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Invictus (2009)

TOMATOMETER

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 232
Fresh: 176
Rotten: 56

Critics Consensus: Delivered with typically stately precision from director Clint Eastwood, Invictus may not be rousing enough for some viewers, but Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman inhabit their real-life characters with admirable conviction.

Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 45
Fresh: 39
Rotten: 6

Critics Consensus: Delivered with typically stately precision from director Clint Eastwood, Invictus may not be rousing enough for some viewers, but Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman inhabit their real-life characters with admirable conviction.

AUDIENCE SCORE

Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 210,566

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Movie Info

The film tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team to help unite their country. Newly elected President 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 underdog rugby team as they make an unlikely run to the 1995 World Cup Championship match.

Rating:
PG-13 (for brief strong language)
Genre:
Sports & Fitness , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Anthony Peckham
In Theaters:
On DVD:
May 18, 2010
Box Office:
$37.4M
Runtime:
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


Cast



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Critic Reviews for Invictus

All Critics (233) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (176) | Rotten (56) | DVD (12)

A noble and compassionate work that in its later scenes manages successfully to invest our emotions in the triumph of an important - if overlong! - sporting victory.

Full Review… | February 5, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

What Eastwood has done is to assemble a cast of American and South African actors and allow them to create something moving, exciting, and improbably true.

Full Review… | January 15, 2010
Film.com
Top Critic

Freeman-as-Mandela is an actor all dressed up with no place to go -- at least, nowhere we didn't already know he was headed.

Full Review… | December 11, 2009
Slate
Top Critic

The story of how Nelson Mandela chose the white-supported national rugby team, the Springboks, to become a symbol of national reconciliation is uncharacteristically optimistic for Eastwood.

Full Review… | December 11, 2009
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

[T]he epitome of Hollywood filmmaking in ways both good and bad: uplifting, overlong, ambitious in scope but simple in moral vision, well-crafted but inured to irony.

Full Review… | December 11, 2009
The New Republic
Top Critic

A work of flawed majesty.

Full Review… | December 11, 2009
Detroit News
Top Critic

The attraction of the film lies not in any surprise but in Morgan Freeman as Mandela -- so pitch perfect that the line between actor and archival is thin.

Full Review… | March 8, 2014
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Invictus tells the tale in the standard Hollywood way

Full Review… | August 26, 2011

Is it schmaltzy? A little. Is it good anyway? Yes. It's not trying to reinvent the wheel but it understands what it is and that the best place to put its focus is not the rugby field.

Full Review… | March 27, 2011
ComingSoon.net

Invictus hits all the right formula notes of both the biopic and the underdog sports movie, making it impossible to hate. He also hits those notes so insistently and with such a lack of grace that he makes it a difficult movie to like.

Full Review… | July 4, 2010

A narrative divide that never quite comes together, despite some truly uplifting moments. And seems unable to decide whether it wants to be a sports movie or a political biopic. Invictus: Or rather, 'I am the rugby captain of Mandela's soul.'

Full Review… | June 1, 2010
NewsBlaze

Despite hewing fairly closely to the facts, has trouble seeming truthful. Practically everyone behaves like an allegorical symbol rather than a person, a problem the script anticipates and acknowledges but only feebly attempts to solve. [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | May 30, 2010
Groucho Reviews

... less a film than a memorial: handsome, stately, well-meaning and dramatically inert.

Full Review… | May 23, 2010
Seanax.com

At its very essence a classically Hollywood, ultra-populist, inspirational underdog sports movie--and a well executed one at that.

Full Review… | May 16, 2010
TheMovieReport.com

This amalgamation of inspirational themes cuts a new notch on Eastwood's well-used viewfinder.

Full Review… | May 14, 2010
Cinema Signals

...a polished, well-made, and unaffectedly inspiring motion picture about an inspiring individual and an inspiring victory.

Full Review… | May 9, 2010
Movie Metropolis

Not one of Eastwood's best, but at times the story is quite moving. And, you can't help but cherish the performance by Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela. Nicely done, Morgan. Paul Chambers, CNN.

Full Review… | March 27, 2010
CNNRadio

Freeman's Mandela is deeply flawed, single-minded when it comes to his job, and has a way with one-liners. In short, he's an Eastwood hero.

Full Review… | March 19, 2010
Philadelphia Weekly

The half that's good involves watching Morgan Freeman hitting not only the cadences of Mandela's oratory but the Gandhi-like calm of the man.

Full Review… | March 12, 2010
Salt Lake Tribune

It's possibly Damon's most impressive major role to date.

Full Review… | February 5, 2010
Film4

Invictus may be a rather cheesy way into the story of South Africa, but in the end you're glad it's there for a new generation to whom the words "Free Nelson Mandela" are history.

Full Review… | February 5, 2010
Times [UK]

A monolithic sporting saga that seems content to pose on the podium, lulled by the belief that its subject matter provides inspiration enough.

Full Review… | February 5, 2010
Guardian

Invictus is undone by its own overindulgence, turning a unifying moment of celebration and clarity into an underwhelming piece of cinematic cliché.

February 5, 2010
Little White Lies

Freeman's performance is a fine tribute to Mandela, perfectly capturing his grin, posture and unbreakable upbeatness.

Full Review… | February 5, 2010
Digital Spy

As you'd expect from Eastwood and this cast, it's got quality written all over it.

February 5, 2010
Heat Magazine

Audience Reviews for Invictus

A moving film but not as powerful as I anticipated. Nevertheless, it does have an important message and reminds one of the great heroism and uncertainty of post-Apartheid South Africa. Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman both give noteworthy performances.

More
cchclaw
Christian C

Super Reviewer

Sports movies usual have social/political redemption/justification as a subplot and Eastwood's entree here is no different, with racial equality thrown in on the side. You know the ending from the very first. And so its up to his leads to carry the weight of "its more than just a game" ballast, which Freeman and Damon admirably do w/o a problem. I learned a bit about rugby, and South Africa seems more of a welcoming place now, so its "mission accomplished!".

More
ApeneckFletcher
Apeneck Fletcher

Super Reviewer

½

The true story of newly elected South African president Nelson Mandela making it his top priority to unite the nation thanks to a successful rugby team. Morgan Freedom is the obvious but perfect choice as Mandela and really turns into the politician, which is particularly difficult considering he is a contemporary celebrity many people are still familiar with. The film stays focused on the president, his ideals and small steps to get the white and black people of South African to overcome the years or resentment. So it's not until the second half that the movie follows the usual sports drama steps, but remains really well done. The sport scenes look realistic and well filmed, but for people unfamiliar with the game, the lack of commentary makes them look kind of arbitrary. That doesn't change the fact that the film is heading for a moving and satisfying climax. It's nice to see that sometimes history does make the right choices and people can change.

More
ironclad1609
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

An admirably confident film from Mr. Clint Eastwood, Invictus is well-paced and brimming with convincing performances from the leads. Unfortunately, besides bringing Nelson Mandela's dramatic struggle to film, the pic failed to leave me with any other lasting impressions.

More
Kristijonas Fussman
Kristijonas Fussman

Super Reviewer

Invictus Quotes


Nelson Mandela:
Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.
– Submitted by Nusfish K (2 years ago)
Nelson Mandela:
You criticize without understanding. You seek only to address your own personal feelings. That is selfish thinking.
– Submitted by Nusfish K (2 years ago)
Nelson Mandela:
Times change, we need to change as well.
– Submitted by Nusfish K (2 years ago)
Nelson Mandela:
Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.
– Submitted by Chad E (2 years ago)
Francois Pienaar:
I think he wants us to win the World Cup.
– Submitted by Alejandro O (2 years ago)
Nelson Mandela:
The day I am afraid to do that is the day I am no longer fit to lead.
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)

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