Rated 2.0

Clint Eastwood directs Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela in this uneven movie that is part compelling biopic and part boring sports movie. Freeman is perfect in the role, and the movie is intriguing when dealing with his initial struggles to unite South Africa as its first black president. Things start to go out of focus when the movie switches from Mandela to rugby as the country’s team fights to win the World Cup. Granted, this is an inspiring story, but Eastwood takes the life out of it with tedious sports sequences. Matt Damon has his moments as the team captain, but I kept wishing the movie would go back to Mandela, who becomes more of a spectator in the second half of the movie. Too bad, because the first third of the film feels like you are about to see a masterpiece. Then, far too much scrumming and way too many elongated, slow-motion crowd shots.