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"INVICTUS"
(2009) (Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Mild Heavy Moderate Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Minor None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild None Moderate Heavy Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: The newly elected President of South Africa hopes to begin reconciliation among his black and white constituents by urging them to unite behind the nation's rugby team in the World Cup.
PLOT:
It's 1995 and after serving decades in prison for his involvement in putting an end to apartheid, Nelson Mandela (MORGAN FREEMAN) is now the President of South Africa just five years after his release. Yet, rather than get petty revenge on the white minority that imprisoned him and segregated his majority race, he wants to bring everyone together in reconciliation so that their country can move forward.

He starts in his own office, informing former staffers he won't make employment decisions based on race, and has white security personnel such as Etienne Feyder (JULIAN LEWIS JONES) and Hendrick Booyens (MATT STERN) join the black bodyguards, including Jason Tshabalala (TONY KGOROGE) and Linga Moonsamy (PATRICK MOFOKENG), who've long been with him.

His next decision, however, proves to be more controversial. Despite insistence by Brenda Mazibuko (ADJOA ANDOH), his personal assistant who fears a backlash among his supporters, Nelson decides that a good way for the nation to come together is for everyone to root for the national rugby team, the Springboks, in the upcoming World Cup.

The only problem (beyond them having a losing record) is that most of the country's blacks hate the team as they view it as an icon of the past rule and discrimination, especially with only one black player, Chester Williams (McNEIL HENDRICKS), on the squad. Nevertheless, Nelson convinces the sports commission to reverse their decision to eliminate the team, and then meets with its captain, Francois Pienaar (MATT DAMON), to encourage him to lead by example and get his teammates to play to the best of their abilities.

From that point on, Francois attempts to do just that, all while Mandela ceaselessly works to bring his country together as they watch the rugby team surprisingly make their way through the World cup toward the finals.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're interested in the true story, are into rugby and/or are fans of anyone in the cast, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For brief strong language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MORGAN FREEMAN plays the newly elected President of South Africa, just five years after being freed from decades in prison, who doesn't want petty revenge against those who oppressed him and his race in the past. Instead, he hopes to bring the races together and attempts to do so by getting them to unite behind the nation's rugby team in the World Cup. In doing so, he befriends Francois and encourages him and his fellow players to be the best they can.
  • MATT DAMON plays the captain of the national rugby team that plays poorly until the President encourages them to be beacons of hope and reconciliation. Accordingly, he gets them to take their game to the next level as they proceed through the World Cup. He uses some profanity (one instance is strong) and briefly drinks.
  • TONY KGOROGE and PATRICK MOFOKENG play Nelson's trusted bodyguards who don't feel comfortable with various white security personnel they're ordered to work with in protecting their leader.
  • JULIAN LEWIS JONES plays the leader of the white security team/bodyguards assigned to protect Nelson. He occasionally clashes with Jason over such responsibilities when they're first teamed together.
  • ADJOA ANDOH plays Nelson's personal assistant who helps him in his new role as President, but strongly advises him against keeping the Springboks as the national rugby team (for fear of what that will do to his reputation and support among those who elected him).
  • MATT STERN plays one of the white security guards who ends up befriending the black bodyguards while working with them. McNEIL HENDRICKS plays the only black player on the Springboks squad and thus the favorite among the black public.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some non-explicit, sexually related material is present (involving a married couple), while some male rugby players are occasionally seen shirtless.

    Violence includes standard contact in rugby matches along with some additional contact and shoving, etc. with a little bit of bloody results. One scene early in the film briefly shows some rioting (including a dead body on the street) and that footage, along with a few scenes featuring potential peril (including one involving a large plane headed for a rugby stadium) might be unsettling and/or suspenseful.

    Drinking occurs in several scenes, and bad attitudes are present, as is some tense family material and various thematic elements. Some potentially imitative behavior also occurs.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are various scenes featuring bouncy camerawork, including the point of view of a van driving down the street, and later presentations of various rugby matches.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • About Nelson's pending appearance at a rugby match, Linga is worried about the drunken sports fans who will be there.
  • A man has a drink while another man with him has wine.
  • Francois has his team drink sips of bad tasting beer (from cans) as a metaphor for not wanting to taste defeat again. One throws his against the wall, and after Francois gets everyone to take a sip, others throw theirs as well, including Francois.
  • Francois' dad has a beer.
  • People have wine in a restaurant.
  • Various players drink beer in a bar, including one who chugs his, while miscellaneous people there also drink.
  • Miscellaneous people have beer in various locations while watching a rugby match on TV, including a liquor store (noted by the sign). Inside the stadium, Nelson makes a case of wine bet with the New Zealand leader about the outcome of the match.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see rioting in the city, including the view of a dead boy on the street (no blood that we saw).
  • Francois has a large bruise on his chest from a rugby match.
  • A few players have bloody scrapes and scratches during and after a match.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • About Nelson being freed from prison, a miscellaneous white coach states it's the day their country went to the dogs.
  • The way Francois' father reacts to Nelson running the country, it's heavily suggested he's a racist to some degree.
  • The black bodyguards are not happy with the arrival of the white ones, basically because most of them worked for the previous government that mistreated their race.
  • Some spectators at a rugby match boo Nelson when he makes an appearance there.
  • Nelson orders that the Springboks teach rugby clinics around the country to improve relations with the public. In response, a few players vocalize their displeasure (not in his presence), but then go along with the program.
  • After Francois hands out lyrics for the team to study in order to sing the national anthem, some grumble about that, including one who balls up the paper. Later, however, all of them sing along before a match.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • We see rioting in the city, including a Molotov cocktail being thrown, a window being smashed, and the view of a dead boy on the street and another person being carried off by others.
  • Nelson goes for a walk early in the morning, accompanied by his two main bodyguards. We then see a van approaching from elsewhere, finally getting closer and then coming right by them. The bodyguards panic as the van pulls up next to them, but they then see that it's just the newspaper delivery van.
  • Linga and Hendrick find Nelson collapsed on the ground before his morning walk (we later hear he's just suffering from exhaustion).
  • We see a pilot accepting responsibility for what he's about to do as he drops a full-size passenger jet in altitude toward a rugby stadium. Jason and others spot the plane and panic, but realize it's too late to get Nelson to safety. The plane then skims just over the stadium, showing the supportive message on its wings and underbelly for the opposing team.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • We see rioting in the city, including a Molotov cocktail being thrown.
  • Nelson tells Jason and Linga to stay outside of a meeting of his staff due to believing he can't do so with armed guards.
  • The various bodyguards and security personnel wear handguns.
  • Francois imagines Nelson in prison years earlier, including a view of a guard carrying a rifle.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Tastes like sh*t," "C'mon you bloody bastards," "We're a damn disgrace," "Damn right," "What the hell /does he want with you/was that?" "Sure as hell," "This is complete crap," "Sneaky buggers," "Freaking," "Bugger off" and "He's freaking killing us."
  • We see a person with tattoos or body paint.
  • Francois has his team drink sips of bad tasting beer (from cans) as a metaphor for not wanting to taste defeat again. One throws his against the wall, and after Francois gets everyone to take a sip, others throw theirs as well, including Francois.
  • Various players drink beer in a bar, including one who chugs his.
  • Some fans have painted faces, while some shirtless guys have letters painted on their chests.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A little bit of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 3 "s" words, 3 hells, 2 damns, 1 bugger and 1 crap.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see some shirtless rugby players.
  • We see some shirtless rugby players, including Francois, in another scene.
  • Francois' wife visits him in his hotel room and comes on to him, saying it's been two weeks (presumably referring to sex based on her actions). She starts kissing on him, but he says no, as the apparent abstinence is working as it will make him angry on the field, but she keeps kissing on him (both clothed). The scene ends, so we don't know if anything happens.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Nelson is separated from his wife and children.
  • We see that Nelson and his adult daughter have a strained relationship when they briefly meet.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The historical accuracy and/or any artistic license taken with the true story.
  • Nelson Mandela and South African politics.
  • Apartheid.
  • The question about Nelson that while he can win an election, can he run a country?
  • The black bodyguards are not happy with the arrival of the white ones, basically because most of them worked for the previous government that mistreated their race.
  • Rather than get revenge on those who previously persecuted and imprisoned those of their race, Nelson states that reconciliation starts with his office. He also states that forgiveness liberates the soul, removes fear, and thus is a powerful weapon with which to make things right.
  • Against popular opinion and the advice of others (mainly Brenda), Nelson convinces the sports council to overturn their vote to eliminate the Springboks, stating that doing so would instill fear in the whites and that they must avoid that.
  • We hear that the white minority still controls the police, army and financial world of South Africa.
  • The comment that you continue to play despite not being at one-hundred percent, in sports and elsewhere in life.
  • The talk of leadership and inspiring others to greatness.
  • The comment that everyone should exceed their expectations.
  • Nelson thinking his country's success in the rugby World Cup is important for the nation's morale.
  • The team tours the prison where Nelson was previously held, and Francois is shocked at the small size of his new friend's cell.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see rioting in the city, including a Molotov cocktail being thrown, a window being smashed, and the view of a dead boy on the street and another person being carried off by others.
  • There's standard hard contact during various rugby matches.
  • There's more rugby contact during a match, including some struggling after a cheap shot.
  • There's more contact and then some struggling in a match.



  • Reviewed December 2, 2009 / Posted December 11, 2009

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