Valkyrie

  • Directors: Bryan Singer
  • Producers: Christopher McQuarrie, Bryan Singer, Gilbert Adler, Chris Lee
  • Writers: Christopher McQuarrie, Nathan Alexander
  • Genres: History, Thriller, War
  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Carice van Houten, Eddie Izzard, Terence Stamp, Tom Wilkinson

During World War II, Wehrmacht Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Cruise) is severely wounded in Tunisia, and is evacuated home to Nazi Germany. Meanwhile, Major General Henning von Tresckow (Branagh) attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler by smuggling a bomb aboard the Führer’s private airplane. The bomb, however, fails to detonate and Tresckow safely retrieves it to conceal his intentions. After learning that the Gestapo has arrested Major Hans Oster, he orders General Olbricht (Nighy) to find a replacement. After recruiting von Stauffenberg into the German Resistance, Olbricht delivers von Stauffenberg to a meeting of the secret committee which has coordinated previous attempts on Hitler’s life. The members include General Ludwig Beck (Stamp), Dr. Carl Goerdeler (McNally), and Erwin von Witzleben (Schofield). The Colonel is stunned to learn that no plans exist for after Hitler’s assassination.

After a bombing raid on Berlin, he lights upon using the plan Operation Valkyrie, which involves the deployment of the Reserve Army to maintain order in the event of a national emergency. The plotters carefully redraft the plan so that they can dismantle the Nazi regime after assassinating Hitler, by overthrowing the SS and imprisoning Hitler’s closest advisors. Realizing that only General Fromm (Wilkinson), the head of the Reserve Army, can initiate Valkyrie, they offer him a position as head of the Wehrmacht in a Post-Nazi Germany and recruit him into the fold: however, Fromm initially refuses. With the rewritten plan needing to be signed off by Hitler (Bamber) himself, von Stauffenberg visits the Führer at his Berghof estate in Bavaria. In the presence of his inner circle, Hitler praises von Stauffenberg’s heroism in North Africa and signs off on the plan without fully examining the modifications.

As von Stauffenberg flies back to Berlin, Olbricht refuses to mobilize the Reserve Army until he knows without a doubt that Hitler is dead. Behind Olbricht’s back, Mertz forges his signature and issues the orders anyway. With Operation Valkyrie underway, von Stauffenberg and his fellow plotters order the arrest of Nazi party leaders and SS officers and begin to take control of Berlin’s government quarter, which will allow them to command the entire Reich. Rumors reach Berlin that Hitler survived the blast, but von Stauffenberg dismisses them as SS propaganda. Meanwhile, Fromm learns from Field Marshal Keitel that Hitler is still alive. The General refuses to join the plotters, resulting in his arrest. When Hitler reaches the Reserve Army by telephone, the SS officers are released and the plotters in turn are besieged inside the Bendlerblock. The headquarters staff flees, but the ringleaders are arrested. Most are eventually tried and executed, while some commit suicide. Von Stauffenberg shouts “Long live sacred Germany!” before being executed by a firing squad.

S W A T

  • Directors: Clark Johnson
  • Producers: Dan Halsted, Chris Lee, Neal H Moritz
  • Writers: Characters, Robert Hamner, Story, Ron Mita, Jim McClain, Screenplay, David Ayer, David McKenna, Uncredited, George Huang, Lem Dobbs, Chris Morgan, Craig Fernandez
  • Genres: Action, Crime
  • Actors: Colin Farrell, Samuel L Jackson, Michelle Rodriguez, LL Cool J, Olivier Martinez

The film begins with a hostage situation in Los Angeles (loosely based on the 1997 North Hollywood shootout). Officer Jim Street (Farrell), a hot-shot cop from the Los Angeles Police Department and his SWAT team are sent to stop a gang of robbers who have taken over a bank. His high-tempered partner and close friend Brian Gamble (Jeremy Renner) disobeys an order, and accidentally wounds a hostage. Gamble and Street are demoted by Captain Fuller (Larry Poindexter), the SWAT commander, who is portrayed as a fussy martinet. Gamble quits following an argument with Fuller. Street is taken off the SWAT team and sent to work in the “gun cage,” where he looks after gear and weapons.

The Chief of Police calls on Sergeant Dan “Hondo” Harrelson (Jackson) to help re-organize the SWAT division. Hondo is transferred in, and soon puts together a diverse team, including himself, Street, Chris Sánchez (Rodriguez), Deacon Kaye (LL Cool J), T.J. McCabe (Josh Charles), and Michael Boxer (Brian Van Holt). The team trains together and develops bonds of friendship.

Meanwhile, a drug lord by the name of Alex Montel (Olivier Martinez) kills his father and uncle for control of the family’s crime empire. The L.A.P.D. stop Montel for a broken taillight, detain him, and learn through Interpol he is an international fugitive. As they are transferring him, his associates, dressed as LAPD officers, assault the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department bus Montel is on in an attempt to free him. Hondo’s SWAT team foils the assault. As Montel is being brought into the police station in front of a group of reporters, he yells to them, “I will give one hundred million dollars to whoever gets me out of here.”

The L.A.P.D. makes plans to transfer Montel into federal custody. They plan to fly him away, but a mysterious attacker (later revealed to be Gamble) shoots down the helicopter. The police next send out a large convoy, which is attacked by gang members. It turns out to be a decoy, and Hondo’s team has spirited Montel away in two S.U.V.s. However, T.J. has been plotting with Gamble, and the two succeed in taking Montel from the other officers. Hondo and the rest give chase, and there is a final fierce battle, Gamble’s group against the SWAT officers. Hondo’s team is victorious. T.J. kills himself rather than be captured, and there is a vicious hand to hand fight between Street and Gamble. Street emerges the eventual victor when he kicks Gamble under the wheels of a passing train. The SWAT team delivers Montel to a federal prison to await trial.