Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Idris Elba (The Wire) is Nelson Mandela in this biopic, based on the anti-apartheid revolutionary's autobiography, charting the struggles that took him from South Africa's rural Cape region to armed struggle and arrest, and then to the president's mansion as his nation's first democratically elected leader. Naomie Harris (Skyfall) plays Mandela's wife and fellow freedom fighter Winnie. Directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl).

"Born to be a Xhosa leader, he was trained in law, then drawn into resistance, then politics, then elevated to a reverence that approached sainthood. Mandela has lived one of the most remarkable lives of our time... Mandela is, above all, a love story. It's the story of Nelson and Winnie's passionate and troubled love affair that endured over decades. It's also the story of a leader who so loved his country that, through his beliefs, his actions, and his example, he transformed himself into the very embodiment of its greatest hopes." (Toronto International Film Festival)

Best Original Song ('Ordinary Love' by U2), Golden Globes 2014.
2013Rating: M, Violence and offensive language147 minsUK, South Africa
BiographyDramaTrue Story & Biography

Reviews & comments

Flicks, Adam Fresco

Flicks, Adam Fresco

flicks

Justin Chadwick's Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom aims high in trying to convey this amazing man’s life in just 140 minutes, when perhaps just a part of his story would have made for a more satisfying, less fragmented movie. Nonetheless, the strength of Mandela lies in the warts ‘n’ all humanity on display. This Nelson starts as no saint, taking up arms against a brutally oppressive regime before imprisonment transforms his violent struggle into one of peaceful resistance.

4.0

Engaging if not epic

I read a lot of FLICKS reviews before I go to the movies and this one prepared me pretty well. I had hoped for a far more epic treatment, fitting for such a great man, and until that great movie is made - this one will do. It made me get Mandela's autobiography out the library and was bold enough to show Nelson not just in an angelic light - so credit where...

4.0

Even better than expectation

Gripping, fascinating insight into the man, his background and South Africa itself and it's apartheid history.Very well paced, without any slow sentimentality. Superb acting and presents a well rounded picture of all involved in what made him the man he was. Great movie experience.

5.0

Concentrated on the negative

I remember Mandela for his peace keeping however this film concentrated on the violence, betraying his mates, cheating on his wife and all negatives they could find. I expected so much more & was disappointed.

2.0
Variety

Variety

press

For all its failings, there is one thing that can't be denied: Idris Elba gives a towering performance, a Mandela for the ages.

Total Film

Total Film

press

Ambitious in its span and powerful in its recreation of tumultuous times, this is a skilful dramatisation and a worthy celebration.

4.0
Time Out

Time Out

press

As a primer, it's respectable; as cinema, it feels like a biblical gospel, always gearing up for the next big speech or moment.

3.0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Mr. Elba is completely convincing as a natural leader with a ferocious drive.

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

If it is a bit stately, that is understandable: his life story really is extraordinary. The movie pays homage - in good faith.

3.0
The Dissolve

The Dissolve

press

Great Figure filmmaking that acts more as monument than living history.

2.0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

The restrained intensity of Idris Elba's performance as Nelson Mandela ennobles this ambitiously sprawling biopic.

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

It's vivid, substantial and works hard to be worthy, but as it ticks off the milestones of a monumental life it flickers more often than it really catches fire.

3.0
Flicks, Adam Fresco

Flicks, Adam Fresco

flicks

Justin Chadwick's Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom aims high in trying to convey this amazing man’s life in just 140 minutes, when perhaps just a part of his story would have made for a more satisfying, less fragmented movie. Nonetheless, the strength of Mandela lies in the warts ‘n’ all humanity on display. This Nelson starts as no saint, taking up arms against a brutally oppressive regime before imprisonment transforms his violent struggle into one of peaceful resistance.

4.0
Variety

Variety

press

For all its failings, there is one thing that can't be denied: Idris Elba gives a towering performance, a Mandela for the ages.

Total Film

Total Film

press

Ambitious in its span and powerful in its recreation of tumultuous times, this is a skilful dramatisation and a worthy celebration.

4.0
Time Out

Time Out

press

As a primer, it's respectable; as cinema, it feels like a biblical gospel, always gearing up for the next big speech or moment.

3.0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Mr. Elba is completely convincing as a natural leader with a ferocious drive.

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

If it is a bit stately, that is understandable: his life story really is extraordinary. The movie pays homage - in good faith.

3.0
The Dissolve

The Dissolve

press

Great Figure filmmaking that acts more as monument than living history.

2.0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

The restrained intensity of Idris Elba's performance as Nelson Mandela ennobles this ambitiously sprawling biopic.

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

It's vivid, substantial and works hard to be worthy, but as it ticks off the milestones of a monumental life it flickers more often than it really catches fire.

3.0

Engaging if not epic

I read a lot of FLICKS reviews before I go to the movies and this one prepared me pretty well. I had hoped for a far more epic treatment, fitting for such a great man, and until that great movie is made - this one will do. It made me get Mandela's autobiography out the library and was bold enough to show Nelson not just in an angelic light - so credit...

4.0

Even better than expectation

Gripping, fascinating insight into the man, his background and South Africa itself and it's apartheid history.Very well paced, without any slow sentimentality. Superb acting and presents a well rounded picture of all involved in what made him the man he was. Great movie experience.

5.0

Concentrated on the negative

I remember Mandela for his peace keeping however this film concentrated on the violence, betraying his mates, cheating on his wife and all negatives they could find. I expected so much more & was disappointed.

2.0