I loved this film after seeing it at the cinema and couldn't wait for it to be released on DVD.
After a second viewing I can safely say that I think this is a really good movie. As a big Tom Cruise fan I own and have seen most of his movies, and I think his performance as Lt. Col. Claus von Stauffenberg in Valkyrie is among his very best. He is very believable in the role and really helps to engage you in the film. All the preperation he did for the film pays off well. The rest of the cast is very good aswell, with Bill Nighy being a particular highlight.
Despite the use of native accents for all the actors it doesn't take anything away from the film. Sure on the realism front it doesn't stand up but it's a lot more fun than reading 2 hours of subtitles and if the film had been in German I highly doubt that the quality cast on display here would have been in the film at all.
The film is quite historically accurate and it gives it an extra bit of feeling to know that you are watching events that happened almost exactly like this in real life. The fact that the movie was shot on location also helps a great deal.
The film's key strength, I believe, is that it manages to build and maintain tension throughout, despite the fact that a large proportion of viewers will already know the outcome, as it is of course based on a true story. I had seen a documentary about Stauffenberg's plot before seeing the movie but it still had me hooked despite me knowing the story.
The great thing about Valkyrie is that it is different from most other WWII films, with their usual stories about soldiers fighting on the frontlines. Valkyrie really makes you care about the characters and it helps to remind us that not all in the Nazi regime were evil and that there were those who paid the ultimate price in defence of their morals.
If you only like war movies with lots of action in then chances are you will probably find Valkyrie boring. There is very little all out action in this movie (only a few gunshots are fired throughout). However if you like a good thriller, or want to see a war movie that's different from the usual then I recommend you get Valkyrie.
Tom Cruise is excellent, the rest of the cast is very good, the music provides a fitting backdrop to the onscreen events and really helps heighten the emotion (especially towards the big climax) and I don't think there was a dull moment throughout.
The DVD also comes with 2 commentaries and a couple of documentaries. The first lasts just under 45 minutes and is about the real Valkyrie plot. It gives you more information on the background to the plot and what happened after the assassination and coup failed. Definitely worth a watch if you want to learn more about what the film is based on. The second is a 15 minute featurette about how the film came to be. So overall it's not a bad package.
Overall I found Valkyrie to be a tense and enjoyable thriller that I was engaged in from start to finish and it is certainly one of my favourite Tom Cruise movies.