between General Olbricht and Bill Nighy is absolutely amazing (as is Nighy's performance as Olbricht - I hope he got an award for it!).
The actors are all highly convincing and a pleasure to watch. The weak link is of course Tom Cruise ... who is always simply Tom Cruise and just can't match the acting bravura of the British cast. Having said that, his performance as Stauffenberg is not bad, and it doesn't derail the movie.
I highly recommend this film.
I was looking forward to this movie but was disappointed in the result. From a history point of view it was very good. However, some of the acting was disappointing and at times the story line laboured... Read more and dragged. Some scenes like tha 'labour camp' were poignant and relevant but others ........? I think they could have done a whole lot better with such an important event.
I was looking forward to this film but was disappointed. The content was good but have done better with this important piece in the 2nd world war. The acting OK but for Tom Cruise fans it is worth a look.
This film would've benefitted from some more enthusiastic wielding of the editor's scissors. It was probably at least half an hour too long and dragged on quite tediously at times.
It was encouraging... Read more to be reminded that large numbers of Germans were appalled at what Hitler was doing to their country and people, and rose up to oppose him in couragoues fashion, but Tom Cruise in the lead role is too wooden an actor to engage the audience's empathy in this sort of a good guy/bad guy role.
Apart from the poor German accents that were to be portrayed this movie is very well made. The suspense was great, and the story was not far from the actual events. Highly recommended.
A bit difficult to watch initially but once I'd got over the accents and apparent over-acting by some players I really enjoyed the story. As usual very good performances by Bill Nighy and Tom Wilkinson.
This was really a bit dumb - Tom Cruise is not even faintly believable, and any of the things that might have explained why the regime gained the popularity it did among the German people was completely... Read more lost. I suspect this film misrepresented actual events to a fairly significant degree. (And might I point out, Fatso, that it's a bit hard writing a review of this film if your programming won't allow us to use the N**i word.)
There was an obvious casting foul-up in this film, but remarkably the story does not go completely Hollywood and is very watchable. I suggest you don't view the extras first as they're so hollow that they'll put you off watching the film.
There is acting talent to burn here plus there is Tom Cruise. There was a chance to kill him off in the first scene but the talented Bernard Hill paid the price instead. Excellent production values.
I'd also seen Valkyrie a few years ago and thought is was alright - 3 stars, but after watching again, the acting, props, camera angles and historic accuracy are on point. Almost forgave Tom Cruise and quite enjoyed a second see through.