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  • Alternative view 1 of Invictus
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4.2 14
Director: Clint Eastwood

Cast: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge


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Actor Morgan Freeman portrays anti-apartheid activist and former South African president Nelson Mandela in this Clint Eastwood-helmed political drama adapted from author John Carlin's book The Human Factor: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Changed the World. Set just


Actor Morgan Freeman portrays anti-apartheid activist and former South African president Nelson Mandela in this Clint Eastwood-helmed political drama adapted from author John Carlin's book The Human Factor: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Changed the World. Set just after the fall of apartheid and during Mandela's first term in office, The Human Factor explores how the political prisoner-turned-president used the 1995 Rugby World Cup -- which was hosted by South Africa -- as a means of bringing blacks and whites together after decades of violence and mistrust. Matt Damon co-stars in the Warner Bros. production as rugby player Francois Pienaar.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Clint Eastwood's Invictus is more a film to be respected than admired. A competent and finely crafted look at a crucial moment in South African history, it's a film that's well directed and well acted, and features a number of thought-provoking parallels to the current climate in the United States. Yet, despite featuring an uplifting message about inspiration and perseverance, the film still fails to resonate on an emotional level due to the fact that the conflict is mainly encapsulated in a rugby game rather than out on the streets, where we could really see the effects of Nelson Mandela's efforts to unify the people of South Africa. Sure, there are a few scenes that illustrate the social transformation that's taking place, such as the little black boy listening to the decisive rugby game with a pair of white police officers, or Mandela's racially integrated security team bonding during a pickup game after initially distrusting each other. But by shifting the focus from Mandela's struggle to South Africa's efforts to win the World Cup in the second half of the film, Anthony Peckham's screenplay essentially becomes a sports underdog story wrapped in a socially conscious coating, and loses any real dramatic tension in the process. The film opens in 1990, just as Nelson Mandela is being released from prison after serving a 27-year sentence. Four years later, Mandela is elected president of South Africa. Taking note of the racial divide that still runs through his country, Mandela urges his people to look to the future instead of remaining stuck in the past, and begins to see the Springbok -- South Africa's mostly white rugby team -- as a powerful means of promoting his agenda for social change. The black South Africans see the Springbok as a distasteful reminder of the apartheid era, and they make this known by cheering on the challengers rather than their home team; the white South Africans remain staunch supporters of the Springbok. Lately, the Springbok hasn't been doing so well, though Mandela is convinced they have what it takes to win the World Cup -- and bring the country together in the process. In forging a friendly relationship with Springbok captain Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon), Mandela attempts to inspire the team to greatness, and show his people the importance of working together toward a common goal. The concept of using sports as a vehicle for social commentary is nothing new in cinema, and Eastwood's assured, workmanlike approach yields a film that's rarely dull, despite the fact that it's not very exciting. But Invictus is more ambitious than your typical sports drama, and that's both a blessing and a curse -- especially considering what was at stake at the time the actual events took place. At a crucial moment in history, Mandela recognized that some of his most important decisions were the ones that didn't necessarily have to do with politics. His keen understanding of the role that sports play in South Africa's national identity inspired him to gently push others to greatness, even when his own staff balked at the idea of placing such importance on something so seemingly trivial. Of course, that message would still have come through no matter who was playing Mandela, but Morgan Freeman's portrayal of the beloved leader is the driving force of a film that inefficiently wavers between social drama and sports drama, to the detriment of both. And while Damon's role as team captain Pienaar certainly isn't his most charismatic or emotionally resonate one to date, he is highly effective both on and off the rugby pitch; his accent remains consistent throughout and his few moments of quiet reflection carry a gravity that speaks volumes about his understanding of what's really at stake in the final game. If only Anthony Peckham's script were as focused as Freeman's and Damon's performances, then perhaps Eastwood might have scored a solid dramatic film. Unfortunately, despite everyone's good intensions, Invictus fumbles the ball on its way to the goal, and never quite manages to recover it.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Matt Damon Plays Rugby: Turning a Hollywood Star into a Rugby Player; ; Invictus Music Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Morgan Freeman Nelson Mandela
Matt Damon Francois Pienaar
Tony Kgoroge Jason Tshabalala
Patrick Mofokeng Linga Moonsamy
Matt Stern Hendrick Booyens
Julian Lewis Jones Etienne Feyder
Adjoa Andoh Brenda Mazibuko
Marguerite Wheatley Nerine
Leleti Khumalo Mary
Patrick Lyster Mr. Pienaar
Penny Downie Mrs. Pienaar
Sibongile Nojila Eunice
Bonnie Henna Zindzi
Shakes Myeko Minister of Sport
Louis Minaar Springbok Coach
Danny Keogh Rugby President
Dan Robbertse Boer
Robin Smith Johan De Villiers
David Dukas Captain of 747
Grant Brett Swanby Co-Captain of 747
Josias Moleele Face Painter
Melusi Yeni Presidential Guard
Robert Hobbs Presidential Guard
Langley Kirkwood Presidential Guard
Daniel Hadebe Presidential Guard
Vuyo Dabula Presidential Guard
Jodi Botha High School Boy
Hennie Bosman High School Coach
Refiloe Mpakanyane Jessie
Murray Todd Johannesburg Cop
Jakkie Groenewald Johannesburg Cop
Japan Mthembu Local Cop
Albert Maritz Springbok Manager
Sello Motloung Mandela's Doctor
Meren Reddy Minister of the Environment
Lida Botha Mrs. Brits
Susan Danford Mrs. Cole
Sylvia Mngxekeza Mrs. Dlamini
James Lithgow New Zealand PM
Malusi Skenjana NSC Firebrand
Bart Fouche Prison Guard
Johnny Cicco Staff Member
Wayne Harrison Staff Member
Ashley Taylor Team Crew
Gift Loetlela Team Crew
Kgosi Mongake Sipho
Given Stuurman Township Kid
Vuyolwethu Stevens Township Kid
Ayabulela Stevens Township Kid
Nambitha Mpumlwana Trophy Wife
Andre Jacobs TV Announcer
JR Redlinghaus Helicopter Pilot
Roger Kellaway Conductor

Technical Credits
Clint Eastwood Director,Producer
Gary Barber Executive Producer
Roger Birnbaum Executive Producer
Joel Cox Editor
Kyle Eastwood Score Composer
Morgan Freeman Executive Producer
Jonathan Hely-Hutchinson Art Director
Deborah Hopper Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Lorenz Producer
Walt Martin Sound Mixer
Lori McCreary Producer
James Murakami Production Designer
Donald Murphy Asst. Director
Mace Neufeld Producer
Tony Peckham Screenwriter
Gary D. Roach Editor
Tom Stern Cinematographer
Michael Stevens Score Composer
Tim Moore Executive Producer
Fiona Weir Casting
Nelson Mandela Inspiration

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Invictus
1. Remember This Day [4:20]
2. Legitimate Question [4:05]
3. Look to the Future [3:27]
4. Forgiveness Starts Here [5:30]
5. Rugby Disgrace [6:51]
6. Clashing Symbol [4:46]
7. Human Calculation [7:40]
8. A Man's Problems [4:14]
9. Invitation [4:35]
10. Need to Exceed [5:45]
11. Thrown Away [1:58]
12. Request from the Top [3:32]
13. A Picture Worth More [4:17]
14. Song We Could Use [5:38]
15. Inspirational Visits [:11]
16. Round One: Australia [5:27]
17. Invictus [4:17]
18. Strictly Political [1:32]
19. Hungry for Greatness [2:44]
20. Message from Above [7:49]
21. Your Country Is Proud [3:36]
22. Lumu is Killing Us [5:15]
23. Into Extra Time [6:35]
24. This Is Our Destiny [4:30]
25. Victory [4:24]
26. 43 Million [4:56]
27. End Credits [4:19]


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Invictus 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful story of inspiration in a torn county. It is not at all about rugby in the sense of the word, but about how the game helped bring a racially torn country together. Morgan Freeman is wonderful as usual, as well as Matt Damon. According to this movie, Mandela was a very was a very wise man. A lot of his sayings remind me of the book of Proverbs in the bible. Quite an intersting story. I will purchase the book.
CrusaderGA More than 1 year ago
An exciting and amazing drama/sports film.
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