The picture follows the real-life German military officers who tried to assassinate Hitler and reorganize the government in 1943 and 1944.
Asked recently if he thinks "Valkyrie" is an important movie because it tells a true story of German heroism many people outside of Germany don't know, Cruise told reporters in New York: "It's an important story because I didn't know it. But I also felt that I want to entertain audiences."
Cruise said he and director Bryan Singer agree a key point of the story is that not all Germans adhered to Hitler's fascism.
"So, that, to me, was surprising. I grew up wanting to kill Nazis, wanting to kill Hitler. You know, as a child, you're looking at it and think, 'Why didn't someone just shoot him?'"
Cruise said it was a "massive comprehensive story" that could have been made into a "10-hour movie, a miniseries," but that Singer didn't want to pursue that course.
"This is a suspense thriller about killing Hitler," Cruise said.
Singer also pointed out it is a conspiracy thriller about assassinating Hitler, not a Holocaust movie.
"As Tom was just saying, the bonus is that it happens to be true, it happens to be gripping," Singer said. "And even things that you might think are film conventions, Hollywood conventions that happen in the movie, some of the twists and turns actually really did happen."