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Invictus (2009)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  11 December 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 117,156 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 256 user | 302 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.



(screenplay), (book)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Kgoroge ...
Patrick Mofokeng ...
Matt Stern ...
Sibongile Nojila ...
Shakes Myeko ...
Louis Minnaar ...
Springbok Coach (as Louis Minaar)


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 rugby team as they make their historic run to the 1995 Rugby World Cup Championship match. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He was a prisoner who became a president. To unite his country, he asked one man to do the impossible. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

11 December 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Human Factor  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,611,147 (USA) (11 December 2009)


$37,479,778 (USA) (19 March 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


To prepare for his role as Francois Pienaar, Matt Damon took intensive coaching at the Gardens Rugby Club under Chester Williams, who himself was a player in the South African rugby team of 1995. See more »


Near the end of the movie, Francois Pienaar mentions Nelson Mandela's "30 years in that cell," referencing his visit to Mandela's cell on Robben Island. In fact, Mandela spent about 17.5 of his 27 years of imprisonment in the cell on Robben Island. He was imprisoned in Johannesburg and then Pretoria for about a year and a half during his trial, then sent to Robben Island for 17.5 years. He was moved to Pollsmoor Prison for 6 years, then to Victor Verster Prison for 2 years until his release. When Mandela's earlier arrests and imprisonments are factored in, he did spend about 30 years in prison, just not at Robben Island. (See Mandela's autobiography Long Walk to Freedom.) See more »


[first lines]
High School Boy: [seeing passing motorcade] Who is it, sir?
High School Coach: It's the terrorist Mandela, they let him out. Remember this day boys, this is the day our country went to the dogs.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Warner Bros.' logo from 1994 is used for both the opening and ending of the movie in keeping with the time period of the film. See more »


Featured in The Hour: Episode #7.22 (2010) See more »


God Defend New Zealand
Poem by Thomas Bracken (1870s)
Music by John Joseph Woods (as J.J. Woods) (1876)
Arranged by Guy Jansen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

As a South African, I can tell you the entertaining, inspiring and enjoyable "Invictus" exceeded all my expectations.
13 December 2009 | by (South Africa) – See all my reviews

As a South African who saw this film on Friday morning, I can tell you you the entertaining, inspiring and enjoyable "Invictus" exceeded all my expectations.

It really is a true story of epic proportions yet it's told with an intimate feel, and it is at least 98% accurate to the events of the time. Clint gets all the big details and so many of the little details right, but he never goes over the top. He directs with minimum fuss and achieves maximum effect, just letting the powerful story unfold without getting in its way.

I watched the 1995 Rugby World Cup and saw Madiba come out in the Springbok jersey. It was a wondrous sight. And when Joel Stransky slotted that drop kick over in the dying minutes and the Boks won, I wept and cheered along with everyone else. After the match millions of South African - of all races - celebrated. It was an amazing time. It was the birth of the "Rainbow Nation". Nelson Mandela is the greatest and most beloved of all South Africans. The man is a living legend, but so human and real. When he was President he brought hope to all South Africans, white and black. We, in my country, will never stop loving this incredible man. Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman did South Africa and our beloved Madiba proud. Francois Pienaar is also an amazing South African, an intelligent, big-hearted rugby played who always led by example, and Matt Damon's performance as him was superb. I was glued to the screen for every second of the film's running time (I didn't even move from my seat until the final credit rolled and the house lights came on), and I was moved to tears on several occasions. The final scene was especially touching.

Freeman's performance was magical and I can see him getting as Oscar nomination. If you think his Mandela is too cool to be true, think again. Mandela really is this cool. A brave and intelligent man whose courage and strength of character should serve as an example to people all over the world. After being unjustly imprisoned for nearly 30 years by a cruel and repressive regime, he emerged to run a country and teach its people the meaning of forgiveness and reconciliation.

I thoroughly recommend the authentically detailed, historically accurate "Invictus" to film lovers, Eastwood fans, Nelson Mandela fans and sports fans everywhere in the world. South Africans would be crazy to miss this excellent film, but it deserves to be a hit all over the globe. Let's hope it is.

Viva Clint Eastwood, viva Morgan Freeman, viva Madiba.

PS. I'm a huge fan of Clint Eastwood as both an actor and a director.

Of the films Eastwood has directed, my favorites, in no particular order, are "Unforgiven", "Million Dollar Baby", "Gran Torino", "The Outlaw Josey Wales", "Letters From Iwo Jima", "The Bridges of Madison County","Bird" and "Invictus". Yes, it's really that good. "Invictus" is another winner from Clint. He just seems to get better with age. What a creative roll he is currently on.

PPS. "Invictus" is one of the best sporting movies I have ever seen. But it's also about more than sport.

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The New Zealand team was poisoned before the final crappydoo
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This film made rugby look boring and soft jamessharp89
Nelson Mandela is a 'free man' ronataren
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