A cab driver finds himself the hostage of an engaging contract killer as he makes his rounds from hit to hit during one night in Los Angeles. He must find a way to save both himself and one last victim.
Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants.
In Nazi Germany during World War II, as the tide turned in favor of The Allies, a cadre of senior German officers and politicians desperately plot to topple the Nazi regime before the nation is crushed in a near-inevitable defeat. To this end, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, an Army officer convinced he must save Germany from Hitler, is recruited to mastermind a real plan. To do so, he arranges for the internal emergency measure, Operation: Valkyrie, to be changed to enable his fellows to seize control of Berlin after the assassination of the Fuhrer. However, even as the plan is put into action, a combination of bad luck and human failings conspire on their own to create a tragedy that would prolong the greater one gripping Europe. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
soldiers in unison:
I swear by God this sacred oath: That I shall render unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, Fuhrer of the German Reich and people, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and that I shall at all times be ready, as a brave soldier, to give my life for this oath.
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Ignore the silly comments of some critics who want this movie to fail. Schickel, Ebert and the L.A. Times got it right. If you're a World War II history buff like me, you'll appreciate the fine effort that is Valkyrie. It shows that American filmmakers as unlikely as Tom Cruise and Bryan Singer can compete with the likes of the Downfall creators in handling such subject matter. Like World War II itself, the full story of the July 20 plot is long and intricate and cannot be fully told in the confines of a two hour feature film. There are certainly many peripherals to the story - its tentacles ran deep into the Nazi diaspora; thousands were executed or "disappeared" (including Irwin Rommel who was not portrayed in the film) - to say nothing of the mixed motives in those Germans wishing to see Hitler dead. These are all subjects that have already been explored and no doubt will be again in the future. Suffice to say, Singer and editor/composer John Ottman focused on the heart of this story: Hitler was destroying Germany/Europe and the July 20 plotters bucked the odds to stop him. The performances from this exceptional cast are first rate. Think what you want about Tom Cruise and Scientology - I'm no big fan of either - but judge the work on its merits. Cruise may not win an Oscar for his portrayal of von Stauffenberg, but he more than gets the job done. In terms of scope, the locations, battle scenes, costumes/uniforms, staging/settings, you can't ask for more in a WWII movie. There's nothing fake, nothing phony to spoil the period experience and vfx are seamless as they should be. If you're expecting a formula Hollywood thriller a la Bourne or M.I., you may be disappointed, but as a serious adult drama Valkyrie delivers the goods. It took some balls to make this movie and UA has earned its kudos.
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