Valkyrie

    Made-over and puffed up with Metal Gear Solid swagger, Tom Cruise regains command as Col. Claus von Stauffenberg, the botched Brutus of Adolf Hitler’s assassination attempt. Bearing an uncanny resemblance to the real-life aristocrat, Cruise and his Nazi co-conspirators wax somber as an ensemble cast of PMSing glares. Germany, of course, gets its own sullen makeover to match the era, swathed in as much gray, brown and scarlet as a Lane Bryant fall catalogue. It’s been speculated from every angle since false release dates first circulated this summer, but “Valkyrie” hopes to redeem Cruise from the tabloid toy he’s become, just in time for the holidays. The star’s career isn’t the only thing on the line — MGM has poured sufficient sums into the project and hopes to paint the studio’s crimson checkbook black before the ever-important Oscar nominations. If the film’s inevitable conclusion is any omen of things to come, it doesn’t bode well for the once-bankable icon; MGM, on the other hand, might come out satisfied at the mere feat of emerging from the red before the new year rings in. In theaters Dec. 25.

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