Weinstein Company, The | Release Date: November 29, 2013
5.6
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Mixed or average reviews based on 59 Ratings
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6
ThegodfathersonNov 29, 2013
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 performance without an angle to challenge it. Long Walk of Freedom is the Mandela show, for better or worse.
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6
Tazmania32Jan 9, 2014
Very powerful film, especially visually. The only thing that bugged me was how Idris Alba looked towards the end of the film. I was able to withstand his supreme masculinity throughout the film until that moment.
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6
pauljohnsonJan 9, 2014
It feels like the film builds to a climax that never arrives. The film does feature two great performances from Elba and Harris, the depictions of the race war and racism in South Africa is well handled, especially how out of control thingsIt feels like the film builds to a climax that never arrives. The film does feature two great performances from Elba and Harris, the depictions of the race war and racism in South Africa is well handled, especially how out of control things got around the time of Mandela's release. There are some scenes which are great unto themselves such as Mandela's trial, several scenes during Mandela's time on Robben Island, Mandela greeting the people as the first black president as he is respectfully saluted by his white staff members and so forth. The final scene in particular had some great soul to it, and Elba's perfectly delivered monologue of one of Mandela's most famous quotes was very moving.

Having said that, the film suffers from the problem of trying to cram too much detail and information about Mandela's story in South Africa into a two hour film, and, as a result, several scenes which could have built up to something poignant or could have been fleshed out are quickly glossed over. These scenes include but are not limited to the Sharpeville Massacre and the resulting wave of protest and oppression, Mandela's trial itself, his imprisonment on Robben Island, and the final stages from his release to his ascendancy to presidency.

As a result, the film feels like there's a lot of plot to it, but not a lot of story, as if the film is running by a tick box list. "Oh, we did Sharpeville, good, let's move on. Oh, we did Mandela's trial, okay let's move on". No one moment is really given any real chance to shine, it feels like there's no real substance or consequence to them in terms of the characters and situation on screen. As a result, the final climax Mandela ascending to presidency when it comes, doesn't carry the emotional punch that it should.

Despite these problems, I would still recommend that people would watch this film at least once.
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5
mapizarroJan 24, 2014
This film made me cold and I'm so sorry because that. Mandela's death in last year it was a tragic event and I think that film is opportunistic. It seems a made-for-TV film. Idris Elba is great with Mandela role but makeup is unbelievable.This film made me cold and I'm so sorry because that. Mandela's death in last year it was a tragic event and I think that film is opportunistic. It seems a made-for-TV film. Idris Elba is great with Mandela role but makeup is unbelievable. Sorry, Mandela merits better films. Expand
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6
chwApr 23, 2015
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've been. The movie is around two hours and twenty minutes, but it should've only been about one hourThis 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. Expand
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5
ydnar4Nov 22, 2014
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've gotten a bit of a more recognized actor to play Mandela instead of Idris Elba. I found this a littleIf 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. Expand
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6
ArchonMagazineSep 20, 2014
Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom tells of the lengthy path toward ending apartheid and the racial war in South Africa

The title of the Nelson Mandela biopic is befitting of the arduous task faced by Mr. Mandela. Mandela: A Long Walk to
Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom tells of the lengthy path toward ending apartheid and the racial war in South Africa

The title of the Nelson Mandela biopic is befitting of the arduous task faced by Mr. Mandela. Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom tells of the lengthy path toward ending apartheid and the racial war in South Africa spanning some seventy years from childhood to inauguration.

Most people know Nelson Mandela as he was portrayed by the media later in life; the seemingly soft spoken man who emerged from prison, endearingly called Madiba by his people. The Nelson Mandela portrayed by Idris Elba in Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom is a far more complex person, realistic and humanistic. Idris Elba does a commendable job at portraying Mandela though I found his accent to be a bit distracting. The acting is sublime by Naomie Harris who plays Winnie, Mandela’s second wife and I am disheartened that she was not formally recognized with a nomination for best supporting actress. There is something about the movie that feels slightly disconnected, as though character development was missing. I believe the issue with character development arises out of the inability to properly convey the urgency in needing change in South Africa. South Africa’s desperation and growth from apartheid is just as important as a character, and being a story about Nelson Mandela, the plot’s focus is lacking clarity. The story spans from Mandela’s childhood to inauguration, some seven decades, and in the process feels a bit slow moving, a highlight reel of sorts.

It is a difficult task but marvelous attempt leaving the viewer with a good drama that feels like a historical documentary. In the end you feel as though you know Nelson Mandela but only part of the story of South Africa.

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5
JLuis_001Sep 7, 2017
When the life you are trying to adapt is so huge, usually you will always fail to try to put everything into something that does not last more than 3 hours and to condense a life in that time, especially one so complicated and complex, youWhen the life you are trying to adapt is so huge, usually you will always fail to try to put everything into something that does not last more than 3 hours and to condense a life in that time, especially one so complicated and complex, you can only hope not to lose yourself in his story.
Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom fails in that field, its cinematographic style and script do not help, especially when its protagonist acts like never before, honestly is not a disposable work, but you will feel some emptiness, because it never manages to connect with what is happening on the screen.
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