Box art for Invictus


drama, sports

The inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team, Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon), to help unite their country.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
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common sense

ON for kids age 12
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
4 out of 5
2 out of 5
1 out of 5

Inspiring tale about Mandela, rugby, and national pride.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this fact-based Clint Eastwood-directed drama (which stars Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman) is an uplifting movie that's age appropriate for older tweens and young teens -- the PG-13 rating is primarily for language (one use of "f--king" and a couple of "s--t"s are the worst of it). Because of its narrow focus -- the movie follows President Nelson Mandela's decision to rally support behind South Africa's nearly all-white national rugby team -- there's no violence except for the rugby itself (which is quite physically aggressive). And Damon's character kisses his wife, but there's nothing more risque than that. Ultimately the movie is both educational and inspiring, providing an excellent lesson about post-apartheid South Africa, national unity, and the universality of sports.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the movie's themes of national unity and desegregation. Why does Mandela decide to save the rugby team? What does the rugby team represent to black South Africans at the beginning of the film, and how does that change throughout the movie?
  • What do Pienaar's rugby teammates mean when they that say the new national anthem is a "terrorist song"? What does the movie teach viewers about the history of South Africa?
  • The poem "Invictus" is referenced and read more than once in the movie. What do you think the poem means, and why does Mandela give it to Pienaar?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 2
    see all Invictus reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: With Invictus, Eastwood gets his message across in much the same way as the South African special forces -- he beats us over the head with it.

- Giles Hardie,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: Perhaps the greatest testament to Eastwood's directorial skill is that such an unattractive, brutish game could serve as an uplifting symbol of communal harmony and renewed national spirit.

- Jim Schembri, The Age (Australia), Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Clint Eastwood never quits He seems gifted in making phenomenal films. Invictus is his latest offering, and is a terrific film. Invictus explores a post Apertheid South Africa as Nelson Mandela is released from prison and seeks to unite a seperated South Africa. Mandela discovers a potential idea by uniting his country with the sport of Rugby. A big theme in Invictus is burying racial tensions in a post Apertheid South Africa. Nelson Mandela seeks the help of Springboks Team leader,Francois Pienaar to unite the country. Invictus may at first be seen as a sports drama film, but the film touches on more important issues than simply sports. The other aspect that the film touches on is the racial tension between the Black majority and the White minority in a post Apertheid South Africa. The film in the end is about uniting a devided country using it's national sport. Invictus like every other Clint Eastwood film that has been released in the last couple of years is a film that is brilliantly told, acted and directed. For a film like this, it's very hard to ignore Eastwood's talent as a terrific storyteller. And in Invictus, he tells one of his most emotional stories since Letters From Iwo Jima. A fine film from start to finish, Clint Eastwood has managed to assemble a terrific cast of actors. Morgan Freeman is simply terrific in the role of Nelson Mandela, and if I may say so, it's one of his best roles of his career, no other actor could portray Mandela like Freeman did. Invictus is yet another Homerun for Clint Eastwood, he dlivers yet another solid film, though some may feel that a few actors may be miscast (Matt Damon) I though he was perfect for the part. Invictus is an inspiring film and is one of Eastwood best. Invictus deals with an important subject matter, and Eastwood's respect for the material shows on screen. A thought provoking film, Invictus is one of the best films of 2009.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Monday, November 8, 2010

4 stars

I was hesitant to see this at first, as I feared it was just be an overly sentimental Oscar-bait "sports movie". It's actually quite better than that. It is sentimental, and it does sugar coat things to a degree, but it uses sports as a plot device, and isn't the South African version of The Mighty Ducks or something. I liked that this movie actually seemed to try to put things into the context of history. With that said though, it helps to know something about Mandela, or South African history beforehand, as this film basically assumes you already have a clue. It gives general hints about things, but it's just better if you already get it since not much explaining takes place. The performances are really good. I've been sying for any years that Freeman is a dead ringer for Nelson Mandela, so it was no surprise to me when I first heard that he was doing this film. Damon is also really terrific, and I liked that his part isn't really showy or scene stealing. I've been tolld that the accents are bad as is the casting, but I just have to take peoples' words for it. This isn't a great movie, but it's still pretty entertaining and uplifting, and it's far less heavy handed than you'd might think, so yeah, go ahead and give this one a watch.

- cosmo313, Friday, September 24, 2010

2 stars

Cant really enjoy this movie, not because I dont understand rugby but I just feel there's nothing special in it.

- citawijaya, Sunday, September 5, 2010