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Invictus
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Invictus More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

One of the most moving films of the decade!

9/10
Author: B-Rizza from South Africa
31 January 2010

Being South African, I clearly remember the Rugby World Cup of 1995 and what it meant to our country. Clint Eastwood has managed to capture those events, emotions, the atmosphere and the coming of a nation in this film flawlessly. Everything from casting to historical accuracy was perfect. I am truly proud that I experienced the events that led to the production of this film.

Superb performances by both Freeman and Damon, with Matt Damon pulling off the South African accent very very well and Freeman playing a fantastic Mandela.

Great movie, great story, great acting, great cast, great direction. Highly highly recommended.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

no apologies for the gush

9/10
Author: beattyg
22 January 2010

Today, I overheard someone saying 'I would go to a movie about a door opening if it was directed by Clint Eastwood'.

I feel the same although I am relieved Mr Eastwood has larger ideas, so it won't be necessary.

I almost chose to stay away from 'Invictus' because I have a natural aversion to rugby even though I have a Kiwi background steeped in All Black history. This is not a story about rugby. Rugby is part of the story.

Its a difficult story to tell to those uninformed about complex South African politics, the unique strength of Nelson Mandela, the strange game of rugby union which historically has created division & fanaticism.

The story is about a man who used divisive forces to bring about a sense of joy & hope. Its a movie about change and possibilities. Its about a man who thinks outside the square because of his own personal journey, using his power in the best way he can with a dignity and encouraging many to understand forgiveness & reconciliation.

For those who bemoan simplification; this particular movie demands specific, simple guidance for those unaware of this historical moment, but, I feel, many would be swept along in the current of a fascinating story in the steady hands of Mr Eastwood.

Clint Eastwoods development as a creative person is such a pleasure to watch, it will be the saddest day to lose his touch.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Powerful movie (Highly recommended)

10/10
Author: movieman222 from Singapore
14 January 2010

After reading the reviews at IMDb, I was very skeptical about this movie. I thought it would be boring and draggy. But I was very curious. So I go for this show expecting it to be a documentary style movie. My expectations were low and had an open mind. But when the movie began, it gripped so much that I was fully immersed into the scenes. I felt I was amongst them, the South Africans. This movie has a soul which haunted and inspired me even after the show is over.

It is not an action movie but a drama about a chapter in South African history. In this chapter, Mandela tries to unite the blacks and the whites through the South African Rugby team.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Inspiring and wonderfully directed...

9/10
Author: John (heretic@stny.rr.com) from United States
8 January 2010

Clint Eastwood is back with another inspiring and wonderfully directed film. Invictus takes place in 1995 South Africa, a time when President Nelson Mandela was trying to bring his country together. In the movie he accomplishes this through one of the nation's favorite sports - Rugby.

With cast like Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, and a director like Clint Eastwood, we can expect a great film. Invictus doesn't disappoint. The story is well told and there are some wonderful performances by all the cast members. Whats also great is the sound and visuals in the movie. They really captured the sport of Rugby quite well and in doing so they are able to get you into the sport whether you are familiar with it or not.

The sport isn't the main theme of the movie though. What we see is a country that has been torn and aren't ready to accept their new leader. To overcome the apartheid in his country, President Nelson Mandela attempts to unite it by helping it's Rugby team win the world cup. This is a truly inspiring story and shows what people are capable of when they put aside prejudice and work together.

9/10

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Far Better than i Expected !

9/10
Author: Moh'd Iwina from Occupied Palestinian Territory
7 January 2010

In general , i am not a fan of Eastwood works, and to be honest i didn't like "Million Dollar Baby " at all, therefore, the moment i have seen the poster of the " Invictus" i thought that it will be another "Million Dollar Baby" except for having Matt Damon as the fresh ingredient of the whole thing.

Knowing that the film was about a certain thing that happened during Mandela's Time as a president of South Africa dragged my attention toward the film, and that was the reason for me to watch it. beside the quality of the film story, the film was well directed, brilliantly acted, and well served. Most of the film , i felt as if was living in South Africa in that time, and every single moment in the film i've seen my self reacted anxiously toward it.

My advice to is to watch the movie, even if you didn't like political, or biography films , but Invictus is something else !

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Wonderfully well acted by Morgan Freeman, and Matt Damon, and wonderfully well directed by Clint Eastwood.

10/10
Author: DarkVulcan29 (DarkVulcan29@aol.com) from United States
28 December 2009

Is Invictus a story about race or is it sports movie, well it's both, and at the same time it's neither.

Based on a true story. Set in the mid nineties, Nelson Mandela(Morgan Freeman), is elected President of South Afirica, and still hopes to hopes to end hatred, so in doing that he decides to help a Rugby team that is on a losing streak. He calls to meet the team captain Francois Pienaar(Matt Damon) in hopes to inspire him to start a winning streak. But the question is will he ?

A truly great film, well acted by Freeman,and Damon. And perfectly directed by Clint Eastwood. It had great scenery, and an intense Rugby match. And look for Clint Eastwoods son Scott Eastwood has one of the Rugby players. It's just a truly great film.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Clint Eastwood does it again.

10/10
Author: leetodman from South Africa
25 December 2009

Don't know how Clint Eastwood does it.

The Cast, the story line, in fact everything outstanding once again.

Anybody who didn't enjoy this movie needs a brain scan.

This was not an easy topic, in fact it was very complex and yes maybe a few errors along the way but SFW, it was a job well done again. Towards the end of the movie I was biting my nails as if I was watching that final match all over again and not to mention what a great man Mandela is and alway's will be. Thanks to Morgan Freeman's terrific performance. Matt Damon - brilliant once again as well.

I walked out of the cinema wishing Nelson Mandela was still the president of South Africa.

Brilliant all round.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Inspirational and uplifting story

10/10
Author: Richard Adams from Capitola, CA
13 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Clint Eastwood can seemingly do no wrong as this is yet another masterpiece from the veteran actor and director. A strong cast, including Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon. Portrayed is the the conversion of a lackluster South Africa national rugby union team to 1995 Rugby World Cup winners and focus for a reborn South Africa.

The setting and music paints an image of a bitterly divided country being gently brought together. Echos of apartheid linger and Nelson Mandela artfully turns the Springboks from a symbol of white South Africa to the team of the nation. Music and stadium scenes are quite overwhelming, while scenes of the mostly white team touring the black townships and building bonds with the children of black South Africa are heartwarming to say the least.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Less is more! Amazing, restrained directing by Eastwood!

9/10
Author: aschein81 from United States
13 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film was simply so well directed by Eastwood. He has already won the Best Director Award from the National Board of Review, and he certainly will be one of the favorites for it at the Oscars, along with James Cameron and Jason Reitman.

Where do I start? This film is so unlike most other sports films out there for a lot of reasons, mostly because Eastwood doesn't try to manipulate your emotions with phony "tearjerker" scenes or scenes with some kind of phony conflicts/crises between characters. In many ways the film is kind of boring in that it is relatively quiet and free of any kind of loud sounds, drama, or music. When the musical score does appear, it appears sporadically and is rather quiet and serene. It is very much directed like a low budget documentary, where Eastwood is only interested in telling how, when, and where this story took place, along with who was affected. He doesn't do what an inferior director would do, which is add in more dramatic scenes involving Mandela's or Pennier's family life to try to add more romance to the film, or try to make the Rugby World Cup tournament into some kind of amazing event that resolved all of South Africa's problems. Also, when the game is over at the end, we simply see Freeman and Damon shake hands and say thank you to each other for about 15 seconds, then they walk away from each other. No one is carried off the field, and the South Africa team is never really portrayed as an underdog. None of the players on the other team taunt them or even speak to them, and we never see much of a montage of the playoffs leading up to the big game. Also, no player or coach dies right before the big game (typical phony conflict to try to manipulate your emotions). There's way less of any of these things than other directors would do. There are no close-ups of their faces with tears running down their cheeks, or any real dramatic dialogue. Eastwood isn't trying to make them both superheroes, as a lesser director would do. He's just trying to show that is one event helped bring the people of South Africa together for at least a short time, and that's all.

Eastwood simply goes by the old "less is more" strategy in ever way he directs this film. Like I stated earlier, the film is close to being boring because of the lack of any loud sounds or surprise dramatic developments. My favorite part of the whole film, and this is somewhat of a spoiler, was the entire championship game at the end, which seemed to last at least 20 minutes or so. During this 20 minute climax, the film suddenly turns into basically a silent film without any dialogue, with Eastwood just going back and forth between the action on the field and people watching on TV from their homes all over South Africa. This dialogue free time, with some beautiful music in the background was simply amazing art, and took away any of the typical sports "cliches" that other directors would have used during this time. Damon gives a "let's go" type of pep talk to the team near the end of the game, but that pep talk was only about 15 seconds, whereas other directors would have made that scene probably a minute or two, with tears dripping down players cheeks, to try to manipulate your emotions.

The performances by Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon are excellent, with a certain Oscar nomination for Morgan Freeman specifically. The cinematography was well done, as the film was filmed entirely on location. However, the star of this baby is really Eastwood, as his style is so free of manipulation or gimmicks. He truly respects the audience's intelligence by not shoving material or dramatic events down our throat. Instead, he backs off and lets us ingest the scenes, interpret them, and allow them to mean whatever we as the audience want them to mean. This is film directing at its finest.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Eastwood hits another cinematic homerun

10/10
Author: Brian Wright from United States
15 January 2010

Since the movie tells a true story, no need for me to go into the detail here, as all roads lead to a culminating World Cup event... in Johannesburg and including the South African rugby team. It's fabulous and uplifting, even a bit of a tearjerker. Eastwood is so good with little directorial touches, such as when a tough security guy for the De Klerk regimenow a welcome member of the Mandela security staffslaps on his sunglasses to conceal moist eyes... or as the World Cup final proceeds, a little black street boy, who would formerly be chased away by white police, is seen sitting on the car of the police, everyone intently listening to the car radio. And musically, the film is one of the more interesting you'll have the pleasure of hearing. As many realize, Clint Eastwood is quite an accomplished composer himself, having written and in some cases performed the scores for some of the movies he directs. I think with Invictus, he's a kid in a candy store. The melodies and rhythms of the native South African music are so rich and fluid, they roll out naturally without blasting you into the balcony. Whoever did the scoreno doubt Eastwood had a sayskillfully weaves sound with sight. It's great... and I don't generally pay much attention to movie scores.

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