Valkyrie ★★★★

A taut and constantly engaging political thriller set during World War II, "Valkyrie" successfully and effectively generates and sustains a high degree of excitement, despite the fact that one knows beforehand that the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler and overthrow the Nazi regime failed. Tom Cruise is very good and not at all miscast in the role of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg; strong acting by, among others, Bill Nighy, Terence Stamp, Tom Wilkinson, Kenneth Branagh, Thomas Kretschmann, and Jamie Parker in the supporting roles; Bernard Hill has a few scenes in the beginning of the movie. Competently directed by Bryan Singer, the film appears to be well researched and never feels exploitative or disrespectful of history. Everyone speaks English rather than German, but that is not an issue and does not detract from the experience of watching the film.