Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    Dec 30, 2013
    60
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    Dec 24, 2013
    60
    The intentions are noble, but the film’s eagerness to honor Mandela instead shortchanges him. Mandela was a man who broke the mold; “Mandela” is a film content to nestle very neatly into it.
  3. Reviewed by: Dave Calhoun
    Nov 26, 2013
    60
    Bold performance or not, you can see history weighing heavily on Elba’s shoulders (in later scenes as an older man, you can see the makeup, too).
  4. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Dec 2, 2013
    55
    The film was shot entirely in South Africa, and revels in golden light on dry yellow grasslands. But it's still a very British movie, a respectful view from a suitable distance.
  5. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Dec 25, 2013
    50
    The movie is extremely well produced, it features two excellent lead performances, and it is dull.
  6. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Dec 25, 2013
    50
    Unfortunately, this reverent and old-fashioned biopic is a prime example of the kind of inspirational movie that is, itself, uninspired.
  7. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Dec 18, 2013
    50
    It’s too bad, then, that Justin Chadwick’s film does not offer a more substantial portrait of the man, whose passing is a fresh wound to mourners and curious onlookers worldwide.
  8. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Nov 29, 2013
    50
    Were Mandela solely interested in that early chapter of its subject’s life, when he was reluctantly turning to violent tactics in the war on apartheid, the film might have achieved a uniquely complicated perspective. Alas, the first passage is just a portion of what turns out to be a typically sprawling, bloated biopic.
  9. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Nov 26, 2013
    50
    "Mandela" is not without the capacity to move.
  10. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Nov 26, 2013
    50
    For all its failings, there is one thing about “Long Walk to Freedom” that can’t be denied: Idris Elba gives a towering performance, a Mandela for the ages.
  11. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Dec 24, 2013
    40
    One only wishes they were able to deliver these performances in a movie that felt more like a true celebration of Mandela's life -- and less like homework.
  12. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Nov 29, 2013
    40
    He spent 28 years in prison and this is what he gets?
  13. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Nov 26, 2013
    40
    As a lesson in how not to make a historical biopic, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom proves remarkably complete: It’s a dull, glossy, uncomplicated portrait of a man whose personal and political legacy is marked by serene idealism and shrewd calculation.
User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 53 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Nov 29, 2013
    6
    Idris Elba is a gifted actor unable to hone in to one aspect of his iconic character. Director Justin Chadwick goes all in on the performanceIdris Elba is a gifted actor unable to hone in to one aspect of his iconic character. Director Justin Chadwick goes all in on the performance without an angle to challenge it. Long Walk of Freedom is the Mandela show, for better or worse. Full Review »
  2. chw
    Apr 23, 2015
    6
    This movie was poorly acted at times. Idris Elba was good however, everyone else was not as good. The movie was also longer than it should'veThis movie was poorly acted at times. Idris Elba was good however, everyone else was not as good. The movie was also longer than it should've been. The movie is around two hours and twenty minutes, but it should've only been about one hour and fifty five minutes. In other words, it was really boring for the most part. Full Review »
  3. Nov 22, 2014
    5
    If you have a figure that is as important as Nelson Mandela is you need to have a better film based on him than this. I wish they could'veIf you have a figure that is as important as Nelson Mandela is you need to have a better film based on him than this. I wish they could've gotten a bit of a more recognized actor to play Mandela instead of Idris Elba. I found this a little dry and boring. Considering Nelson Mandela died recently I wouldn't be shocked to do another adaption on his life fairly soon. Full Review »