“The Ultimate Movie Review!”
“It's A Great Story. And It Has The Added Benefit Of Being (mostly) True.”
“A Bartender Is Going To Play Football For The Philadelphia Eagles??????”
Every so often, Mark Wahlberg gets hold of a role that lets him reconnect with what made him a star.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Disney's latest sports-underdog movie is the true story of a part-time bartender (Mark Wahlberg) who realizes his dream of playing for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Jeannette Catsoulis - New York Times
It may not break new ground, but Invincible is an entertaining film, awash in cliches but leavened by the charismatic performance of Mark Wahlberg as Vince Papale.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
There's too much slow-mo and too many music cues, but there's a low-key buzz to Wahlberg's scenes with Greg Kinnear, who plays newcomer coach Dick Vermeil.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Wahlberg and the rest of the solid cast sell this ESPN equivalent of a Lifetime movie.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
One of the few satisfying sports movies in which the foundation built upon a heap of cliches holds strong.
Robert Wilonsky - Village Voice
Wahlberg and his co-stars, including love interest Elizabeth Banks, really seem to believe in the story, with a grave intensity that enhances its underdog appeal.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
When it's good it's very good. When it's bad -- well, it's still pretty good.
Joanne Kaufman - Wall Street Journal
As much as I wanted to root for Invincible, its protagonist comes across as neither ebullient nor vivacious.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
The most remarkable accomplishment of Invincible is to make a mid-'70s musical soundtrack sound spectacular.
Michael Booth - Denver Post
There's a sugar coating to the way Papale's story unfolds, but not so much that you'll spoil your dinner.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
The genre shows serious signs of wear in this needlessly fictionalized feature about Vince Papale, a 30-year-old bartender who improbably won a spot on the Philadelphia Eagles in 1976.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
Invincible is an uplift-the-neighborhood, stand-up-and-cheer, go-Eagles inspirational story about the little energizer that could.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
Ultimately, the movie fulfills its mission, which is to fire up viewers with its can-do attitude.
Jeff Strickler - Minneapolis Star Tribune
They're [Disney] not looking to make a complex, textured analysis of competition and ambition here, they just want a football movie that ends with the audience cheering for the hero.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Even Papale's most famous play, recovering a fumble to set up a touchdown, is embellished, as if Disney can't bear to stick with the facts.
Bill Muller - Arizona Republic
While it doesn't reach the level of visceral -- or dramatic -- impact of Friday Night Lights, Invincible generally gets the game's physical nature right, most ironically via Core's choice of slo-mo action shots.
Robert Koehler - Variety
It has been done so many times, and so often by Disney, that the real surprise in a movie like this is when it does manage to surprise.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Invincible is a working-class jock Cinderella fantasy with the sincerity of a beer commercial, the soul of a Republican incumbent, and the designer-flannel esthetics of an old Bruce Springsteen video.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
Invincible is as much a period piece as it is a sports movie, complete with a non-stop soundtrack of familiar hits that, unfortunately, makes one think of That '70s Show a little too often
Jennie Punter - Globe and Mail
There's a danger in reducing pictures like this to the sum of their lessons, at the expense of recognizing them as satisfying, if flawed, genre exercises.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
With Invincible -- hero-worship and unimaginative storytelling have caused the project to strike a sour note.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
A persuasive and enjoyable sports film for male audiences.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
It's a great story. And it has the added benefit of being (mostly) true.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
What's modestly refreshing about the way this story is told by director Eric Core and writer Brad Gann, is that the person with the largest doubts about going pro is Papele himself.
Richard Schickel - TIME Magazine
- Sight and Sound
Inspiring sports-underdog story for tweens and up.
Jane Boursaw - Common Sense Media
Mark Whalberg is surprisingly good, delivering a likeness to the real Vince Papale that is uncanny.
Neil Miller - Film School Rejects
It may seem that Invincible takes too long to get to the football. But by the time it does get down to it, we've invested enough in Wahlberg and Kinnear to give a damn about the outcome of the all-important Big Game.
Gary Dowell - Baltimore City Paper
I wonder how many more of these inspirational sports films we have to sit through in 2006.
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Screenwriter Brad Gann shares the guilt for this predictable cinematic travesty along with composer Mark Isham whose bombastic musical score is akin to hammering a nail with a shotgun blast.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Invincible is the story of Vince Papale, who was an actual figure -- a part-time bartender who went to a tryout, survived training camp, made the Eagles team, and became a Philadelphia legend.
Tony Macklin - tonymacklin.net
ricson (who doubles as cinematographer) has a good feel for urban grit and blue-collar dreams, and he gets good, unpretentious performances-especially from Wahlberg, who provides the movie's solid, dependable center.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
The script by newcomer Brad Gann hits all the right notes.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
Though familiar and cliched, Invincible succeeds in spite of itself because it is so technically well done and full of heart.
Felix Gonzalez Jr. - DVD Review
Mating calls aside, the paint-by-numbers sports side of this picture is only likely to capture the imagination of kids under the age of ten.
Kam Williams - BlackFilm.com
As far as sports films go, Invincible doesn't offer anything original or notable ... except Mark Wahlberg's performance.
Jette Kernion - Cinematical
...Greg Kinnear is particularly engaging as Papale's coach...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Invincible is a Walter Mitty tale, but a true one, a fantasy come to life.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
This 'chump-to-champ' story adheres to the 'Three R' formula: Part 'Rudy,' part 'Rocky,' with a dash of 'The Rookie' tossed in for good measure.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
If Vince Papale was the heart and soul of Philadelphia during the mid-1970s, Wahlberg brings those same qualities to "Invincible," a movie served considerably by them.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
The latest in Disney's line of films about real-life sports figures never settles for easy answers.
Daniel Eagan - Film Journal International
Out of work schoolteacher and part-time bartender, Philadelphia Eagles football fan Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg) had nothing to lose when new coach Dick Vermeil (Greg Kinnear) held an open tryout. With sheer determination and stamina, Papale made the team
Roger Tennis - Cinemaclips.com
Weak on acting power, strong on cinematography and heart.
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
The formula is predictable but the film deserves props for making a momentary fan out of someone who wouldn't be caught dead watching Monday Night Football
Mike Sage - Peterborough This Week
You're likely to find this a touching, stirring story even if it has been given the Hollywood treatment.
Rick Kisonak - Film Threat
For the umpteenth time, Walt Disney Pictures repackages the American dream. Go ahead and groan over all the predictable elements, but you'll root for Papale, Vermeil and the Eagles.
Susan Tavernetti - Palo Alto Weekly
If it weren't true, people would never have believed it.
Jonathan W. Hickman - Entertainment Insiders
A little "Rocky," a little "Rookie," and all heart, "Invincible" is a good-natured sports movie that's as uplifting as it looks.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
The adverts for Invincible tout its inspirational nature and rags-to-riches story. These claims, though, are well founded and done with craftsmanship.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
A heartstrings-pulling, tear-jerking, inspiring, hopeful drama of guts and determination where people like us overcome big odds to set an example for all those around.
Todd Hertz - Christianity Today
[W]e come out of the theater satisfied that the little guy made it and proved his worth, and vaguely disquieted that we've already seen this story several times.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Vince Papale's life story must be pretty amazing. Even when it's subjected to the glossed-over Disney sports biopic formula, it comes off pretty well.
Todd Jorgenson - Denton Record Chronicle (TX)
fact or fiction, Invincible is still a rousing good time at the movies.
Sean McBride - Sean the Movie Guy
Maybe Vince Papale isn't a hero, but like Rocky, Rudy, or any of the other classic sports figures we idolize, but he comes close.
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com
We never get the sense that Wahlberg's Papale really believes he belongs on the team, and it's for this reason 'Invincible' never really soars.
Frank Wilkins - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
'Is that all there is?' I thought when the film was over. There is more, a lot more, just not in the film.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Through Hollywood contrivance, it stretches interest long enough to make it to the final goal of sport spirit.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Even though there's never any question about how it's going to play out, you still find yourself on the verge of cheering at the end.
Will Harris - Bullz-Eye.com
takes the daring step of making this "based on a true story" sports film more about the emotional journey of its hero, Vince Papale, rather than the standard tale of an underdog overcoming enormous odds
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
- Baltimore Sun
Invincible will have you cheering for a working-class guy with no college football experience who gets a chance to make the roster of his beloved Philadelphia Eagles.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
It's a hard-earned humanity that gives Invincible its vigor.
Ted Fry - Seattle Times
a great true story but the movie never really captures your imagination, inspires you, nor will it stay with you upon leaving the theater.
Jeffrey Lyles - Gazette (MD)
For a movie about following your dreams, this one is sorely lacking imagination.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
The hard-charging practice and game scenes take you onto the field and slam you into large, shoulder-padded men.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
If you are at all a sucker for an underdog story, it will suffice.
Paul Doro - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
This is a Disney movie, but even as harmless formula fluff, Invincible still has a genuine depth of feeling and the sincere, old-fashioned optimism inherent in classic triumphant-underdog movies.
John Thomason - Orlando Weekly
Invincible is one gigantic pile of cornball cliches, but there's no denying the movie works you over anyway.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
It may not entirely live up to its name, but for a film that's steeped in familiarity, it is a noble entry into an ever-crowding genre.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
This entirely average Disney drama sports nuanced performances and little else.
David Foucher - EDGE Boston
The film's depiction of life among the salt of the earth is blandly cartoonish.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
If this movie doesn't make you want to stand up and cheer you probably don't have a pulse. A rousing achievement on every level.
Pete Hammond - Maxim
It drags and drags and drags.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
[Wahlberg] makes Vince the kind of modest, aw-shucks guy worth rooting for, which is what makes Invincible a winner.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
If Invincible weren't a true story no one would believe it. But it's not quite as true as its makers would have you believe.
Carol Cling - Las Vegas Review-Journal
For all its paint-by-numbers plotting, there's nothing unduly irritating about Invincible, either in execution or in marketing -- it's precisely the film it was meant to be.
Wade Major - Boxoffice Magazine
The movie is shamelessly manipulative.
Ruthe Stein - San Francisco Chronicle
Guaranteed to please. Just don't go expecting any surprises.
Bruce Kirkland - Jam! Movies
Credit Invincible with varying the Disney formula just a bit. While still a "feel good" movie, it's a dark and miserable road that must be traveled along the way.
Dan Fienberg - Zap2it.com
By now, that formula is starting to wear a bit thin, though Invincible, a football drama, is certainly better and more entertaining than the basketball tale Glory Road, which was released earlier this year.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
There's an air of disbelief onscreen as to what's going on, and everyone is so busy preparing for the fall that we all know is going to come but doesn't, that makes this not seem like the fairy tale it's supposed to be.
Eric Lurio - Greenwich Village Gazette
Invincible succeeds without yanking on the heartstrings too blatantly.
Dave White - Movies.com
Invincible does nothing to improve on the already very tired sports underdog theme.
Kit Bowen - Hollywood.com
Complicity from the NFL and delicate camerawork on the field lend Invincible valuable authenticity.
Skylaire Alfvegren - E! Online
The movie grinds out some formula yardage but is never just rote.
David Elliott - San Diego Union-Tribune
The relaxed feel is what makes it so likable: This movie is grounded
Kyle Smith - Movie Insider
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
The unsinkable sports-underdog formula, legendary Eagles folklore, the crackerjack visuals of NFL Films -- all add up to just enough in Invincible.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
A conventional Disney story of an ordinary guy striving to achieve his sports dream, full of uplift and warmth. (Think of The Rookie and Miracle.)
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
If it doesn't score a lot of extra points for originality, it at least makes it across the goal line without too many fumbles.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
Not a great football movie, but it'll do until one comes along.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Papale's story is more than any fan could dream of, which is why it's frustrating that Invincible feels the need to embellish it.
Marc Mohan - Oregonian
It's Rocky with shoulder pads.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
A generic series of pep talks and rock-pumped montages. The only thing missing is a Rocky shot of the character racing up steps.
Lisa Rose - Newark Star-Ledger
The Rookie had a family to support so it was a real dilemma. If you're divorced, alone and jobless, and there are tryouts, and you make the cut, what's the issue?
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
Produced by Mark Ciardi ['The Rookie,' 'Miracles'], the fact-based 'Invincible' goes for touchdown. It is a formula movie that works.
Steve Crum - Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers
Ultimately will be little more than another human interest story we hear during the end of a daily newscast
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
If you want to see a really good inspirational movie about football, try Remember the Titans. But if you want to see a movie about bad '70s hair and tiresome sports-movie cliches, Invincible is all yours.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
About the only people bound to find fault are die-hard Giants, Cowboys, and Redskins fans
Sean O'Connell - Filmcritic.com
...a really solid film that resists gooey sentiment and delivers something that feels like it's been earned.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Invincible won't surprise you in story, performances, or resolution; however, give it a chance, and it might sneak up on you.
Brian Orndorf - FilmJerk.com
This is such a realistic film that I was completely captivated by it. I didn't think even God could make a woman as beautiful as Elizabeth Banks.
Tony Medley - tonymedley.com
It's so close to the original Stallone [Rocky] classic in every way except its subject sport that it's practically a remake.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
It's comforting entertainment done well
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Perhaps what Disney needs for its next inspiring sports film is a pacemaker.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
Fumbles in its telling of a story that, historically noteworthy or not, isn't dramatically potent enough for a cinematic treatment.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Invincible is part The Rookie, part Rocky and all heart.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
A true story of a Philadelphia Eagles football fan who digs deep within and discovers a new life for himself beyond his wildest dreams
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
This is one footballing epic with nary an epic in sight.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
"Invincible" is an audience-pleaser with Wahlberg's neighborhood guy charm showcased to full effect.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
Unlike most 'feel-good' films in this genre, Invincible isn't blatantly manipulative, and works so well because it is, in fact, understated.
Stephen Williams - Newsday
Wahlberg brings sincerity and an easy athleticism to the role of Papale, and Elizabeth Banks has a lovely centered quality and genuine sparkle as his love interest.
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
This film gets more right than wrong in the playbook.
Tracy Allerton - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
It's rooted in a keen understanding of sports as popular religion, so that Vince's personal victory becomes a communal one, for a nation -- or at least a few blocks of South Philly -- uneasily transitioning into its third century.
Scott Foundas - L.A. Weekly
It doesn't seem to know whether it's a music video or a sports drama.
John Hartl - MSNBC
Rather like its hero, Invincible overcomes the obstacles thrown in its path and emerges as a solid, if not overwhelming, performer.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
It's a lean, efficient, classy film, uplifting without being schmaltzy.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Invincible sucks the soul out of the real-life events and offers a generic, glossy revision of the story.
Jeff Otto - IGN Movies
The material is OK -- not great. And Wahlberg's as flat as a Philly cheesesteak run over by US Steel truck ...
Michael Clawson - West Valley View
Aside from the obligatory wife-who's-holding-Papale-back, Invincible gets almost everything right.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Wahlberg... makes [it] work in a movie way... he's a sad, sweet, hurtin' guy, endearingly vulnerable, adorably masculine without being a macho idiot.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Led by Mark Wahlberg at his most underdoggedly appealing, this is about as soft sell as this prefab genre gets.
Andrew Wright - The Stranger (Seattle, WA)
A scenario straight from the fantasies of every armchair super-fan.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
Loses possession early on and has trouble holding onto the ball.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
This fictionalized version of Papale's story is filled with the usual sports cliches, but it also has, well, heart.
M. K. Terrell - Christian Science Monitor
Reminds us that from the bitter rivalries to the torn jerseys worn in pickup games to the dreams of gridiron glory, sports teams belong to the fans.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
Shut-down factories, unemployment lines, and prole strikes feature prominently, unfortunately only to be glazed by Core's top '70s hits nostalgia.
Fernando F. Croce - Slant Magazine
The long and tedious first third of the movie is set in a working class bar in south Philly. This plodding part is pure sitcom.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
This is mopey, paint-by-numbers filmmaking. One of the year's most woefully underwritten screenplays takes a terrific true story and dulls it down into morose, formulaic slop.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
[It] a real-life event and turns it into a well-made, feel-good film.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper