Here's what the critics are saying:
"Often, it’s actors who cannot withstand the burden on playing historical figures. In the case of “Winnie Mandela,” Jennifer Hudson has the opposite problem. It’s the movie around her that doesn’t rise to the challenge. Co-writer and director Darrell Roodt’s film is based on a 2005 biography of Winnie Mandela. But unlike the woman who often polarized her fellow South Africans, the film feels static. At one point, faux newsreel footage and a montage of newspaper headlines depict the hunt for and imprisonment of Nelson Mandela." Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
"It’s understandable why Winnie (now known as Winnie Mandikizela-Mandela, since her 1996 divorce from her husband) would be upset about this film, which can’t seem to make up its mind about whether she’s its heroine or antihero. What’s less understandable is why Jakes signed on as producer. He’s on record as saying that his production company only handles work with a message. But what’s painfully unclear is just what message “Winnie Mandela” is trying to deliver." Michael O'Sullivan, the Washington Post
"To Ms. Hudson’s credit, her performance rings with conviction. She can be downright ominous, especially when her character is angry. Unfortunately, the screenplay by Mr. Roodt (“Cry, the Beloved Country”) and André Pieterse, adapted from Anné Mariè du Preez Bezdrob’s biography, has so much ground to cover that the movie plays like a made-for-television quickie. The politics alone deserve a mini-series." Stephen Holden, the New York Times
"While its depiction of rampant racism is effectively rendered, the film relies too heavily on overbearing, triumphant music, biopic cliches and repetition of personal mythology. This is not the untold story. This barely scratches the surface and dodges the titular character's troubling complexity, preferring to play it safe by focusing on a one-dimensional portrait of the love story between Nelson and Winnie. With this superficial and ambiguous account, audiences will gain little insight into what propelled Winnie Mandela." Claudia Puig, USA Today
"Like many a biopic before it, "Winnie Mandela" shoehorns an exceptional life into the standard template of a highlights reel, lurching from one Important Moment to the next. The sense of what's important is often skewed in this portrait of South Africa's onetime "mother of the nation"; Darrell Roodt's feature reduces complex political history to the role of backdrop in the story of a marriage. Stars Jennifer Hudsonand Terrence Howard struggle against a production that's more stage-managed than dramatically cohesive." Sheri Linden, LA Times
Winnie Mandela runs 1 hour and 47 minutes. it's rated R for violence and language. To find movie showings in Snellville, click here.