Director: Bryan Singer, 2008 Language: English Runtime: 121 minutes Links: Trailer. The latest film by the director of the Usual Suspects, Bryan Singer, has actually gone back to his roots and made a rather taut thriller.  Despite a one note performance by Tom Cruise, the storyline that details the last known plot to assassinate Hitler was complex enough to delineate the machinations that led a group of upper class politicians to attempt to overthrow the government. It was also engaging enough to pull the same audience into the machinations of these same band of Germans attempting to establish order in a chaotic world dominated by the rise of National Socialism during World War Two. The star aura that surrounds Mr. Cruise prevents him from being perceived as giving a credible performance unfortunately.  And he is capable of doing so if restrained from doing his usual go-getter character he seems to fall back upon.  An apt example is to look upon the Maverick character he played in Top Gun then cut and paste that performance in any number of films he has done in the twenty five years or so he has been in the business. Here, like the other actors (the cream of the British acting industry), he is called to upon to give a humorless performance of a German patriot attempting to get rid of the one element, Hitler, that is preventing Germany from being extracted from a deadly World War. The issue of German accents and the lack thereof was dealt with in an interesting early scene, where we see Cruise actually recite a few German sentences then fade into a generic Midwestern American accent.  Why he was not called upon to continue using a credible German accent is beyond me, but perhaps Singer was looking at the world market, and the cringing that would ensue if “Maverick” would continue speaking one of the great world languages.  What is interesting in this milieu is how Eddie Izzard also uses this same bland Midwestern accent, though he is one of our noted British comedians. Carice Van Houten is also in the film to attempt to give some emotional dimensions to the Tom Cruise character, Van Stauffenberg, but in the two scenes we see her in, with the four or so children Cruise and her have, we have little emotional investments in their relationship, past a few strained hugs, fevered kisses in the hospital and in the vehicle, taking Van Stauffenberg to his final doom. Rating: 6 ½ stars out of ten stars.