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Winnie Mandela Reviews

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Godfrey Cheshire

In the end, hers is a journey as complicated and fascinating as that of South Africa itself.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 10, 2013
Prairie Miller

Sometimes it can be strangely said that it's a miracle when a certain film even exists, warts and all. So let's cut to the chase, and what really matters in this immensely important movie. Not the least which is, 'Strike a woman, and you strike a rock.'

Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

September 8, 2013
Alonso Duralde
The Wrap
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It would have benefited the film if Roodt had been as bold with the mechanics of his storytelling as he is with his inclusion of the title character's less savory moments. But its strengths, particularly the two lead performances, far outweigh its flaws.

Full Review Source: The Wrap

September 6, 2013
Frank Lovece
Film Journal International

Affecting biographical drama about the controversial anti-apartheid crusader, wife of fellow South African racial-equality advocate Nelson Mandela.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

September 6, 2013
Sherilyn Connelly
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A story that probably could have been told better as a miniseries, the film's main strength is its performances.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

September 3, 2013
Michael Dequina

The end credits song's beautifully delivered, full-throttle emotional bombast only serves as a dismaying reminder of how much the film otherwise lacks any similar passion and soul.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 13, 2013
Todd Jorgenson

The audacity and determination of its subject doesn't find its way into this shallow and superficial biopic.

Full Review Source:

September 13, 2013
Michael Sragow
Orange County Register

This biopic is part hagiography, part expose, and gravely incoherent.

Full Review Source: Orange County Register | Original Score: C-

September 13, 2013
Griffin Vacheron
We Got This Covered

Though Winnie Mandela is a more-than-serviceable classroom recounting of events, it fails to reach much higher than that, and deals with identity issues when deciding whether to challenge your views or simply glorify real-life events.

Full Review Source: We Got This Covered | Original Score: 4/10

September 9, 2013
Kam Williams

A warts-and-all biopic which focuses on its subject's childhood, college days and marriage while making short shrift of her transition into a war criminal.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 1/4

September 7, 2013
Rob Humanick
Slant Magazine

The film's tonal inconsistencies speak less to the struggles of its titular subject than to its own grasp-exceeding ambitions.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 1.5/4

September 6, 2013
Sandie Angulo Chen
Common Sense Media

Biopic is well acted but uneven and violent.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 2/5

September 6, 2013
Clay Cane

'Winnie' is no masterpiece, but not nearly as bad as the early reviews.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: C+

September 6, 2013
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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"Winnie Mandela'' really stumbles when it comes to depicting the couple's painful separation, which the film suggests resulted more from politics than Winnie's infidelity.

Full Review Source: New York Post

September 6, 2013
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite the marquee names and their obvious talent, the film feels like a made-for-TV movie.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 2/4

September 5, 2013
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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Distant and obvious, it takes a story with many angles and reduces its edges, becoming a glorified TV movie.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 2/5

September 5, 2013
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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Winnie Mandela is a simplistic look at a complex figure.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 2/4

September 5, 2013
Stephen Holden
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ms. Hudson's frequent and distracting costume changes are a sign of deeper problems in a movie that wants to be all things to all people, especially women.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2/5

September 5, 2013
Cary Darling
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/

From the swelling melody on the soundtrack that opens the film to the Wind Beneath My Wings-like ballad that closes it, Winnie Mandela ... feels less like history come alive than Hollywood hagiography at its most blandly sentimental.

Full Review Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram/ | Original Score: 2/5

September 5, 2013
Mike McGranaghan
Film Racket

ultimately too earnest for its own good

Full Review Source: Film Racket | Original Score: 3/5

September 5, 2013
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