The title is Latin for “unconquerable.” It was an uneasy time in South Africa when Nelson Mandela (a role absolutely nailed by Morgan Freeman) took office in 1994 to preside over a fragile truce between whites and blacks. Many in his government wanted to change the name of the Springboks, the nation’s rugby team, as blacks considered the team and its colors a hated vestige of apartheid. But Mandela, wishing to encourage forgiveness, instead embraced the team and encouraged it to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup, working through the team’s captain (Matt Damon). The event was being played in South Africa, but the abysmal Springboks were taking part in the first round only because of host-nation status. Whaddaya know? They start to win. If this wasn’t a true story, Disney would have made it up. The showdown comes in the bone-crunching final against dreaded New Zealand. A subplot involves the integration of the president’s security team, which obliged hardcore ANC fighters to work alongside Afrikaner policemen. Clint Eastwood’s film on the unifying power of sports has its flaws—it gets a bit preachy at times—but this is an enjoyable and edifying moviegoing experience. Good music.
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