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(2008), PG-13 [Lite PG-13*] (1hr 50min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
June 23, 2009
June 29 2009

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2008), PG-13 [Lite PG-13*] ... a noble destination does not excuse an ignoble path.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): United Artists, Achte Babelsberg Film, Bad Hat Harry Productions, Sessions Payroll Management
Distribution (US): Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director(s): Bryan Singer
Producer(s): Gilbert Adler, Nathan Alexander, Chris Brock, Lee Cleary, Tom Cruise, Christoph Fisser, Ken Kamins, Chris Lee, Oliver Lüer, Christopher McQuarrie, Henning Molfenter, John Ottman, Robert F. Phillips, Bryan Singer, Paula Wagner, Jeffrey Wetzel, Charlie Woebcken
Written by: Christopher McQuarrie, Nathan Alexander
Cinematography/Camera: Newton Thomas Sigel
Music: John Ottman
Film Editing: John Ottman
Casting: Roger Mussenden
Production Design: Lilly Kilvert, Patrick Lumb
Art Direction: Cornelia Ott, Keith Pain, Ralf Schreck, John Warnke
Viewed on MGM Home Entertainment DVD (2009)

This analysis is sponsored by the generosity of E&HP and McK

Valkyrie is an odd mixture. It is a rather unique blend of bland and bold, meaning while most of it is calm with exceptional story/character building and performances, parts of it are extreme to the extreme. Execution and suicide make this film, approved for 13 year olds by the MPAA, a true danger to the yet immature behavior management and coping skills of the 13 year old child (when I use "13 year olds" I include a few years biased around 13). Indeed, Drs. Nelson, the head of a top ten college psychology department and Gilliam, a practicing counselor agree with me that it would be unusual for even a 16 year old to be able to fully separate fantasy from reality or to fully anticipate consequences: that such skills typically do not plateau until the early 20s. Yet we plunder childhood with such heinously dangerous influences in and as entertainment such as this (which interpreted means d-o-l-l-a-r-s). While there is truly merit to this film, historic merit indeed worthy of praise, a noble destination does not excuse an ignoble path.

While Valkyrie is equivalent to most PG films in Impudence/Hate (I) and Murder/Suicide (M) and is equivalent to many G-rated films in Sexual Immorality (S) and Offense to God (O), it is fully equivalent to many R-rated features in Wanton Violence/Crime (W) (and Drugs/Alcohol [D]). With this blend its overall impact or magnitude of influence makes it equivalent to PG-13s in the comparative baseline database. Indeed, with a final score of 66 Valkyrie is equivalent to a "lite" PG-13 (PG-13: 56 to 68 out of 100) ... but a PG-13 with fangs filled with poison.

Let me bring up another point regarding the influence of modern entertainment. To do that I will bring up a law currently being bandied about. There is a hate crime bill before Congress right now which would make a pastor culpable if someone were to strike out against a homosexual practitioner because of what the pastor taught about God's Word and Law regarding the choice to practice homosexuality. Hollywood had best take heed because if a pastor can be held culpable for what he induces from the pulpit, so then and likewise should a filmmaker be held culpable for behaviors s/he induces with behaviors demonstrated in their films. That aberrant behaviors in and as entertainment do indeed induce related patterns of behavior in the observer is no longer questionable. See our Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children Congressional Public Health Summit for more information concerning the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and two other professional health organizations finally, and without knowing it, echoing God about the influence of "bad company." [1 Cor. 15:33] Something to think about, filmmakers.

"...approved for 13 year olds by the MPAA..." Remember, mom/dad. There is no law, moral or ethical or legal, that requires you to allow any of your children to see a film you feel is inappropriate for any reason. The MPAA, regardless of whatever stamp they slap on a film, do not determine what is acceptable for your children (or yourselves). You do. The MPAA as a source of content information, especially immoral content is woefully inadequate. That is one of the reasons we go to such great lengths and expense to equip you with detailed information about the content of entertainment -- content which the advertisers, promoters, trailers/previews, etcetera cannot or will not tell you -- so you might be in a better position to make an informed moral decision on your own whether a film is fit.

On to the film...

"Valkyrie" (or Walküre in German) is a special and elite reserve army of Adolph Hitler, commanded by General Freidrich Fromm (Tom Wilkinson), with an order and plan to be Hitler's contingency plan should the Reich begin to fail. It just so happens that Col. Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise), who was sent to command the Tenth Panzer Division in the African front in WWII because of his dissenting politics, started a beginning of a failure of the Reich by using the Valkyrie.

By overt and clandestine actions, Stauffenberg and his cronies tried to end Hitler's wrongful reign first by assassinating Hitler (one of 15 such attempts in Hitler's life) which would then implement the Valkyrie, which would then, as re-written by Stauffenberg with Hitler's blanket approval, be under Stauffenberg's command to enforce his plan for Germany to end its heinous and vicious, brutal presence in Europe. With the Valkyrie under his command, Stauffenberg could also control the notorious "SS" to protect his plan to overthrow the most monstrous, iniquitous regime in world history.

The origin of "valkyrie" is Scandinavian mythology: one of each of Odin's 12 handmaidens who conducted slain warriors of their choice from the battlefield of Valhalla. [Ref: Dictionary, ©2005 Apple Computer, Inc.] That is what Hitler's Valkyrie was intended to do: "conduct" its choice, Hitler to safety should Berlin be overrun.

Beginning in early 1943 in Africa, the director Bryan Singer has skillfully re-woven the fabric of history into a somewhat accurate account that aptly leads the viewer into temporarily ignoring high school history which teaches of the thousands of arrests and hundreds of executions that resulted from this, yet another failed attempt to assassinate Hitler. Even though we all know the outcome, for they who like to pay close attention to plot and story this newest addition to the cinematic concocts of World War II is engrossing as long as the viewer paid attention during History class ... which does not include me. I learned a thing or two in this big screen history lesson. I just hope Singer was accurate in the things I learned.

Von Stauffenberg is severely wounded in the African assault which serendipitously provides the perfect opportunity for Stauffenberg to implement his plan. Cohorts in the attempts to topple the terror included is the leader of the 18-month coup d'état, Major General Henning von Tresckow (Kenneth Branagh). Shadowing von Tresckow as leader of the resistance is General Friedrich Olbricht (Bill Nighy). The commander of the Valkyrie reserve army forces, General Fromm eventually cooperates which conveniently makes it easier to control the Valkyrie army. General Ludwig Beck (Terence Stamp) and Carl Goerdeler (Kevin McNally) become particularly supportive of the affair since Goerdeler is promised to become the new Chancellor once Hitler is dead. Von Stauffenberg is lifted into command of the resistance by the ousting of von Tresckow to the Russian front.

But where is that name spoken in almost every Nazi film I have ever seen? Even in TV's Hogan's Heroes? Where is the blitzkrieg, Afrika Corps, Panzer Commander, Atlantic Wall General, Erwin Rommel? Even after Hitler promoted Rommel to Field Marshall, Rommel's faith in Germany being able to win the war waned in 1943, making him a perfect candidate for the resistance. But apparently no one took advantage of Rommel's predictable compatibility with the resistance. History teaches us Hitler ordered Rommel's death three days before the assassination attempt because of Rommel's defeatist attitude. But how to eliminate Germany's most popular general without revealing Hitler's order to execute him? It was decided that Rommel would poison himself while the announcement of his death blamed his wounds. Under extortion with his family's lives as leverage, Rommel died at his own hand by poisoning during a trumped up trip to a hospital.

Valkyrie is a quite complex accounting of history and would require a great deal of space here to do it justice. But that is not the main reason so many of you are patrons of our service. We are here to tell you the truth about the content, not the plot or story. Let me get into that now.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 12 out of 100
Of the six investigation areas (W, I, S, D, O and M), this is the one which earned the lowest of the six investigation area scores and thus contains the most applicable negatively influential content. Mostly executions and suicides. Gun battles with injuries and warfare deaths also took their toll on this area score. God warns us about feeding our minds with violence. [Prov. 16:29]

Impudence/Hate (I) - 82 out of 100
The three/four letter word vocabulary is spoken only five times, one of them is the most foul of the foul words. The expressed hatred the characters displayed was typically embedded within an act of violence (such as the bombing attempt to murder Hitler) and was thus mathematically incorporated into the Wanton Violence/Crime (W) investigation area. Duplication of an issue among two or more investigation areas is not allowed by the analysis model.

Sexual Immorality (S) - 91 out of 100
A crude anatomical reference [Eph. 5:4], an open-mouth kiss and statue nudity were the only matters of sexually-oriented content found.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 39 out of 100
Smoking was rampant throughout the film. Drinking was noted three times. These two issues of social "evils" culminate into a serious influence according the the American College of Physicians.

A 2002 study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking and smoking in and as entertainment undeniably leads to abuse of alcohol and tobacco among underage kids. The finding entitled Relation Between Parental Restrictions on Movies and Adolescent Use of Tobacco and Alcohol reports that of 4544 youths from grades 5 through 8 of fifteen Vermont and New Hampshire middle schools (90% of the youths were under fourteen years old) only 16% were completely restricted from viewing R-rated movies. Within the ACP study population, the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was

  • 46% for those with no viewing restrictions
  • 16% for those with partial viewing restrictions
  • four percent for those with complete viewing restrictions.

    The researchers selected R-rated movies because they assumed R-rated movies typically present more drinking/smoking than movies of other classifications. This assumption is no longer true. The researchers were not aware of the matter of R-13 proven by this ministry in 2000 with which Harvard University scientists agreed four years later. The bottom line? The focus is that the influence of adolescent exposure to drinking (and smoking) in and as entertainment is undeniable regardless of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) classification. [Eph. 5:18]

    Rather revealing of the influences of the entertainment industry wouldn't you say? And emboldening children to sin with drink in and as entertainment screams of violating Luke 17:2.

    Offense to God (O) - 91 out of 100
    God's name was used in vain twice but each time without the four letter expletive. Of particular note was an oath in text at the beginning of the film where the oath-taker was required to swear in God's name for the evil purpose of service to Hitler. [Lev. 19:12]

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 82 out of 100
    Note that the CAP Analysis Model does not treat deaths by police action or war as acts of murder. Such deaths are mathematically incorporated into the Wanton Violence/Crime (W) investigation area. Thus all the executions, at least five were demonstrated, were incorporated into the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area. Suicides whether police or war related are incorporated into this investigation area. At least two suicides were demonstrated. [Ex. 20:13]


    If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good. [The issue is the violence, no matter how "small" or "just" it might seem, and its effect on an observer. "A violent man" can be a man, woman OR the men/women/characters demonstrating the violent behavior/action on the screen whether for good or evil. Knowing of Prov. 16:29 you now know why violence, especially in and as entertainment, can embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. See Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit for more information. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV. And see 1 Cor. 15:33 below.]
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. [Since "drunk" is methusko {meth-oos'-ko}: to intoxicate; make drunk; to get drunk; become intoxicated, "wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. The issue is do not abuse the body by intoxicating it (or destroying it with tobacco) [1 Cor. 6:19]. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk OR to influence to get drunk OR to drink in defiance such as underage drinking.
  • 1 Cor. 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
  • Lev. 19:12 " `Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.
  • Ex 20:13 Thou shalt not kill. (NIV) You shall not murder. [Suicide is murder of the self.]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Valkyrie (2008) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 12 out of 100
  • battle sequence with deaths and injuries
  • planning bombing to kill many
  • hospital scene with many battle injuries
  • planning murder and treason to overthrow with violence
  • armed military mobilization, repeatedly
  • explosion with bodies being thrown about
  • gun battle with injuries
  • dead bodies
  • executions, at least 5

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 82 out of 100
  • four uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • one use of the most four of the foul words

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 91 out of 100
  • anatomical reference
  • open mouth kissing
  • statue nudity

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 39 out of 100
  • smoking, frequent
  • social booze
  • drinking, three times

    Offense to God (O) - 91 out of 100
  • swearing by God for evil purposes
  • three uses of God's name in vain but all without the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 82 out of 100
  • suicide by gunfire
  • suicide by grenade (explosion unseen)

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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