The first hour is a little slow and feels a bit too much like a history lesson, but the second hour more than makes up for it.  We know, especially from recent efforts, that Clint Eastwood can tell a good story, lead actors to peak performances, and engage an audience, but Invictus is not the type of film we’ve come to expect from the director.  It’s too epic, too international, and too overtly political.  Maybe we should check our expectations about Eastwood and just enjoy the ride.  Morgan Freeman is on point as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon is equally convincing as rugby star Francois Pienaar in a film that his half historical drama and half sports movie.  When the new president of South Africa asks the national team, formerly a symbol of apartheid, to do what seems impossible and win the 1995 Rugby World Cup and unite a nation, surprising things begin to happen.  Solid filmmaking that should appeal to a broad audience.


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