Sat, December 27, 2008
Entertainment > Movie

Reviews Mixed for Tom Cruise in Valkyrie

2008-12-27 03:36:56 GMT2008-12-27 11:36:56 (Beijing Time)

Tom Cruise as Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg in Valkyrie

The reviews are in for Valkyrie, Tom Cruise's World War II epic about Claus von Stauffenberg, a German soldier who became disillusioned with the Nazi cause and tried to assassinate Hitler.

The film, which opened Christmas Day and took in $8.57 million, has been strongly lauded for its high production value, but the reviews for Cruise's performance are mixed.

Fox News calls the actor's performance "awful," and many critics agree that Cruise's profile as one of the most famous actors in the world is detrimental to the film.

"He's distractingly bad," writes the Associated Press's Christy Lemire, "the iconography of his celebrity so strongly overshadowing his performance."

"Tom Cruise the movie star never disappears into Claus von Stauffenberg the brilliant military man," agrees The Seattle Times critic Moira McDonald.

The New York Times's Manohla Dargis defends Cruise's "fine, typically energetic performance in a film that requires nothing more of him than a profile and vigor," but also concurs that the actor is "too modern, too American and way too Tom Cruise to make sense in the role."

But Cruise does have critics in his corner.

The Washington Post writes, "Even Cruise, whom many doubted could carry off the aristocratic elan of the blue-blooded von Stauffenberg, manages his part respectably, with a combination of ramrod posture, starched costumes and minimalist acting."

The Los Angeles Times writes, "The fact that the colonel was likely the most charismatic man in any room, eye patch or not, is something the actor has been able to connect to."

Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwarzbaum calls out the film's supporting cast, including actors Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy and Eddie Izzard as "top-notch . . . and in the middle, standing straight as a Top Gun ace, is Tom Cruise, that quintessentially self-constructed American movie star."

People reported.

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