Referencing a poem that inspired Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) during his 27 years in prison, Invictus concerns his giving a copy to François Pienaar (Matt Damon), captain of the national rugby team, as a first step towards Mandela's goal as South African president—to begin uniting the apartheid-torn land through a victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Freeman and Damon were both nominated for Oscars and Golden Globe awards for their portrayals of real-life heroes in this 2009 release.
"[Clint] Eastwood cleverly fuses a political tale and a sports story and serves fact-based inspiration, but nothing so overbearing that you feel battered by uplift.... The key to Invictus is not players running around on a field. It's two stellar performances and a story that stirs hearts and intrigues minds. It's hard to imagine anyone besides Freeman playing Mandela. He could have coasted on his voice, his charm and expressive face. But he becomes Mandela, and we get a window into the psyche of one of the world's most stirring leaders. Damon is a rare leading man who also is a viable character actor."—USA Today
"Eastwood is a master at the top of his game."—Rolling Stone