“Much ado has been made about Valkyrie,” said Christy Lemire in the Associated Press, which stars Tom Cruise “as would-be Hitler assassin Col. Claus von Stauffenberg.” It turns out that Cruise is “distractingly bad” in this movie (watch the trailer here, via YouTube): “The iconography of his celebrity” severely overshadows his performance, and “he’s just too contemporary” to pull off this role.

Cruise is “the right man for the job,” said Carrie Rickey in The Philadelphia Inquirer, and he’s great in Valkyrie. What separates him “from most of his peers is that, even when his character is introspective, he takes action.” Cruise “emotes with his whole body—not just from the neck up”—and “he radiates electricity.”

“Valkyrie is ultimately the Tom Cruise show,” said Benjamin Strong in The Village Voice, and he “plays his reluctant Nazi as the embodiment of all that is decent and kind about the German people.” But after movies like Black Book and Army of Shadows, “Stauffenberg's righteous certainty is, ironically, much closer to George W. Bush's black-and-white moral vision than our own.”