Invictus - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Invictus Reviews

Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
February 5, 2010
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 | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
January 15, 2010
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.
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Dana Stevens
Slate
December 11, 2009
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.
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
December 11, 2009
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 | Original Score: 3/4
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Christopher Orr
The New Republic
December 11, 2009
[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.
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Tom Long
Detroit News
December 11, 2009
A work of flawed majesty.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
December 11, 2009
Eastwood makes moving pictures that seldom collapse under the burden of sentiment. He has a muscular understanding of how kernels of wisdom needn't become caramel corn.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 11, 2009
It's an exciting sports movie, an inspiring tale of prejudice overcome and, above all, a fascinating study of political leadership.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 11, 2009
Anthony Peckham's script is formulaic, woodenly reverent, and devoid of real dramatic tension.
Top Critic
December 11, 2009
Loses steam in its last half-hour, but it has obvious virtues -- and it feels heartfelt, a generous elder's film about a generous elder's bequest to the world.
Full Review | Original Score: 7.5/10
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
December 11, 2009
Morgan Freeman doesn't play Mandela as much as inhabit the man, in a performance that seems to embody the very transcendence that Mandela himself has come to stand for.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 11, 2009
Depicts an unlikely intersection of sports and leadership in ways that manage to be inspiring and insightful without ever becoming schmaltzy or preachy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 11, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
December 11, 2009
For a picture with so much invested in its staunch sense of social justice, Invictus ultimately goes down not as medicine but as entertainment.
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 11, 2009
It's never less than worthy and entertaining, but the importance of Invictus doesn't broaden as it goes along. It narrows.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 11, 2009
As always, Eastwood brings solid craftsmanship to the proceedings, with direction that allows the actors to breathe while remaining alert to small details that speak of greater wisdom.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 11, 2009
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.
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
December 11, 2009
Morgan Freeman's performance as Nelson Mandela in Invictus is, like Clint Eastwood's film as a whole, constructed of deliberate decisions and never feels false.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 11, 2009
Eastwood, who will be 80 next year, understands the flow of narrative in a way younger directors might envy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
December 10, 2009
Inspirational albeit conventional sports film from Clint Eastwood, with terrific work from Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 10, 2009
It's a film of big themes played out on a grand scale, a story of races and generations making an effort to connect.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 10, 2009
Eastwood, tackling a sports movie very different from Million Dollar Baby, paces the action beautifully, right up to one white-knuckle moment late in the film (involving a plane) when you suddenly realized how invested in the story you've become.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 10, 2009
It may look like a movie-of-the-week and it certainly has some wincingly bad musical passages, but Invictus is an entertaining movie about a masterful piece of political theater.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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James Rocchi
MSN Movies
December 10, 2009
Invictus" is only interested in South Africa and the challenges of reconciliation as a background setting and inspiring theme, not as a real place or a real problem; it's a thin, hollow shell designed expressly to be coated in Oscar gold.
| Original Score: 2/5
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 10, 2009
Can a story on this scale function as compelling drama? I actually think that's what interests Eastwood the most here: the challenge of making historical figures move with the grace of remembered life.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
December 10, 2009
Clint Eastwood brings his usual late-career leisureliness behind the camera to the movie, in an initially frustrating approach that becomes increasingly satisfying as the film moves along.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
December 10, 2009
Freeman goes only so far with a dialect, and the script barely gets into Mandela's complexities, but the performance feels fresh and spontaneous. Damon is becoming one of the truest, most reliable actors of his generation.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 10, 2009
The title may mean nothing to you, but the movie certainly will.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 10, 2009
On its face, this is your basic redemption-through-sports story. 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.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 10, 2009
A strong piece of mass market filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 10, 2009
It's a bore, really -- a pedestrian movie about a remarkable subject.
| Original Score: 2/5
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 10, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 10, 2009
Eastwood, returning to race as a theme, has made a timely film about a nation of many races rallying around a leader who understands symbolism.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
December 9, 2009
The film's speechifying is at times overexplicit, yet Freeman lets the words breathe, and Damon, as the cautious Afrikaner brought to a higher place by Mandela's authority, acts with a 
 coolly impassive fervor.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
December 9, 2009
Eastwood too often veers into trite territory, undercutting some of the story's power. An unlikely World Cup run may be a soothing balm on a nation's wounds, but it's not a cure-all, no matter how inspiring it may be.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
Village Voice
December 8, 2009
Invictus is stately, handsomely mounted, attentive to detail right down to the Marmite adorning the team's breakfast buffet, and relentlessly conventional.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
December 8, 2009
The film is flawed, rambling and much too long, but in the end it leaves the audience cheering.
Top Critic
Jake Coyle
Associated Press
December 8, 2009
Invictus is dripping with inspiration -- how to summon it, how to communicate it. Late in his career, Eastwood seems to be finding it everywhere.
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
At the Movies
December 7, 2009
The movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, has its corny moments, for sure, but it's also powerful, full of conviction and one of the most inspiring movies of the year.
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
December 7, 2009
Who'd have thought that old Dirty Harry would, with Letters from Iwo Jima and Invictus, become America's prime director of international trauma and triumph?
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David Ansen
Newsweek
December 7, 2009
The lapses fade in the face of such a soul-stirring story -- one that would be hard to believe if it were fiction.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
December 3, 2009
We applaud the final game but must leave the cheering to the on-screen fans.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
November 29, 2009
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.