Critic Reviews



Based on 34 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
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. Not, as I said, the Mandela biopic I would have expected.
How is Invictus as a sports movie? Let's just say that its lump-in-the-throat climax is predictable, but that doesn't mean it's less than earned.
Damon, beefed up for the occasion, makes Pienaar a stalwart yet courtly figure. Freeman infuses Mandela's speeches with the same gentleness and gravity he's brought to his numerous God roles and the Visa Olympics commercials. But the real deity here is Eastwood, still chugging away handsomely in his 80th year.
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.
Eastwood has crafted something that works both as a sports drama and as an examination of the birth pains of the racially unified South Africa.
The wonder of Invictus is that it actually went down this way.
Austin Chronicle
Narratively, we all know where the trajectory of the story is headed, thus the culminating match (nearly 20 minutes) takes up too much screen time without adding anything new to the drama.
A temperate, evenhanded perhaps overly timid film about an intemperate time in South Africa.
Village Voice
Like every Eastwood production, Invictus is stately, handsomely mounted, attentive to detail right down to the Marmite adorning the team's breakfast buffet, and relentlessly conventional. As a portrait of a hero, the movie effortlessly brings a lump to the throat (Freeman gives a subtly crafted performance that blends Mandela's physical frailty with his easy charm and cerebral wit); as history, it is borderline daft and selective to the point of distortion.
The movie isn’t adventurous, but I’m sure glad it exists.

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