'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' is a little too staid

'Mandela' shows that adapting the leader's life as a film may be too difficult a task.

  • close
    Idris Elba and Riaad Moosa star in 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.'
    Courtesy of The Weinstein Company
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

Justin Chadwick’s “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” is a staid biopic drawn from Nelson Mandela’s autobiography.

Idris Elba plays Mandela with burly force, but Mandela’s odyssey from young lawyer and amateur boxer to prisoner on Robben Island to the president’s mansion as his nation’s first democratically elected leader is mostly hagiographic.

Maybe Mandela is one of those historical figures whose life is greater, more larger-than-life, than any mere movie could ever do justice to.

Recommended: Idris Elba's 'Mandela' to screen for President Obama at White House

Grade: C- (Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of violence and disturbing images, sexual content, and brief strong language.)


We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.