Clint Eastwood's Invictus is an inspirational sports movie that manages to be engaging and stirring despite the fact that most people in this country don't know diddly-squat about the sport in question. As a portrait of how Nelson Mandela brought together a fractured nation in 1995 using rugby as a means and a metaphor, it is overly simplistic. Actually, as an inspirational sports movie it's also overly simplistic. Still Morgan Freeman is commanding and charismatic as new South African president Mandela, despite an on-again, off-again accent, while Matt Damon absolutely nails his role (and his accent) as Francois Pienaar, captain of the national rugby team, the Springboks. Damon disappears into his character so completely that he comes off more like a South African acting newcomer than an established movie star. 134 minutes.

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