Invictus

2009

Invictus

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.

76%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 242

75%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 211,873
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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.

Cast

Morgan Freeman
as Nelson Mandela
Matt Damon
as Francois Pienaar
Tony Kgoroge
as Jason Tshabalala
Patrick Mofokeng
as Linga Moonsamy
Matt Stern
as Hendrick Booyens
Julian Lewis Jones
as Etienne Feyder
Adjoa Andoh
as Brenda Mazibuko
Patrick Lyster
as Mr. Pienaar
Penny Downie
as Mrs. Pineaar
Shakes Myeko
as Minister of Sport
Louis Minaar
as Springbok Coach
Danny Keogh
as Rugby President
Robin Smith
as Johan De Villiers
David Dukas
as Captain of 747
Grant Swanby
as Co-Captain of 747
Josias Moleele
as Face Painter
Langley Kirkwood
as Presidential Guard
Robert Hobbs (II)
as Presidential Guard
Melusi Yeni
as Presidential Guard
Daniel Hadebe
as Presidential Guard
Jodi Botha
as High School Boy
Vuyo Dabula
as Presidential Guard
Hennie Bosman
as High School Coach
Jakkie Groenewald
as Johannesburg Cop
Murray Todd
as Johannesburg Cop
Japan Mthembu
as Local Cop
Albert Maritz
as Springbok Manager
Sello Motloung
as Mandela's Doctor
Meren Reddy
as Minister of the Environment
Lida Botha
as Mrs. Brits
Susan Danford
as Mrs. Cole
Sylvia Mngxekeza
as Mrs. Dlamini
James Lithgow
as New Zealand PM
Malusi Skenjana
as NSC Firebrand
Bart Fouche
as Prison Guard
Johnny Cicco
as Staff Member
Wayne Harrison
as Staff Member
Ashley Taylor
as Team Crew
Gift Loetlela
as Team Crew
Given Stuurman
as Township Kid
Vuyolwethu Stevens
as Township Kid
Ayabulela Stevens
as Township Kid
Nambitha Mpumlwana
as Trophy Wife
Andre Jacobs
as TV Announcer
JR Redlinghaus
as Helicopter Pilot
McNeil Hendricks
as Chester Williams
Zak Feaunati
as Jonah Lomu
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News & Interviews for Invictus

Critic Reviews for Invictus

All Critics (242) | Top Critics (51) | Fresh (185) | Rotten (57)

  • Morgan Freeman's portrayal of Nelson Mandela creates a superb moment in time on the movie screen.

    Jan 16, 2018 | Full Review…

    Ed Koch

    The Atlantic
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    Feb 5, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    Feb 5, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • A monolithic sporting saga that seems content to pose on the podium, lulled by the belief that its subject matter provides inspiration enough.

    Feb 5, 2010 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Xan Brooks

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

    Feb 5, 2010 | Rating: 2/5
  • In films like this, nobody is ever in two minds about anything. Nobody is ever out of character. And that is a deficiency in the screenwriting that pays too little heed to the source material.

    Feb 5, 2010 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Invictus

  • May 20, 2013
    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.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Jun 09, 2012
    Invictus is a bit heavy-handed in its storytelling, but it's boosted by strong performances from Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon and some exciting, sharply choreographed rugby sequences.
    Isaac H Super Reviewer
  • May 01, 2012
    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!".
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 19, 2012
    Invictus is the account of an interesting bit of political history. One in which the fate of a nation depended on a rugby team. It begins with the prisons release of South African hero, Nelson Mandela, played by Morgan Freeman. With his subsequent rise to the presidency, Mandela faces a host of problems. He was given over the reigns of a country with a poor economy, rife with violent conflict, teetering on the edge of outright civil war. It was essential that Mandela find some way to unite the country, and reconciliation was priority number one. He knew that a leader cannot govern effectively unless there is national unity. Mandela believed that his best chances for success lied in the Rugby fields. He builds a strong relationship with the Springbox Rugby team, led by Captain Francois Pienaar, played by Matt Damon. Mandela's message to the team is simple: You must represent all South Africans, black and white, and you must win the Rugby World Cup. This is the inspiration the country needs to face it's many challenges. Eastwood is a highly unorthodox choice for what is a very orthodox sports film. Rugby is a sport alien to most Americans, but there aren't many surprises to find here. It sticks very closely to the typical tropes of sports films, and films about race. There are some weak performances that typically arise with Eastwood's sink or swim filmmaking style. But the biggest problem, however, is not the performances which is evident with Freeman and Damon. No, it just feels like we've seen it all before. There is really nothing that is said about sports or race relations that hasn't all ready been said by countless other films. Invictus is not a failure in any measure. This film is very compentently crafted by Eastwood, one of the masters of American cinema. It's just a case of treading water both within the genre, and within Eastwood's body of work.
    Brandon S Super Reviewer

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