How Bad IS Tom Cruise In “Valkyrie?” The Critics Respond!

Tom Cruise in Valkyrie

“…his earnestness suggests at best some kind of fictional American soldier trying to infiltrate the Luftwaffe.”
Roger FriedmanFox News

“In the end, you just have to wonder why a flick featuring a one-armed, eye-patch-wearing Tom Cruise who tries to kill Hitler isn’t more fun than this.”
Sean BurnsPhiladelphia Weekly

“But with a cardboard Cruise at the core of ‘Valkyrie,’ you just never care.”
Brandon JudellCulture Catch

“He’s distractingly bad.”
Christy LemireAP Movie Critic

“Tom Cruise the movie star never disappears into Claus von Stauffenberg the brilliant military man.”
Moira McDonaldSeattle Times

“Alas, incongruous vocal intonations aren’t even the most significant problem plaguing Singer’s film, what with Cruise — missing a hand and saddled with an eye patch, making him seem like a National Socialist pirate — apparently engaged in a contest against himself (and cinematic history) to see how long he can hold the same, intensely resolute expression, and the answer unfortunately turning out to be 120 minutes.”
Nick SchagerSlant Magazine

“If Mr. Cruise doesn’t work in ‘Valkyrie,’ it’s partly because he’s too modern, too American and way too Tom Cruise to make sense in the role…”
Manohla DargisNew York Times

“Cruise cannot suggest the aristocratic hauteur or the steely authority needed in this role. Watching ‘Valkyrie’ (which begins with a tense, well-staged battle scene in 1943 Tunisia in which Stauffenberg nearly dies), you wonder why the German officer we’re rooting for is an American, while most of the other Germans are British, except Wilkinson, who is English but really does seem like a Nazi.”
Michael PhillipsChicago Tribune

“Most disappointingly, there’s a gaping hole at the center of ‘Valkyrie,’ and his name is Tom Cruise.”
Alonso DuraldeMSNBC

“Think of ‘Valkyrie’ as a reasonably entertaining drama about the time Tom Cruise tried to kill Hitler.”
Mick LaSalleSan Francisco Chronicle

“…he’s quite simply bad in ‘Valkyrie.’ It’s arguably his worst performance.”

“Cruise is unconvincing and stiff as the disenchanted Col. Claus von Stauffenberg.”
Claudia PuigUSA Today

“His penchant for disfiguring or masking his famous face (‘Vanilla Sky,’ ‘Minority Report’) has hit the silly point, yet he’s still too showy to disappear into the role. Plus, he may be the poofiest-haired Nazi in history.”
Joe NeumaierNew York Daily News

****UPDATE 12/31/09 – Check out our detailed account of this post becoming “popular” on Digg. Includes a spiffy graph and a video! CLICK HERE

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  • Dwacon

    People have been dissing Cruise. I will have to see it for myself to judge… but may wait until it is on cable first…

  • MadMadMargo

    One reviewer said last week, “Cruise is undistractingly bad…”

    Love the sketch!

  • Hadrw

    ahse fhugkin baffd moviwe tyim croise sacus

  • Peter

    People give Tom Cruise a hard time because it is the status quo, don’t listen to critics, they are just angry at life because they can’t be real actors lol.

  • TaylorC

    The sketch cracked me up, and the critics are certainly correct. He sucked!

  • Tyler Tillage

    Why does everyone hate this movie? You guys are focusing too much on whether Tom Cruise is making his “comeback” and not on the actual filmmaking, which was pretty good.

    I thought it was a great movie, and so did many people I know.

    Step off your high horse and stop focusing on only one actor in a movie that has so much more to it.

  • Some Guy

    These guys are way too bias about Tom Cruise and what kind of movies he’s allowed to act in. The fact is he looks kinda like Stauffenberg and he did an ok job. Also, It’s a historical movie, what did you expect some kind of cheesy Hollywood ending where Cruise proposes to Hitler??

    Although, I wouldn’t argue against someone saying that Tom Cruise seemed too “American” to play Stauffenberg. So maybe they should have picked a German (oh no, those foreigners are taking our jobs).

  • Bill

    As far as I can tell, the movie is a non-fictional account of Tom Cruise’s daydream he had while hoped up on some kind of root herb drug of him being the person who tried to kill Hitler.

  • matt

    Ah you’ve gotta love these movie critics. They really love the smell of their own farts don’t they. Especially when they try and glamourise their own article by littering it with big, fancy words to make it seem like they have actually studied something… which they haven’t. Unless of course you count fart sniffing.

    I’m by no means a Tom Cruise fan, and I’m certainly not digging into the critics here because of some man-crush, but rather go and see the movie for yourself and then judge. The best opinions are the ones you form yourself.

  • flip

    Upvoted -Just for the sketch!

  • Whitney

    “Think of ‘Valkyrie’ as a reasonably entertaining drama about the time Tom Cruise tried to kill Hitler.”

    OK, that was brilliant.

  • Michael G.

    I found the movie to be very engaging. I was totally drawn in to all the action and suspense (which is saying something considering how we all knew how it was all going to end). I say for all of 2 seconds did the thought occur to me as to why Cruise didn’t have a German accent. After that, I just sat back and enjoyed what was a very good movie. Oh yes, and I thought Cruise provided an excellent performance. I thought all the actors in this movie did. I think most of the critics who are dissing Cruise just need to get over themselves. If this movie was based on 100% pure fiction, I doubt we’d be hearing so much whining and complaining.

  • Richard

    Cruise isn’t an actor he’s a star so can’t expect much and apparently he delivers just that.

  • Alex

    i saw the movie, tom cruise did a pretty good job actually, and im not even a fan of him

  • Chris

    I saw this movie the day after Christmas even though the critics said it was terrible. I loved the movie, critics are supposed to be wrong about movies. No one persons opinion should set the course for the masses.

  • Starcasm

    Wow! That was a wild ride! Apparently lots of folks are interested (for various reasons) in whether or not Tom Cruise sucked in “Valkyrie.” Some folks were upset that our post was biased. To be honest, the reviews of Tom’s performance did vary, but the range was pretty much horrible to OK, with the average being “not so good.” A not-positive general consensus among critics combined with an eye patch, Nazis and Adolph Hitler demanded that we “pile on.” We are starcasm after all!

    In case you didn’t come here from Digg and would like to check out more reactions to the negative reviews, go to to see the 260+ comments generated by our post there.

  • yah ha

    There is no need to see this film just the thought of TOM CRUISE acting a German is laughable and that is without the Nazi! Tom’s out of reality, the problem is it makes everyone else bad for involving themselves (i can imagine the laughs the SUPPORTING cast had behind his back) in something just so awful. Cruise is trying to improve his image AND LOOK AT WHAT HE DOES!!!

  • Carrie pacheco

    The man’s a nut ball,no cheese…he should stick to jumping on sofa’s

  • !skcus esiurc mot

    This movie is so cheesy, I wanted to know if they served crackers to folks who went see it!!

    Sorry Tom, $cientology is killing you & your career…..or maybe you have begun to take yourself waaaay to seriously! I have to say the couch jumping didn’t help either!

  • chica chic

    Tom Cruise is an actor who, as he has always said, is in the business to entertain the public. If you are expecting method acting, don’t go to a Tom Cruise film. If you want to eat popcorn and be entertained, then by all means go. Tom Cruise is like the stars of old – no matter what role they were playing, they were stars first and foremost. John Wayne could play a marine, a cowboy, a diplomat, or an Irishman but he was always John Wayne first. Well, the same goes for Tom Cruise. I think he is very much maligned for all the wrong reasons and underestimated as a star and entertainer.

    • Starcasm Staff

      Chica Chic – I think most of the criticism doesn’t disagree with you, but argues that a historical documentary about a German soldier that conspired to assassinate Hitler might not be the right movie for Tom Cruise BECAUSE he is the kind of star you mentioned. (Tom Cruise would probably have been a bad choice to play Schindler for the same reason) That being said, it’s fun to make fun of him! That being said, Top Gun II would probably set every box office record known to man.

      Check out our post about Tom’s whirlwind Valkyrie premiere tour around the globe and his possible retirement from movie acting:

  • Naruto

    that sketch is great. lol

  • J

    If you can get past the medias liberal bias and complete hatred of Tom Cruise, you will discover a brilliant movie.

    Does anyone find the parallel between Hitler’s Germany and Hollywood bias amusing? Is there a Stauffenberg willing to take on Hollywood?

  • Hal

    Worse than his personal interviews while he was shilling this movie as this half assed actor couldn’t even speak with a German accent.