I thought this movie was done very well. This was a tough project, I'm sure. Obviously subjects such as: Nazi Germany, Hitler's regime, concentration camps, etc. are very touchy, but I feel that Valkyrie was done tastefully. Brian Singer directed this film, so if I'm in any position to thumb rate it, I'll personally give Singer two thumbs up, and hooray to the writers for tackling such a difficult topic.
I'm glad to see that at least part of the movie was shot in Germany. Though a newbie fan of filming locations, I still believe that a certain amount of authenticity is derived from accurate locations (disclaimer: a good chunk of it was filmed it California too--surprise, surprise).
I'll admit that I haven't done any research into the subjct matter--a coup of Nazi officials and other insiders led by a Colonel von Stauffenberg (played by Tom Cruise in the movie) formed in an attempt to assassinate Hitler and overthrow Nazi Germany. I'm sure the moviemakers took some liberties with this project, as is often the case with "historical" films. Still, I don't believe that the writing was by any means over the top. I thought the acting was spot-on, and the pacing was perfect. Never before have I seen a movie that kept my attention so well as Valkyrie.
I'm big into action/thriller. Still, I can admit that many of the movies I've seen before (including a certain unnamed trilogy also starring Tom Cruise that I'm sure most of you are aware of) consist of decent acting, but HORRIBLY contrived writing. Contrary to that type of movie, Valkyrie was believable.
There was a romance aspect, but it wasn't overdone. I hate romance movies, so I'm quite sensitive to anything that even borders syrup or mush. I found neither here.
As I said earlier, the plot moved at the perfect pace. I wasn't bored at all. In fact, I found myself focusing completely on the movie--no checking the time on my glow-in-the-dark watch, no time spent worrying about things on my To Do List, just pure, unadulterated movie-watching. And that's going some for me--my mind likes to wander around and ramble.
Moving on: I wasn't confused. I appreciate that you don't have to be a scholar of WWII or German history to understand this film (unlike some other WWII movies I've seen).
Your blood will boil a little during this movie, though not as much as it will during Changeling. The focus of Valkyrie was progress, rather than sheer anger. This movie, I feel, gives a message of hope.
That being said, there wasn't a "happy" ending, I'm afraid. It was bittersweet to know that these men (because the movie was based on real people and their real actions) put together a really gutsy plan and sacrified all because their loyalties were to humanity, not to a political party.
Lucie - Our Shady Dog
14 minutes ago