Lincoln

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 637 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 59 out of 637
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  1. Nov 24, 2012
    4
    I must be in the minority, but I was very disappointed with "Lincoln". I really enjoy history and biography, had read Goodwin's book and had heard almost unanimous praise for the movie. However, I thought the film was tedious, the script very stilted, and the acting rather mundane. If this had been a movie without the hype, the well known cast and director, and the subject, I am sureI must be in the minority, but I was very disappointed with "Lincoln". I really enjoy history and biography, had read Goodwin's book and had heard almost unanimous praise for the movie. However, I thought the film was tedious, the script very stilted, and the acting rather mundane. If this had been a movie without the hype, the well known cast and director, and the subject, I am sure more of the critics would have panned it. I kept looking at my watch and wondering when it was going to show all the great things that had been written about it. A real disappointment. Expand
  2. Dec 19, 2012
    6
    When the lights came up after Spielberg's Lincoln the packed audience began exiting in an overly courteous and orderly manner. It was eerie. It felt like we were playing a formally dressed audience leaving an opera house after a beautiful ceremony. But it wasn't until I was walking up to my car that I remembered we had come for a movie. I remembered being excited about the movie. IWhen the lights came up after Spielberg's Lincoln the packed audience began exiting in an overly courteous and orderly manner. It was eerie. It felt like we were playing a formally dressed audience leaving an opera house after a beautiful ceremony. But it wasn't until I was walking up to my car that I remembered we had come for a movie. I remembered being excited about the movie. I remember 30 minutes of horrendous previews. I remember the opening credits and the low murmurings of the Chicago Symphony's brass section improvising Aaron Copland riffs. I remember Abraham Lincoln telling me to relax ... relax ... count backwards from ten ... then the feeling that I'm floating somewhere above the mid 19th Century. James Spader floats by eating crabs, and then David Strathairn in a Chinese robe. In the parking lot I have a faint feeling that I had just enjoyed myself. I think I ate a piece of hard candy Expand
  3. Apr 11, 2014
    6
    Director/producer Steven Steilberg has great movies made everyday . his project on Lincoln is okay i guess
    History is okay but its gets me tired . Stielbergs films are great but this one way 60 % enjoyable . Grade B
  4. Nov 22, 2012
    4
    If you want a constant reminder of how Spielberg voted in the last election, then watch this movie. Otherwise, read a solid biography on Lincoln. Spielberg's movie making is about as subtle as a five year-old screaming for candy in your ear. Most of the movie feels wooden and plastic, if that is even possible. On the up side, it is a movie about Lincoln, so there is a fair amount ofIf you want a constant reminder of how Spielberg voted in the last election, then watch this movie. Otherwise, read a solid biography on Lincoln. Spielberg's movie making is about as subtle as a five year-old screaming for candy in your ear. Most of the movie feels wooden and plastic, if that is even possible. On the up side, it is a movie about Lincoln, so there is a fair amount of feel-good American jingoism. Expand
  5. Nov 16, 2012
    5
    Daniel Day-Lewis IS Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg
  6. Dec 5, 2012
    4
    Too political and too talkative! Stellar performances elevate this film and make it appear much better than it is. It's typical Spielberg......history as he wants us to remember it.....all the characters are literally black or white. Even the "lobbyists" are good despite devious methods used because they're on the right side. Smacks of Spielberg's earlier work Amistad where he didn'tToo political and too talkative! Stellar performances elevate this film and make it appear much better than it is. It's typical Spielberg......history as he wants us to remember it.....all the characters are literally black or white. Even the "lobbyists" are good despite devious methods used because they're on the right side. Smacks of Spielberg's earlier work Amistad where he didn't acknowledge that slavery began with people being captured and sold by members of their own race. The only real moments of connection are made in scenes with Sally Field and Lincoln's interactions with his older son. The opening scene gives us a compass as to where we're headed....these "real" soldiers can remember the Gettysburg address word for word after hearing it once? reading it where? having time to memorize it when? Even those of us who were around in the Kennedy years are forturnate to remember one, maybe two lines of a famous speech. Spielberg needs to leave history alone if he's not really interested in giving us the true picture. Expand
  7. Nov 26, 2012
    5
    Not so great movie.i really thought it was and awesome movie. turns out it really a shallow movie. but i must commend on the story of Abraham Lincoln. it was nice and appropriate story of putting down the axe and using the words and politics. a lot of better movies out there.
  8. Apr 2, 2013
    5
    Daniel Day-Lewis does a fantastic mjob undeniably. However, I was bored with the repetition of dialogue, the length of the film, and the consistent dark lighting. It is great on performance and technical level for the most part but when it comes to other thing sit is far from good. I give this film 48%. Spieberg disappoints two years in a row for me.
  9. Dec 24, 2012
    4
    I fell asleep three times the tone is so monotonous.Old Honest Abe was a wily fellow and in fact Old "technically" Honest Abe. Sally Field is believable and has some life in her performance. Speillie should have developed the Tommy Lee Jones "surprise" story throughout the script...this would have added tension and another layer of humanity. Same with the Bobby story...there's no realI fell asleep three times the tone is so monotonous.Old Honest Abe was a wily fellow and in fact Old "technically" Honest Abe. Sally Field is believable and has some life in her performance. Speillie should have developed the Tommy Lee Jones "surprise" story throughout the script...this would have added tension and another layer of humanity. Same with the Bobby story...there's no real insight into that relationship. So instead there's just politics is like making sausage, only more boring. There was no point in ending with the "Titanic sinking" - that was pandering to our scant knowlege and added nothing to the film. Expand
  10. Jan 16, 2013
    6
    I do not know what it is, but "Lincoln" just did not quite do it for me. I felt bored throughout, except of the actual voting (possibly because I am not American and know very little of this history, so I was not sure whether it passed or not), and kept on dozing off every once in a while. However, Lincoln is not all bad. The cast is superb, and Daniel Day-Lewis, yet again, performs hisI do not know what it is, but "Lincoln" just did not quite do it for me. I felt bored throughout, except of the actual voting (possibly because I am not American and know very little of this history, so I was not sure whether it passed or not), and kept on dozing off every once in a while. However, Lincoln is not all bad. The cast is superb, and Daniel Day-Lewis, yet again, performs his magic to quite an amazing result. Sally Field is also excellent, as are the supporting actors, led by Spader and Strathairn. Honestly, nothing bad can be said of the cast. The art design and costumes were very well done, as was the cinematography. Technically overall the film looks good. But the issue is with the script. It was just not so engaging. I am a sucker for drama, and a sucker for history (I got a degree in it!) but this was just not very entertainingly done. And mind you, I was thoroughly entertained and enjoyed "The Hours," arguably one of the most depressing films in the past decade. "Lincoln" just does not do it for me. This may be my least favourite Spielberg film, which doesn't mean it's bad. It's a good film, just a bit boring. Expand
  11. Feb 4, 2013
    6
    Fairly useful and brute force historical depiction of the civil war. it shows how even back in the 1800s, the U.S. congress was all about back room deal-making, but at least then they weren't able to make a career out of being in congress. Though Steven Spielberg obviously has made some blockbusters, you still have to wonder with a topic like this; how much of the subtleties were createdFairly useful and brute force historical depiction of the civil war. it shows how even back in the 1800s, the U.S. congress was all about back room deal-making, but at least then they weren't able to make a career out of being in congress. Though Steven Spielberg obviously has made some blockbusters, you still have to wonder with a topic like this; how much of the subtleties were created by the "world according to Spielberg"...? Its also a bit depressing to be so blatantly reminded that our country has not learned from history and in fact has gone backwards in terms of degrading and disrespecting the constitution. You can't walk out of Lincoln without feeling that this country used to have such promise and prosperity... and now it is so deeply bogged down with a bloated federal government, thousands of laws and taxes, and power-hungry career politicians that care only about their next election cycle... Expand
  12. Nov 25, 2012
    6
    Lincoln's kindness, quietness and generosity can translate to film in one and only one way if staying true to the man - in a slow boring way. Daniel Day Lewis did a fantastic job playing a non-flashy, quiet, almost emotionless "character". I feel quite a few critics have overstated the "thriller" aspect of this film. I felt none. Day Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones and James Spader were topLincoln's kindness, quietness and generosity can translate to film in one and only one way if staying true to the man - in a slow boring way. Daniel Day Lewis did a fantastic job playing a non-flashy, quiet, almost emotionless "character". I feel quite a few critics have overstated the "thriller" aspect of this film. I felt none. Day Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones and James Spader were top notch. Good acting kept this movie afloat. Like "Titanic", I knew the ending....but, unlike "Titanic" this film did not have me leaving the theater surprised or energized by what I saw. Expand
  13. Jan 27, 2013
    5
    In my opinion, the script during the first half of this film reads like an entry in Wikipedia. And the second half lacks soul. In part, because the -much acclaimed- acting of Daniel Day-Lewis seems to me lacking in spirit; it seemed to me that he has half asleep and bored. I think that many of the glowing opinions may have more to do with the theme, than with the film.
  14. Feb 3, 2013
    5
    I can understand why the critics might heap accolades upon this film but I have to say I was very disappointed. The film is like an average episode of "The West Wing". A cataclysmic event is happening but you never see it, the whole thing is like watching a drawn out town hall meeting. Characters are introduced without any explanation as to who they are or their influence on the story. TheI can understand why the critics might heap accolades upon this film but I have to say I was very disappointed. The film is like an average episode of "The West Wing". A cataclysmic event is happening but you never see it, the whole thing is like watching a drawn out town hall meeting. Characters are introduced without any explanation as to who they are or their influence on the story. The Civil War is merely "Bad slaveowners versus noble crusaders" when we know it was much more complex than that. You'd think the union army was comprised entirely out of black people. Day-Lewis is a subdued presence in the film though Sally Field puts in a strong performance. Overall the whole film felt like a made for Tv movie. Expand
  15. Feb 16, 2013
    5
    Lincoln, from the title you would assume is a film about Lincoln, however you may be disappointed to find that its more to do with the passing of the 13th Amendment. This is a problem purely due to the fact that everyone knows what came to pass in history or even take a guess as to what happened making long scenes of politicians talking about the amendment and discussing racial issues andLincoln, from the title you would assume is a film about Lincoln, however you may be disappointed to find that its more to do with the passing of the 13th Amendment. This is a problem purely due to the fact that everyone knows what came to pass in history or even take a guess as to what happened making long scenes of politicians talking about the amendment and discussing racial issues and war with seemingly no progression all the more tiresome. However there is some saving grace in its monotonous dialogue which is the acting. The actors and actresses really bring out the roles they play most notably Daniel Day-Lewis but also Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field. Their interactions and dialogue are easily the most interesting part in the story which leads back to Lincoln's main problem. There's a lack of balance between the parts about the 13th amendment and the life of Lincoln and his family which were very dramatic. Its a long film so both parts are attempted in depth making the story convoluted and sometimes difficult to follow. Though at least the visual style and lighting of scenes add at least some flavor to the scenes. It has a very gritty style suiting the era while also seeming fresh.

    By the end, and I honestly wouldn't call this a spoiler, when the amendments been passed and Lincoln is dead we really haven't been able to get to know the characters well enough to really care that this great leader has died. Take for instance the classic "Amadeus", in the poster it tells us that he dies but even at the end in knowing this its sad to see him die because we got to know him and got to connect with his character. Lincoln however fails to be "about" Lincoln.
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  16. Mar 31, 2013
    6
    Daniel Day-Lewis outperforms himself again this time as Lincoln. The film focuses heavily on Amendment 13 which gets rid of slavery but serves mainly as a device to end the war. There's endless political blabbering (well written mind you) concerning the passing of this amendment and the behind-the-scenes mechanics of it. You'll get some insight into Lincoln's personal life but unexpectedlyDaniel Day-Lewis outperforms himself again this time as Lincoln. The film focuses heavily on Amendment 13 which gets rid of slavery but serves mainly as a device to end the war. There's endless political blabbering (well written mind you) concerning the passing of this amendment and the behind-the-scenes mechanics of it. You'll get some insight into Lincoln's personal life but unexpectedly he's portrayed as a man who kicks ass for goodness, a veritable saint. As much as I enjoyed this well made film I couldn't help but think that this was a product of the Americans obsession with their own culture and history, and for me as a European it just doesn't seem all that important. We know all how it turned out in the end, didn't we Expand
  17. Mar 1, 2013
    6
    The real-life characters from the time then are brought back to life, and it feels like you are in the 19th century. However, a lot of the scenes dragged out too long and I found myself drifting away at the theater because I was so bored.
  18. Feb 25, 2013
    6
    I find this a very hard movie to judge. It's lacking in any real drama or suspense, has a mostly plodding script and there is no real visual excitement either from set design, set pieces or even camera work. Spielbergs work of lot (anything after Saving Private Ryan) has had a mostly sterile feel for me very well executed but nothing special and Lincoln falls into that as a filmI find this a very hard movie to judge. It's lacking in any real drama or suspense, has a mostly plodding script and there is no real visual excitement either from set design, set pieces or even camera work. Spielbergs work of lot (anything after Saving Private Ryan) has had a mostly sterile feel for me very well executed but nothing special and Lincoln falls into that as a film overall. Yes, Day Lewis is strangely captivating as Lincoln but only in some scenes where he gets to cut loss. The film seems to hold the Lincoln character on too high a pedestal. We only get glimpses into what may be a slightly more selfish side to him. When it comes to the messy side of politics, the film keeps Lincoln at very much an arms length approach. This may or may not be true, I'm no history buff but I would have thought it unlikely that any high ranking politician would be able to keep such a distance. The other characters really only work as plot points. There's no bad acting but its all so dull and, well, predictable (I know odd for a true story). Granted, the film cant change what happened but the South are predictable drawn as out and out bad guys. General Ulysses is, like Lincoln, far too upstanding. There's no surprises anywhere and the film wont question any views you may have going in. Not that it has to but when the main flow of the film is, essentially, very dull lobbying it would be nice to have something else to keep the attention.

    As it is, I feel this follows many of Spielbergs other works into the "fine, but nothing more" column for me. Worth a look? Maybe, but don't expect too much to amaze you.
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  19. Aug 26, 2014
    6
    Damn, what a cast. I love films like this that have these huge casts and I keep seeing all these character actors who I recognize from other films or television shows. Daniel Day-Lewis was great (though I prefer him in Gangs of New York and There Will Be Blood, personally). Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, and David Costabile, are also major bright spots. As a whole, this is an at timesDamn, what a cast. I love films like this that have these huge casts and I keep seeing all these character actors who I recognize from other films or television shows. Daniel Day-Lewis was great (though I prefer him in Gangs of New York and There Will Be Blood, personally). Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, and David Costabile, are also major bright spots. As a whole, this is an at times very interesting film about Lincoln himself, as well as everything he went through trying to get the 13th amendment passed. The performances, direction, and costume design, are all major pluses to this historical film. However, it felt a little long. Some of it could have been trimmed and the final product would have benefited from it. On top of that, Mary Todd Lincoln was almost exclusively portrayed as a total b****, while Robert Lincoln was almost exclusively shown as a wannabe soldier. Thus, I almost think Jospeh Gordon-Levitt's portion could be trimmed significantly, though his performance was fine. I also wish they either showed more elements of Mary Lincoln or trimmed her down and focused exclusively on Lincoln, his Cabinet, and the House. The ending is also poor, as it does not even show anything. While I am not a huge fan of gore, at least hearing a gunshot would have been an added plus. The way they did it felt as if they were purposely keeping us at a distance, which is annoying. The film can also be a little tedious at times and fails to hold your interest throughout the entire run time (largely thanks to the parts that add nothing much to the film as a whole). However, as a whole, the film is very well made and very well done from all parties and stands as a great look at history and is poignant even today, as though the issues are different, the divide between parties and the way votes work is all too similar. Expand
  20. Apr 9, 2013
    4
    Lincoln is basically a two and a half hour play and although Daniel Day Lewis was amazing as Lincoln it is difficult to watch at one sitting cause it gets boring. I believe that this is the reason that it wasn't the best picture of 2012. The movie basically about the passing of the 13 amendment.
  21. Jan 1, 2013
    5
    I was very disappointed. Daniel Day-Lewis was his usual amazing self. And the acting as a whole was top notch. But other than that, I found Lincoln to be severely lacking. There was no portrayal of Abraham Lincoln the man. There was no examination of his heavily documented depression, his unstable marriage, his tumultuous family life, his suicidal thoughts, his emotions, his demons, hisI was very disappointed. Daniel Day-Lewis was his usual amazing self. And the acting as a whole was top notch. But other than that, I found Lincoln to be severely lacking. There was no portrayal of Abraham Lincoln the man. There was no examination of his heavily documented depression, his unstable marriage, his tumultuous family life, his suicidal thoughts, his emotions, his demons, his joys, his passions, his personality, his psyche or his existence as a human being. There was no portrait of life in America during the civil war. No representation of the state, it's people or the condition that it was in during this historic period. In fact, the war only appeared in the form of quick mentions here and there. It was, essentially, a play-by-play analysis for the political struggle to pass the 13th amendment. A play-by-play analysis which was rather hard to follow and frankly, quite boring at times. Overall, I was upset that this movie did not have more depth, did not have more wonder and did not have more life. It's worth a watch, but thoroughly unfulfilling. Expand
  22. Dec 2, 2012
    6
    I thought that this movie was alright. I watched this movie with multiple history teachers, and they all agreed that there were very few inaccuracies. The assassination wasn't shown, and there was little portrayed outside of the senators bickering over the amendment. I thought that the best work was in Mrs. Lincoln, and her slight insanity.
  23. Feb 3, 2013
    6
    Lincoln is a film of two halves. The first hour and a half is what the term 'worthy, but dull' was coined for. Tony Kushner's acclaimed screenplay seems to be all over the place and, not being an expert on the history, I was confused. However, something rather magical happens when the excellent Tommy Lee Jones takes to the floor of congress to vent his wrath with rivals over the passing ofLincoln is a film of two halves. The first hour and a half is what the term 'worthy, but dull' was coined for. Tony Kushner's acclaimed screenplay seems to be all over the place and, not being an expert on the history, I was confused. However, something rather magical happens when the excellent Tommy Lee Jones takes to the floor of congress to vent his wrath with rivals over the passing of an amendment to abolish slavery. The film comes alive and subsequent proceedings are elevated to a much higher plane. This ensures that the final hour not only engages the brain, but becomes compelling drama. Director Steven Spielberg has dealt with the slavery issue before in both 'The Color Purple' and the extremely tedious 'Amistad' so he obviously has some fascination for the subject. One could, therefore, be forgiven for thinking that he would bring something new to the material. Unfortunately, he doesn't! As with 'Amistad' his direction is staid and unexciting for the most part despite some occasional arty looking set ups. Daniel Day Lewis, on the other hand, inhabits the character of Lincoln to perfection. Not once do you feel it is an actor portraying a character. This Chameleon like actor has pulled off another coup in a performance to rank alongside the very best in his already dazzling portfolio. The film's period detail is beautifully captured and photographed like a series of paintings and Spielberg has, at least, eschewed sentimentality. To this end, though, he is not aided by John Williams' pretty but predictable score, one which I seem to have heard many times before. Expand
  24. Dec 27, 2012
    6
    Day-Lewis is masterfully sublime as the humble, eminent Abraham Lincoln. However, Spielberg's direction is imperfectly showcased as a hokey, lackluster drama that is mind-fumbling and tedious but never an insipid moment with the two Oscar-caliber performances of Day-Lewis and Field.
  25. Dec 28, 2012
    5
    This is a great movie for a second grader or an adult with second grade knowledge of american history. It is a sterile, impotent picture. The acting is great in parts but mostly mediocre. Sitting in the theater you feel boredom as never before. The first 5 minutes are the best of the entire film. Never have I prayed for Lincoln to go to the Ford Theater until sitting through this epicThis is a great movie for a second grader or an adult with second grade knowledge of american history. It is a sterile, impotent picture. The acting is great in parts but mostly mediocre. Sitting in the theater you feel boredom as never before. The first 5 minutes are the best of the entire film. Never have I prayed for Lincoln to go to the Ford Theater until sitting through this epic POS (piece of **** Expand
  26. Dec 18, 2013
    4
    i don't normally criticize Steven Spielberg work but this one is actually boring.
    extremely long two and a half hour filled with dark contents with noting to be excited about,
    i was so bored watching this movie that i don't know if there was a solid story or not, and the entire movie is based on the main character just like "there will be blood" which means that all the secondary
    i don't normally criticize Steven Spielberg work but this one is actually boring.
    extremely long two and a half hour filled with dark contents with noting to be excited about,
    i was so bored watching this movie that i don't know if there was a solid story or not, and the entire movie is based on the main character just like "there will be blood" which means that all the secondary characters are absolutely useless which is kinda a shame given that Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Hal Holbrook starred in this movie, and i do get that this is a historical story and all but how about spice it a little, give us something to enjoy.
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  27. Apr 16, 2013
    5
    The big problem with Lincoln is that it's a performance, and not a movie. Daniel Day Lewis is excellent, as always, and looks and sounds just like the man himself, but the film is self-indulgent and pays attention too heavily to Lincoln's abolishing slavery, when there were many more interesting times in this man's life. Sally Field is wasted, in my opinion, having less than 15 minutes ofThe big problem with Lincoln is that it's a performance, and not a movie. Daniel Day Lewis is excellent, as always, and looks and sounds just like the man himself, but the film is self-indulgent and pays attention too heavily to Lincoln's abolishing slavery, when there were many more interesting times in this man's life. Sally Field is wasted, in my opinion, having less than 15 minutes of screen-time. Tommy Lee Jones is great, but he too isn't given enough time to have an interesting story. I wanted to like this film more than I did. Expand
  28. Nov 27, 2013
    4
    A tedious, stale script and poor rising action makes this movie a slow moving chore to watch. James Spader does a good job fitting his role, but it is not enough to save this sinking ship.
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. Reviewed by: Kate Stables
    Jan 11, 2013
    80
    Steeped in the bitter political divisions of the Civil War, Spielberg's thrilling film about hardwon freedoms is immersed in its own time, but speaks eloquently to ours.
  2. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Jan 10, 2013
    100
    As unexpected as it is intelligent, thanks to virtuoso work from Spielberg and Kushner, Lincoln is landmark filmmaking, while Day-Lewis is so authentic he pulls off that stovepipe.
  3. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jan 1, 2013
    80
    Lincoln does sometimes get a little sappy around the edges. Though his project here is clearly one of conscious self-restraint, Spielberg can't resist the occasional opportunity for patriotic tear-jerking, usually signaled by a swell of John Williams' symphonic score. But in between, there are long stretches that are as quiet, contemplative, and austere as anything Spielberg has ever done.