PG-13 for violence and brief strong language.
Action/Adventure, Drama, Thriller, Biopic and War
December 25, 2008
Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Carice Van Houten, Thomas Kretschmann,
Eddie Izzard, Terence Stamp
MGM Distribution Company
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- Valkyrie is the compelling true story of German Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, who leads a plot to assassinate Hitler and take control of the government in order to stop the Third Reich during World War II. Disillusioned by the actions of Hitler and his SS Troops, Von Stauffenberg is contacted by a group of Nazi generals and political leaders who want to bring change to the country and stop the war. Their goal is to eliminate Hitler and key advisor Himmler and to stage a coup.
Von Stauffenberg, wounded on the battlefield, is promoted to a top position in the military, allowing him access to Hitler himself in 1944. A plan is hatched called “Valkyrie,” named for the Wagner opera based on Norse mythology. “Valkyrie” is a contingency plan originally created by Hitler to keep control of the government in case of his death or civil unrest. Von Stauffenberg changes the plan and is able to get Hitler’s signature on it to enable a coup to take place.
There are conflicts within the rank of dissenters, however. It becomes up to Von Stauffenberg who has to attempt the assassination himself. These noble men and women all gave of themselves, in hopes of stopping the Nazi tyranny and freeing Germany and Europe from its grip.
Valkyrie is a gripping movie that is even more compelling because the story is true. Von Stauffenberg is motivated in part because of his love for his own children and the dread of what Hitler is doing to Germany. Pressed for time by the invading Allies, his resistance force hopes to depose Hitler and negotiate a truce with the Allies. A day is set to execute the plot and the events fall into place.
The assassination attempt, ultimately, of course, was unsuccessful. However, the courage and sacrifice by the resistance movement is no less notable.
The plot of Valkyrie is the star of the movie, so the characters sometimes tend to take a back seat. For example, the movie only shows Von Stauffenberg’s personal life briefly. Thus, the characters are not quite as developed as they should be, so viewers may have trouble getting to know them. That said, the plot is riveting and spine-tingling.
Also, Valkyrie more of a political thriller than a war movie. The twists and turns of back office politics drive the story. It’s especially impressive that the filmmakers are able to keep up the suspense, even when many viewers know most of the outcome of the actual story.
The production values in Valkyrie are top notch, and the directing is very sure handed, at times leading viewers into the thoughts of the characters. Bill Nighy and Tom Wilkinson as the plotting generals are compelling in their roles.
Valkyrie expresses a very moral, biblical worldview. The actions of the characters are motivated by wanting to stop evil and restore order to a collapsing society. Each participant knows the risks and that they most likely will lose their lives in the plot. However, that did not stop them from doing what’s right in the face of overwhelming odds.
When the plot begins to hinge on Von Stauffenberg, a fellow officer comments that God was willing to spare Sodom if there were 10 righteous men to be found and that he hopes that God will spare Germany because of the one righteous man, Von Stauffenberg. It’s stated that God chooses who lives and who dies, which is antithetical to the idea of the Valkyries in mythology who decided who lived on a battlefield. It’s also expressed that God is the judge of their actions, not the Nazi leaders who may arrest and try them.
There is only one obscenity, one profanity and a minor vulgar description of a body part in Valkyrie. Coupled with no sex scenes or nudity, this is one of the cleaner movies of 2008. This is a stirring movie that tells a story of true courage and sacrifice. Many media-wise viewers will find it enjoyable and rewarding.
Address Comments To:
Harry E. Sloan, Chairman/CEO
Clark Woods, President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution
MGM Studios Inc.
(Partially owned by Sony Corporation of America)
10250 Constellation Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 900067
Phone: (310) 449-3000
Fax: (310) 449-8819
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