‘Bokbuster’ gets thumbs up

Clint Eastwood’s Invictus movie has received mostly positive reviews in the USA ahead of its release this Friday.

1111212_Invictus_jpegThe movie currently has a 76% rating on rottontomatoes.com, with 16 favourable and five unfavourable reviews.

Some of the comments from the industry’s top critics include:

David Ansen, Newsweek
‘Invictus
is not a biopic; nor does it take us deep inside any of its characters – Eastwood views Mandela from a respectful middle distance. It’s about strategic inspiration. We witness a politician at the top of his game: Freeman’s wily Mandela is a master of charm and soft-spoken gravitas. Anthony Peckham’s sturdy, functional screenplay, based on John Carlin’s book Playing the Enemy, can be a bit on the nose (and the message songs Eastwood adds are overkill). Yet the lapses fade in the face of such a soul-stirring story—one that would be hard to believe if it were fiction. The wonder of Invictus is that it actually went down this way.’ Full review

Kirk Honeycut, The Hollywood Reporter
‘It’s a film about a nation’s psyche, not its individuals. Where you would love a vigorous portrayal of two larger-than-life personalities, the film tiptoes through polite scenes where everyone speaks and acts with political correctness.’ Full review

Todd McCarthy, Variety
‘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.’ Full review

Rex Reed, New York Observer
‘… the use of obvious symbolism is often unsettling. Naming the movie after a corny poem Mandela reads aloud in a flashback to his prison cell is a stretch. OK, we get the symbol of a changing society. But the scene of cops in a white patrol car parked outside the stadium who chase away a black street urchin and then share their radio with the kid as the Springboks head for victory, all of them screaming and hugging each other, suddenly oblivious to skin color, followed by a close-up of a white hand and a black hand clutching the World Cup together? Subtlety is not a strength here, but pandering to heart-tugging cliches in a Clint Eastwood film is downright embarrassing.’ Full review

Jake Coyle, Associated Press
Invictus is dripping with inspiration – how to summon it, how to communicate it. Late in his career, Eastwood seems to be finding it everywhere.’ Full review

Mike Goodridge, Screen Daily
‘An old-fashioned crowd-pleaser which is both a rousing sports movie and a testament to the nobility of Nelson Mandela, Invictus is another strong entry in Clint Eastwood’s fast-growing body of work.’ Full review