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Invictus More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Author: superlo from United States
26 June 2010

It's 1995 and Nelson Mandela (Freeman) has just been elected the first democratically elected black president of South Africa. Not surprisingly, his supporters see this as the ultimate opportunity for pay back to the white community for all the years of oppression. But Mandela is a different kind of leader. He believes in working hard to unite all the people and forgiving those who have harmed him and his people. Everyone assumes Mandela will replace the white leadership of the struggling national rugby team with his own. However, Mandela sees this as an opportunity to unify the country through sports. He commits himself to working with the existing white leadership and particularly the captain of the rugby team played by Matt Damon. He challenges Damon to rise to the occasion and capture the World Cup which they are hosting. He is taking a great risk with the future of his leadership. Based on the true story of Nelson Mandela and South Africa, it is part history, part leadership lesson and a moving sports drama. Highly recommend.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: g-bodyl from United States
25 June 2010

This is a really fantastic film made right by the amazing Clint Eastwood and the amazing Morgan Freeman. They both add a classic to their already legendary film careers. Matt Damon deserves some kudos for this movie too. This movie is very inspirational. This movie should inspire other people to be like Nelson Mandela in this film.

This movie takes place when Mandela is released from prison and takes office as President of South Africa. He supports the Springboks rugby team when no one else does. He tells them to win it all at the World Cup. He wants them to win so the country can unite with each other.

The acting is fantastic. I wanted Morgan Freeman to win the Oscar so bad but some girl won instead. Matt Damon proves that he's a great actor.

I am not a fan of rugby but I saw this film just to see Morgan Freeman and the brilliant directing of Clint Eastwood. This is an amazing film. I rate this movie 10/10.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Invictus An Excellent Drama Based On A True Story

Author: tburke85 from United States
20 June 2010

Invictus is an excellent drama based on a true story with great performances by the two lead actors who really bring their A game to this movie. Director Clint Eastwood continues to show audiences and critics that he's one of the best filmmakers in Hollywood with this one. Morgan Freeman is superb as always as Nelson Mandela who after being released from prison soon goes on to become the President of South Africa. Believing he can bring his divided people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela enlists the help of South African rugby Captain Francois Pienaar to make a run for 1995 World Cup Championship Match. Freeman is so convincing as the newly elected president Mandela. He turns in another great performance among many proving his talent as a veteran actor. Matt Damon is equally impressive as Pienaar the rugby Captain who rallies his teammates to achieve what seems impossible. Damon may not be as tall as the real Pienaar but like Freeman he becomes the character and turns in a solid performance none the less. Damon and Freeman played off each other very well in their scenes together making the growing friendship between their characters believable. The rest of the relatively unknown cast are also very good as the supporting characters in their limited screen time. I can't think of too much I didn't enjoy about this film because Invictus was much better than expected. I mean I heard it was supposed to be good but Invictus still impressed me with how well Eastwood put it together which like many other films I'm sure wasn't easy. The pacing is fine except the 134 minute running time did seem a little slow at times and the satisfying ending I sort of suspected but those are two tiny flaws because the good more than outweighs the bad in this one. The real locations they used added a lot to the film making you feel for the characters and their situation. The movie in the beginning had a documentary type feel as well which worked in it's favor. So overall if you're looking for inspiring drama based on a true story, Invictus is the movie for you. I plan to see this again sometime because I believe it's worth seeing more than once. It's a film about how the power of hope and forgiveness can unite country. Invictus has a similar compelling story, drama, a little humor, and exceptional performances by the cast (especially Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon) who make this movie worth the time to watch.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Class Act on a Grand Scale

Author: (bob-rutzel-1) from United States
16 June 2010

Based upon a true story.

After almost 30 years of imprisonment, Nelson Mandela (Freeman) becomes President of South Africa and makes it his mission to forgive his suppressors and to unite the country, both black and white, through the sport of Rugby.

Rugby. Almost like American football except there don't appear to be many rules, no pads, no helmets, no instant replay, no forward pass and no cheerleaders. Bummer.

Invictus is a poem by William Ernest Henley and the last two lines sum up everything: I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul. Mandela used the poem to not give in or give up to anything while he was in prison regardless of the hardships he endured there.

This is a class act on a grand scale and may be Clint Eastwood's most important film. Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon deserved the Oscar nominations as they and the entire cast were outstanding.

Maybe the concentration on Rugby was too much and nothing was mentioned about the other duties of the new South African government, but President Mandela needed to unify the country before he could feel confident the whole country was behind him on other matters. It worked. He and the South Africans win. Wouldn't it be nice if nations could use sports to vent whatever they feel they need to vent. And, if they lose, well, there's always next year.

We didn't get any insight into Mandela's daughter who couldn't get over the white South Africans as also part of the new government. She kept remembering that they were the ones who threw the Mandela family out of their house. After the Rugby match, did she see the wisdom of what President Mandela accomplished with Rugby? This was not addressed.

Nevermind playing Rugby, watching parts of a Rugby game in a movie isn't easy either, you know. I did some damage to my knee and right elbow watching some of the hits. I could become a Rugby fan if they had more rules, pads, helmets, instant replay, the forward pass and, of course, cheerleaders (but, Bob, that's American Football). Exactly.

Violence: Yes, Rugby is a violent game. Sex: No. Nudity: No. Language: Believe I only heard one F-bomb

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One of the best films of 2009.

Author: Jay Harris ( from United States
15 June 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Clint Eastward has done it again, His excellent direction & ability to create such perfect performances from his cast makes you overlook any possible imperfections in this script,

Anthony Parkham wrote the screenplay based on the book by John Carlin. This is supposedly a true story of a South African Rugby team winning the 1995 Rugby World Cup from a superior team.

It also involves the inspiring influence of the South African President Nelson Mandella.

The above plot description many not be enough by itself to see this. The main reason to seen INVICTUS is to watch 2 of the best characterizations & performances. Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, are Nelson Mandella & Francois Piennaar .

I was not seeing 2 familiar actors, I was seeing Mandell & the Coach.

The Rugby scenes are very exciting It (to me) is a rougher sport than Soccor or American Football.

The film was made in South Africa in actual settings for some scenes.

The 133 minute running times goes fast,You will be absorbed by what you see.

Ratings: **** (out of 4) 98 points (out of 100) IMDb 10 (out of 10)

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Lesson in Leadership

Author: chemingineer from Mumbai, India
1 March 2010

Allow me to lead you, says Morgan Freeman quietly but authoritatively to his band of party men who are voting for scrapping the Springbok label for South African Rugby team. It is a powerful and defining moment of the film. After taking over as the President of South Africa in 1994, Nelson Mandela sees a huge opportunity to project his country as a multiracial democracy to the world during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. The film, based on John Carlin's book 'Playing the Enemy', is a very poignant delineation of how he goes about this task. Much to the chagrin of his close aides, he invests not an inconsiderable amount of time to befriend the Rugby team captain Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon). In a very memorable sequence of the film, the President invites the Captain to his office for tea and the two exchange notes on leadership. Invictus offers totally credible lessons on leadership, without even a wee bit of pontification. Winning the World Cup becomes a metaphor for uniting a fractured nation.

Invictus (Latin for invincible) is a short poem by William Ernest Henley that Nelson Mandela had with him when he was incarcerated for 27 years. He hands over this inspiring poem to Francois before the start of the World Cup.

The game sequences, and there are plenty of them, are shot and edited with the right amount of tension and clutch your eyeballs completely.

Morgan Freeman plays Nelson Mandela with great dignity and compassion. Matt Damon as the overawed captain is excellent. Director Clint Eastwood has extracted powerful, yet unobtrusive performances.

Invictus is a little gem of a film. It is hard to stay unaffected during its two odd hours. You are not human if you are unmoved. If I had my way I would make Invictus mandatory viewing for all the politicians of the world.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Clint does it again !!

Author: Jayesh from India
28 February 2010

Being a Clint Eastwood movie, I definitely had high expectations going into this one. And the movie more than lives up to ones expectations in all aspects. It is based on true events related to the initial struggle of Nelson Mandela to form a 'Rainbow Nation' when he became the President of South Africa. The storyline is pretty simple backed by good performances and direction. Also the movie unravels at a good pace. It has its own moments of joy and triumph.

It is truly one of the most inspirational movies one would ever come across. Also the fact that its a Clint Eastwood movie, makes it even more special. A modest 8/10 from my side.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Leadership for reconcilation

Author: Furuya Shiro from Yokohama, Japan
20 February 2010

This is a movie about reconciliation and leadership. In South Africa of the apartheid era, unbelievable outrageousness and tyranny against black people was the national policy. Nelson Mandela was a leader of the guerrilla against the government, who was arrested in 1962. Mandela was released in 1990 by then president de Klerk. The movie starts from that day. White people feel fearful about the release. The fear had reason. Most countries where black took over white ruling in the past, white got South Africa revenged and their land and properties were striped down, and those uneducated black people could not run the country. Mandela, however, adopted reconciliation as the principle to run the country, and he got the idea to make the rugby World Cup Game as the chance for the national reconciliation. An outstanding leader ponders and considers deeply how to achieve the final goal of the organization, and once he decides to do something, he works unflinchingly without hesitation. The movie clearly portrays how Mandela, acted by Morgan Freeman, appealed the people for reconciliation and forgiveness, and made the people around him, particularly the team captain, work for it. Freeman perfectly acted this actually existing person. I recommend this to everyone around me.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Straight up with no frills, Eastwood-style

Author: Lawson from Singapore
18 February 2010

Clint Eastwood has got to be my favorite director. No one can tell a narrative like he can. A good story, straight up with no frills in direction or extravagant special effects, and actors giving it all they've got either because Eastwood tells them how to or because they know they're working with a legend. Man, I hope he doesn't retire.

I can't believe I teared up in a movie about rugby! Okay it's not all about rugby but still!

The movie's about Nelson Mandela and the significance of the rugby world cup in that first term of his presidential tenure. I've heard of the man but honestly, before this movie I couldn't even tell you who he was and what he did. Eastwood provided sufficient background to the story of Mandela and South Africa without dragging the movie down with too much history, and he kept a good pace so that I wasn't never bored.

I can't say I know more about rugby now, but with a sports movie, you don't need to know the sport to feel the emotions that a good movie captures from the athletes and spectators (hence my tearing up at the big finale).

Having never seen Mandela on TV, I can't say if Morgan Freeman did a good imitation, but no matter - he's a consummate actor who embodied the character. I wonder if Matt Damon got nominated because this is his least showy role ever. It's pretty cool how he almost disappeared into the performance but I don't think that the role is substantial enough to warrant an Oscar win.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Political genius!

Author: Tim Johnson from Fremantle, Australia
14 February 2010

Diane and I were both moved by all that we saw during Invictus. I congratulate Eastwood for attempting, what to me, was an unlikely story in that rugby is a sport that few Americans know anything about although it is hugely important here in Australia as well as in New Zealand just across the Tasman. To select a film about a man who is truly the savior of his country and then form the story around an international game was a tremendous gamble but because of Eastwood's command of the film art form, the movie was an amazing visual, emotional and intellectual package. The story of Nelson Mandela is in and of itself easily one of the greatest stories of humanity in and then to wrap that story around something as unlikely as South Africa's participation in a World Cup rugby game speaks volumes about the director's competence as well as that of the script writer, the actors and the original novel from which the story was taken. Very early in the film you are struck by Mandela's political genius; we in the modern world are unused to seeing a person so sensitive to the needs of his country that he can rise above his own needs. We are unused to a person that is so sensitive to the greater movements around him that he can act for that greater need. When you remember that Mandela spent 16 years of his life in prison making little rocks out of big rocks then the enormity of this man's genius is almost beyond comprehension. When he sees what needs to be done and then goes through the motions of trying to make people who can only, because their mind is not equal to his, see their private histories rather than his embracing human view then one is involved in the tension of all that has been reduced to one game of rugby. This movie is transcending and must be watched.

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