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January 16, 2009

Valkyrie

Hr_Valkyrie_poster For its significance as the first film about the actual events around an assassination attempt on Hitler led by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise), "Valkyrie" is an anachronistic movie that wants to be less than it should be. After losing his left eye, two fingers on his left hand, and his right hand in an allied aerial attack, von Stauffenberg turns against Hitler along with an elite group of military conspirators seeking to enact a coup fired by Hitler's death. Accents are all over the place for would-be German officers played by Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Terence Stamp who like the under-used Eddie Izzard come at their roles with conviction. Director Bryan Singer's vision of an old-fashioned Hollywood thriller redone, with style and panache, falls short on both accounts. There's no one in the movie to empathize with, and story goes by like a checklist. Perhaps if the actors all spoke in German, with English subtitles, then the movie might have been more entertaining.

Rated PG-13. 120 mins. (C) (Two Stars)

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