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Biography . History . Drama

Newly elected President Nelson Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa's rugby team as they make their historic run to the 1995 Rugby World Cup Championship match.

Actors: Tony Kgoroge , Matt Damon , Morgan Freeman , Patrick Lyster , Leleti Khumalo , Marguerite Wheatley , Adjoa Andoh , Julian Lewis Jones , Matt Stern , Patrick Mofokeng
Directors: Clint Eastwood
Country: USA
Release: 2009-12-11
More Info:
  • A.O. Scott

    It’s an exciting sports movie, an inspiring tale of prejudice overcome and, above all, a fascinating study of political leadership.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Eastwood's modest approach to these momentous events shames the usual Hollywood showboating. In a rare achievement, he's made a film that truly is good for the soul.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    Clint Eastwood, a master director, orchestrates all of these notes and has us loving Mandela, proud of Francois and cheering for the plucky Springboks. A great entertainment. Not, as I said, the Mandela biopic I would have expected.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    This movie depicts an unlikely intersection of sports and leadership in ways that manage to be inspiring and insightful without ever becoming schmaltzy or preachy.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Invictus, which is Latin for "unconquered," gives the poem several meanings in the context of the film. It also applies to Eastwood, who, as one of America's greatest storytellers, finds enthralling tales and fashions them with finesse and an indomitable spirit.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    What makes it special is Eastwood's ability to artfully and concisely tell a story, and Morgan Freeman's wonderfully understated turn as South African President Nelson Mandela.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    How is Invictus as a sports movie? Let's just say that its lump-in-the-throat climax is predictable, but that doesn't mean it's less than earned.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    Instead of a thriller, war movie or western, the director has turned out a stirring drama about South African leader Nelson Mandela, blending entertainment, social message and history lesson.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    Damon, beefed up for the occasion, makes Pienaar a stalwart yet courtly figure. Freeman infuses Mandela's speeches with the same gentleness and gravity he's brought to his numerous God roles and the Visa Olympics commercials. But the real deity here is Eastwood, still chugging away handsomely in his 80th year.

    Time Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    Inspirational on the face of it, Clint Eastwood's film has a predictable trajectory, but every scene brims with surprising details that accumulate into a rich fabric of history, cultural impressions and emotion.

    Variety Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    A win-win situation in which a mainstream feature works equally well as stirring entertainment and a history lesson about a remarkable convergence of sports and statesmanship.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Bob Mondello

    Freeman's Mandela, however, is pretty marvelous -- so persuasive in gesture, in bearing, in that signature mix of gravitas and twinkle, even in accent -- that when a shot of the real Mandela appears over the final credits, it's momentarily jarring to realize you've been watching an impersonation.

    NPR Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Damon is becoming one of the truest, most reliable actors of his generation. And Eastwood has more films in development, proving, at 79, that 79 is just a number like any other.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Carrie Rickey

    As always, Freeman is a one-man charm offensive.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    It's never less than worthy and entertaining, but the importance of Invictus doesn't broaden as it goes along. It narrows.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Invictus, which features outstanding performances from both its lead actors, succeeds wonderfully on its simplest level, as a portrait of political genius.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Freeman portrays Mandela not as a saint but as a man who knows he has the political freedom of being seen as one; it’s a majestically two-dimensional performance with glimpses of a third dimension peeking through.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Eastwood has crafted something that works both as a sports drama and as an examination of the birth pains of the racially unified South Africa.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    The focus of Invictus is less on Mandela's psychology than his willpower and political astuteness.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    Not only does Invictus tell a remarkable story of a remarkable man, but it also illustrates how sports can be a salve to a wounded community. And that's something New Orleanians can certainly appreciate.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    It’s not a great film, but parts of it are outstanding.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Keith Phipps

    It’s a simplistic, superficial approach to a real-life story that marginalizes most historical details not involving scrums and tackles. It’s also pretty effective, in spite of the gloss.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Freeman is so in-tune with the former South African president's persona you can't take your eyes off him.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    A mildly rousing and reasonably satisfying picture about one man's efforts to mend the rifts among his countrymen. Full Review
  • David Ansen

    The wonder of Invictus is that it actually went down this way.

    Newsweek Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    Narratively, we all know where the trajectory of the story is headed, thus the culminating match (nearly 20 minutes) takes up too much screen time without adding anything new to the drama.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Invictus has an understated grace, but too often it comes across as hero-worshipy.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Kirk Honeycutt

    A temperate, evenhanded perhaps overly timid film about an intemperate time in South Africa.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Ian Nathan

    Eastwood hits all the right notes in exactly the right order, but it’s his least personal film for a while.

    Empire Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    The movie isn’t adventurous, but I’m sure glad it exists.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Ella Taylor

    Like every Eastwood production, Invictus is stately, handsomely mounted, attentive to detail right down to the Marmite adorning the team's breakfast buffet, and relentlessly conventional. As a portrait of a hero, the movie effortlessly brings a lump to the throat (Freeman gives a subtly crafted performance that blends Mandela's physical frailty with his easy charm and cerebral wit); as history, it is borderline daft and selective to the point of distortion.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    Anthony Peckham's script is formulaic, woodenly reverent, and devoid of real dramatic tension.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    The result is earnest, admirable and more than a little dull -- a pedestrian movie about a remarkable subject.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    As a non-South African, I can't speak to the accuracy of the movie's racial politics, but they feel insultingly vague.

    Slate Full Review
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  • archive footage

  • athlete

  • bodyguard

  • helicopter

  • little boy

  • national anthem

  • politician

  • prison cell

  • profanity

  • race relations

  • rugby player

  • sports fan

  • sports history

  • sports star

  • abandoned prison

  • birth of a nation

  • black president

  • capetown

  • emblem

  • ends with real life photos

  • ethnic diversity

  • ex prisoner

  • forgiveness

  • historical landmark

  • inspiration

  • international relations

  • island prison

  • johannesburg south africa

  • plea for forgiveness

  • reciting poetry

  • poem

  • political party

  • political prisoner

  • pretoria south africa

  • racial diversity

  • security officer

  • title appears in writing

  • title based on poem

  • united nations general assembly

  • united nations

  • political speech

  • reconciliation

  • cheering crowd

  • crowd

  • exhaustion

  • watching tv

  • voting

  • street celebration

  • singing

  • no opening credits

  • underdog

  • 1990s

  • release from prison

  • rugby team

  • duringcreditsstinger

  • celebration

  • poverty

  • racism

  • president

  • rugby

  • nation

  • sport

  • nelson mandela

  • apartheid

  • south africa

  • stadium

  • one word title

  • based on true story

  • based on book