Endgame (2009)


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Vantage Point director Pete Travis turns his attention from high-profile political assassinations to the high-risk talks that ushered in the end of apartheid while securing the release of Nelson Mandela in this historical drama starring William Hurt, Chiwetel Ejiofer, Mark Strong, and Johnny Lee Miller. The time is the late '80s, a crucial period in the history of South Africa. President P.W. Botha is hanging on to power by a thread as the African National Congress (ANC) takes up arms against … More

Rating: PG-13 (for violence/disturbing images and some strong language)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Paula Milne
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 9, 2010
Monterey Media - Official Site


as Professor Willie Est...

as Thabo Mbeki

as Michael Young

as Dr. Neil Barnard

as Nelson Mandela

as Oliver Tambo

as Rudolph Agnew

as P.W. Botha

as F.W. de Klerk

as Willem de Klerk

as Kobie Coetsee

as Sampie Terreblanche

as Aziz Pahad

as Albie Sachs

as Christo Brand

as Professor Marinus Wi...

as Tony Trew

as Esterhuyse's Wife

as Esterhuyse's Wife

as Esterhuyse's Daughte...

as Anthony Sampson

as Warrant Officer Swar...

as Youth #1 (Shabeen)

as Policeman

as President's Agent (D...

as President's Agent (B...

as Winnie Mandela

as Woman Pick-up Driver

as Black Drinker (Shabe...

as Bizos (Mandela's law...

as Youth #1 Mate

as White Newscaster

as Zambian Newscaster

as English Newscaster

as Zimbabwean Newscaste...

as South African Newsca...

as Dr. Neil Barnard
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Endgame

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (2)

William Hurt and Chiwetel Ejiofor, impressive at opposite ends of the table as a government mouthpiece and a philosophy professor, provide all the fireworks the story needs.

Full Review… | November 4, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

The principals, especially Ejiofor, rise above the starchiness that often hampers portrayals of recent, monumental history.

Full Review… | November 3, 2009
Village Voice
Top Critic

...crafts a crackling thriller out of the tangle of crafty maneuvering that ended apartheid.

Full Review… | November 8, 2009

An inspirational tale chronicling the contributions of a few unseen players in the South African struggle for independence.

Full Review… | November 3, 2009

What sparks are felt throughout come largely from Hurt and Ejiofor, who both seem to understand exactly the type of talky, tentative movie they're in and do their best to bring in some glints of humor and uncertainty.

Full Review… | November 3, 2009
Slant Magazine

There is just too much information to absorb in one sitting.

Full Review… | October 22, 2009
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for Endgame


Starchy telling of the behind-the-scenes meetings that contributed to the end of apartheid in South Africa. A car chase, a car bombing and some flashy camera work are offered in attempt to liven up the avalanche of talking heads but to nooo avail.

Apeneck Fletcher

Super Reviewer


"Patriot. Terrorist. Negotiator. Peacemaker."

A story based on the covert discussions that brought down the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

Shot in a manner very resonant of Frost/Nixon with outstanding editing Endgame is a fittingly unsentimental and very nicely played drama of the last days and brinkmanship of the apartheid negotiations in South Africa.

With competent performances from all involved this is not overacted but rather relies on the relationships and the materials. Cutting between South Africa and the UK it tells the story of the two sides: the Afrikaans government on the one, and the ANC and Pan-African parties on the other. How they came to find a path in what was probably the most volatile of all post-colonial politics to not lead to civil war is the story. Through the efforts of an Afrikaans philosophy professor (William Hurt) and a British troubleshooter for the gold mines (Johnny Lee Miller, who is in excellent form, less manic suits him very well indeed) the players first arrange to meet, meet, and work through the issues. Filmed in South Africa (A lot of outdoor shots) and the UK, this has more story than you'd think on first sight. It has some action scenes, but in the main it is a nicely poised political drama.

Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

In "Endgame," Consolidated Goldmines representative Michael Young(Jonny Lee Miller) fails miserably at his first attempt at making contact with the ANC in a South African township in 1985. A year and a half later, he has decidedly more success in London with Thabo Mbeki(Chiwetel Ejiofor) and gets him interested in peace talks. However, finding an Afrikaan representative proves to be even harder, as their livelihoods depend on Apartheid. But Professor Will Esterhuyse(William Hurt) will give it a shot. And that is even as he is approached by Dr. Neil Barnard(Mark Strong) of the National Intelligence Services to report back to him. At the same time, Dr. Barnard is talking with Nelson Mandela(Clarke Peters).

"Endgame" is well-acted by an excellent cast. The film moves along like a first class political thriller, even if some of the dialogue is clunky at times, while detailing a little known, but important, piece of history. It does a very good job of illustrating the point in a conflict when guns must be put aside, after so much damage has been inflicted on both sides, and the talking to begin. But that cannot really start until the fear and hatred that have been building over generations have been overcome. In this case, the blacks hate their oppressors while the minority Afrikaans fear for their future. What is scary for me is the meetings are arranged by Consolidated Goldmines, not out of the kindness of their hearts, but for business' sake as peace guarantees continued profit. Later, corporations will have influenced post-Apartheid South Africa in a negative direction, as detailed by Naomi Klein in her book, "The Shock Doctrine."

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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