Valkyrie (2008) - 2-Disc Special Edition

Genre(s): Thriller
MGM || PG13 - 121 minutes - $34.98 || May 19, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-05-19

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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.

.:: A U D I O ::.

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Director: Bryan Singer
Writer(s): Christopher McQuarrie & Nathan Alexander (written by)
Cast: Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson

Theatrical Release Date: December 25, 2008

Supplemental Material:
  • 2 Feature Commentaries
  • 2 Featurettes
  • Digital Copy

Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Surround 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Surround 2.0), French (Dolby Surround 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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.::THE FILM::.

Claus Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) is writing a letter explaining that his objectives have changed. He no longer wants to fight the war, but instead wants to try and save lives. He expresses his disdain for Hitler in the letter although unfortunately he is one of the only who think that Hitler is doing anything wrong in Germany. Stauffenberg tries to convince his superior that the war they are fighting is hopeless and he expresses he once again just wants to get everyone out of the area alive. He manages to win over the general, and agrees to get his troops out of the location they are at, when suddenly the Americans attack and drop bombs on the Germans. Stauffenberg tries to get in a car to escape, but he is injured by a plane shooting at him and loses consciousness.

Hitler (David Bamber) arrives off a plane to a meeting where he is greeted by tons of other soldiers. He leaves to board on another plane and we see a soldier give a package that goes on the plane with him. Tresckow (Kenneth Branagh) is the soldier and he waits nervously for the phone call saying that Hitler has been killed. It turns out that the package was a bomb and it was meant to kill Hitler, but the plan failed. Friedrich Olbricht (Bill Nighy) meets with Tresckow while he was going to pick up the package and tells him they have been discovered and to be careful. Tresckow ignores the plea and heads to pick up the bottle of alcohol, in which the person giving it to him tries to get him to drink it. Knowing that would be a horrible idea, Tresckow declines to and leaves the office.

Back at the hospital, Nina Stauffenberg (Carice Van Houten) shows up to see her husband, who is in terrible shape since the attack. He is missing an eye and his left hand couldnít be saved either. He leaves the hospital to meet with Olbricht who lets him know that there is still hope, and he knows where they meet up in case heís still interested. They talk for a little longer in the church before Olbricht leaves and the camera pans up and see the once beautiful church is now missing a roof due to the casualties of war. Itís a heart wrenching scene, which shows how horrible the war is going for Germany. Stauffenberg heads to the meeting with Tresckow and he is given a lashing for not succeeding in killing off Hitler. Stauffenberg pleads with the group to give him another chance, saying that there is no right time and that things donít always go according to plan. He returns to his wife and children who are playing around battling with plastic crowns and swords.

An alarm sounds in the distance and the family rushes to the basement for shelter, just as they are being bombed yet again by the Americans. He then gets the idea to use plan Valkyrie, which means to contain the civil unrest. But Stauffenberg decides to use this in a different way to cease the power in Berlin and eventually put in a new government in place as long as Hitler is dead. He ultimately decides that he has to kill Hitler no matter what, but Olbricht and the others in the group protest the idea. If they are found they will be killed for committing treason, and so would their families. They conclude they need to talk with Fromm (Tom Wilkinson) to discuss the matter they wish to proceed with.

Olbricht and Stauffenberg head to Frommís office to plead with him, but Fromm isnít able to help them right now due to his loyalty lying with Hitler and his army. Fromm reminds them who he is aligned with a few times, before pointing to the phone indicating that he is being listened to. He lets them know he will always come down on the right side, and asks the two to leave. Thereís a party later in the day for the Naziís and one of the higher up soldiers heads to the bathroom and accuses Stauffenberg of following him around. Stauffenberg reminds him that he is the only hope for the success for the project, and begs him for his help with the plan. The soldier denies once again any involvement and leaves the restroom. Tresckow is meeting with Stauffenberg who lets him know that the only way to make the Valkyrie plan work is to take care of Berlin first, cut down their government time, and then the rest of the cities should follow soon after. Can project Valkryie work? Will Stauffenberg and his followers be able to put an end to Hitlerís reign or will the plan fail?

Valkyrie is a film that surprised me. I never got a chance to see it in theaters, but it sure surprised me once I got to watch it at my place. The drama is captivating, the story engrossing, and the acting is Oscar worthy. Cruise and supporting cast mates are excellent in their respective roles, and I actually felt like while watching it I was actually in the World War II era. The downside to this film is its relatively long length, and the fact that it does take some time for the action to start up. Other than those two minor complaints, this is a great film!


Commentary by Tom Cruise, Bryan Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie: The commentary begins with a hilarious joke by Tom Cruise, one of which I actually laughed at for a few minutes. This is a phenomenal track that I strongly recommend listening to, as all three are talkative and keeps up with the pace of the movie. Even if you didnít like the movie as much as I did, I recommend this as a listen to help explain some things.

Commentary by Christopher McQuarrie and Nathan Alexander: The two writers for the movie get their own track, but McQuarrie is a little less energetic and talkative as Alexander seemed to talk over most of this one. They are however both informative, but in my opinion the first track is the superior one of the bunch. Regardless though, I still can say that these both are worth a listen to all the way through.

The Journey to Valkyrie (16 minutes): McQuarrie and Alexander talk about how the idea for the film came up from one of their trips to Germany while seeing a statue. The cast also talks about their roles in the movie as well as other various things such as the casting of the film. I highly recommend watching this, as itís short and goes by fairly quickly but itís also informational.

The Valkyrie Legacy (43 minutes): An incredibly long documentary about the past, and by past I mean World War II, Hitlerís reign of terror, and everything else that happened as it portrays to the movie. This is once again full of information, and anyone who likes history even in the slightest I recommend watching this too. There is a ton of information to be had here, and it flows rather nicely and doesnít get boring as it progresses.


Due to this being a watermarked screener, I canít accurately rate the video. When a non-watermarked copy comes in I will update the score accordingly.

The Dolby Surround 5.1 track sounds, to be blunt, like crap. Dialogue levels are low, inconsistent, and donít sound proper at all. I know it sounds weird reading that, but they just donít sound like they should. The levels were a pain because this is a mainly dialogue-centered film, and the characters were so light in speaker that I struggled to hear them most of the time. The action scenes also fell heavily flat, as even if I had the sound cranked up it didnít matter, as the surround use was minimal at best. I was disappointed by this track, as I was expecting something that clearly wasnít there.


Valkyrie is a film that got some negative buzz due to Tom Cruiseís personal life conflicting with his movie roles, but this is an awesome movie. The special features accompanying the movie are also great and are there for history buffs and people who enjoy multiple commentaries to carry them through the flick. Valkryie is one movie to ride out on buy right now.