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Generally favorable reviews- based on 589 Ratings

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  1. Negative: 54 out of 589

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  1. Jan 1, 2013
    Lincoln is one of Spielberg's better efforts in the last couple of years, a film designed to 'win' lots of Oscars. Despite its slower pace, the film is buoyed completely by Daniel Day Lewis' mesmerizing performance as 'Honest Abe', one of the greatest US President of all time. Ensemble casts are also excellent, with stand outs performance by Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field. A great portrait of this historical figure and while it is not the best film of the year, it is one of those films that both Critics and Audiences like. Expand
  2. Dec 30, 2012
    A superb movie with great acting by Daniel Day Lewis, this is a movie worth seeing. Even though at times the dialogue is pretty heavy, and seems to go on and on, the story is well told, and it's a movie you wouldn't be disappointed with.
  3. Lyn
    Dec 30, 2012
    "Team of Rivals" was totally engrossing, but somehow this excellent production does not quite capture the complex, conflicted personalities of Lincoln's cohorts. Daniel Day-Lewis is, of course, amazing, but his wit & wisdom here often match the overall preachy tone of the film. (Is DDL ever going to be sexy again, as he was in "The Unbearable Lightness of Being"???) It's fun to catch so many great character actors, though everyone in the movie has kind of a dark and gritty look -- like they just came back from working in an Appalachian coal mine. Expand
  4. Dec 29, 2012
    A joyous bundle of history and excellence. The movie plays out in a slow and slightly reserved fashion, rewarding those who pay close attention to the details of the well-versed dialogue. The acting on all fronts in spectacular, and it not only paints a detailed and acute description of one of the most important pieces of American history, but does well in honoring the great United States President and showing you a great depiction of his life and those around him. By the end, you'll feel your own sense of emotional accomplishment and maybe even feel smarter. Overall, a glorious film, and my personal movie of the year. Expand
  5. Dec 29, 2012
    This movie is worth seeing for the acting alone. Daniel Day Lewis becomes Lincoln. Sally Field shows Mary Todd's humane rather than crazy side. Realizing all the historical facts the film's creators had to sort through and choose between, makes the movie even more amazing. Some might find it a tad slow, but it's worth every detail. The movie is a masterpiece. After seeing it is, one may become more aware of the spineless leadership our country has today. Expand
  6. Dec 29, 2012
    Lincoln is exactly just the right amount of how I was expecting this film to be. I can't argue with people who keep on claiming what was really done at that time and what was not. The work of Tony Kushner and Steven Spielberg may base on the real events but it also incorporates a little bit of fiction because it is necessary to keep the film in the right direction. Screenplay is superb and so is the direction. The major plus points of this film are its brilliant photography, production design and breathtaking performances by a stellar cast especially Daniel Day-Lewis. That is one hell of an exceptional portrayal of one of the most important historical figures in the history of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln. Day-Lewis totally stunned me with his performance and I really do want him to win all the major awards this season. Here's why people won't like this film. There is no action in this film whatsoever, and all of the scenes are based on the dialogues. In addition, the run-time of the film is 2 hours and 20 minutes which seems way more than it should be, in the case of a drama film (NOT if you love watching slow paced, dialogues oriented drama films).
    Lincoln may not be one of the best films of the year and it might not win the major awards (i.e. Best Director and Best Picture) but it sure as hell deserves all these nominations because that's how great it is which can't be ignored. Lincoln is not just a film, it is an effort by Spielberg to refresh people's history lessons and with that, deliver an important message of equality to our generation. Films like Lincoln should be strongly appreciated because they transform the art in a perfect manner that not only you enjoy it but it also raises a lot of questions in your mind.
  7. Dec 28, 2012
    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 epic POS (piece of **** Expand
  8. Dec 27, 2012
    Not for the impatient; Lincoln triumphs as one of the finest movies in Steven Spielberg
  9. Dec 27, 2012
    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.
  10. Dec 25, 2012
    If you are a southern apologist who lives in the delusion they were fighting for anything other than slavery, you will hate this film. It puts the historical cards on the table and shows the south's refusal to give up on a war that was already lost because they would not agree to end slavery. Plain and simple, they were fighting for that reason and no other. If you prefer anachronistic dialogue, with persons from history sounding like NYC cab drivers, you will hate this film. Kushner's script follows the best recollections of those who were present. With the forgivable exception of allowing the change of "Now he belongs to the angels." to become the far better "Now he belongs to the ages." If you want to see CGI recreations of Gettysburg and Antietam, you're in the wrong theater. This film is about Lincoln and his growing conviction that the war was never just about preserving the union. That his fate was to be the man who led this country to the end of slavery. Seen for what it is, that often the hand of God moves history with the least likely vessels, a prophet with a speech impediment, a carpenter's son born in poverty or that a man who had failed at nearly everything, whose family life was coming unhinged, should lead a reluctant, spiteful nation to end the babrbarism of slavery, this film is a triumph. Expand
  11. Dec 24, 2012
    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 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
  12. Dec 21, 2012
    This film is a total bore. I had to force myself to sit in my seat for the length of this almost endless movie and left the theater with a pressure on my head. Steven Spielberg just can't handle heavy drama as was proven with "Amistad," "War Horse," and to some degree "Munich.". His pace is so slow in "Lincoln" that it's maddening. Even Daniel Day Lewis can't save this film. I don't believe that a docudrama has to be boring and slow in order to be a good one. It's the director's role to make his film come to life even if we know how it ends. This film is truly underwhelming. Tony Kushner's script is overpraised, as well as John Williams unimpressive score. There is so much talent in this film that just doesn't even come close to reaching its full potential. As I left the theater I said to a friend of mine, "If you ever want to torture me, force me to sit through that film again." Expand
  13. Dec 20, 2012
    I braced for a poor historical account with over-direction from Spielberg and over-acting by Daniel Day-Lewis. Spielberg masterfully manages Tony Kushner's dialogue-heavy script in a thrilling way I have not seen since "All the President's Men." Kushner could have been preachy or melodramatic; his script is riveting. Best of all, Daniel Day-Lewis inhabits Lincoln the way Daniel Craig fits into a James Bond tux. This film is dazzling - a wonderful theater-going experience. Congrats to everyone involved with this production. Expand
  14. Dec 20, 2012
    It's a serious film, all right, and professional in every way--it's also a bit plodding and didactic. Daniel Day Lewis again gives the kind of performance that wins awards, but as always he seems to be standing alongside the character--thinking about him, solving acting problems, but never jumping inside his skin.
  15. Dec 19, 2012
    The strength of this film lies in the golden script, and wonderful cast. Daniel Day Lewis brings a certain livelihood, and genuine charm to Lincoln that makes you disappointed in current politics. It brings the same love for a classic hero of American folklore, but at the intimate level, where you love the man, not just his words. I give the writers absolute credit for focusing on the messy way slavery was eliminated. Not in an epic battle of good and evil, but through messy politicking. Also, there is nothing quite like hearing congressmen dishing out insults in 1860's American speech. There is a certain distance in the film which prevents it from being this year's best, but nonetheless this is a rare, charming, gem that should not be passed up. Expand
  16. Dec 19, 2012
    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. 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
  17. Dec 17, 2012
    At first Daniel Day-Lewis's performance came across as a caricature, but after about 15 minutes he won me over completely. A fascinating look at the political process of the time, some of which is still relevant today. Well written and acted with great supporting roles, it never bored me. They use some of the dialect of the time so I didn't always understand what was said, but it isn't hard to follow. Tommy Lee Jones was great as usual. I'm sure there will be lots of buzz at Oscar time. The best Spielberg movie in a long time. Expand
  18. Dec 16, 2012
    Perfect acting, lavish dialogue, and a surprising amount of affecting images elevate "Lincoln" to the noble heights historical dramas can reach - a film that can both entertain and enlighten.
  19. Dec 16, 2012
    This is a really solid movie. The acting is superb, the story is interesting, and the writing is good. However, it felt oddly short. There were all these interesting characters, but not enough time to develop any of them completely. It felt like it should have been a TV miniseries. One other thing really stood out to me for some reason. I'm not one to let profanity affect how much I like a movie (The Wire is one of my favorite TV shows), but this had more profanity than I would have expected from a movie set in the 1800s. Even Lincoln said "sh*t" at one point. It just really caught me off guard. Other than that, this is a great movie that tells the story of Lincoln as you've probably never heard it told. Expand
  20. Dec 9, 2012
    I get so excited when a movie actually lives up to my expectations, and Lincoln does. I have been trying to temper them ever since I found out our greatest actor would be playing our most popular president in a movie written and directed by one of the greatest film makers ever. Thankfully this film lives up to every bit of the hype. First off this movie is absolutely gorgeous. The feel of the era comes through in every single frame. Spielberg captures the image we have of Lincoln as a man perfectly. There are so many shots that we get of Lincoln's profile or where he is walking out of a room and his presence is captured perfectly. This is also a perfectly written script. Again the language is written perfectly for the era and events that we are witnessing. Last but certainly not least the acting is superb across the board. Lewis is every bit of Lincoln that we expect him to be, he captures the image we have of Lincoln in every single scene. Maybe most amazing is that all the other actors never seem dwarfed by Lewis's presence. Whether this is from great casting, acting, or writing doesn't matter, all that matters is that it all works seamlessly. The only reason this movie doesn't get a perfect 10 from me is that there are a few scenes with the "Spielberg cheese". Thankfully they are very minimal, but they will take you out of the film for a moment or two. Otherwise this is a perfect movie, probably my favorite of the last two years. Expand
  21. Dec 8, 2012
    This was a very good movie. Daniel Day-Lewis does an incredible job as he portrays Abraham Lincoln and the rest of the impressive cast does just as well. Truthfully, this was a character and acting driven movie and it had to have been in order to work. The only real negatives to the film, in my opinion, were the length and the slightly misleading name. Regarding the length of the movie, don't get me wrong, I LOVE long films IF they're done well (Lord of the Rings, Braveheart, etc.). While this movie was done well, it easily could've been 15-20 minutes shorter without missing anything critical (which cannot necessarily be said by LOTR or Braveheart). The other thing I mentioned was the misleading name. Obviously Lincoln is still the protagonist but a more accurate title to the movie would've been "The 13th Amendment" because that's the entire focus of the film. Personally, I expected this film to be more like a condensed version of the John Adams mini-series and the title and previews are the reason why. Nonetheless, this was a good movie with fantastic acting and cinematography and I think most people would really enjoy it. Expand
  22. Dec 5, 2012
    Lincoln is a really good film! Not a brilliant film, but it's extremely well done. Daniel Day-Lewis is terrific, he truly disappears into the role/character and gives a fantastic (Oscar worthy) performance. The screenplay by Tony Kushner is outstanding. Heavy on the politics, but moving and humorous at all the right moments; it will definitely be nominated for an Oscar. The film is rounded off by a perfect supporting cast, dotted with many well-known/renowned actors, and none of them disappoint. Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field stand out. Overall, Lincoln is a great biopic about a great American figure. The film captures the conflict of the era, as well as the humanity of good ole' Abe. I think I like Spielberg's War Horse a little better, but this is a really good film, worthy of a lot of praise. Expand
  23. Dec 5, 2012
    "Lincoln" is a triumph. Here is a historical film that is heavy in dialogue, but never strays into idleness or melodrama. Intelligent and powerful filmmaking.
  24. Dec 5, 2012
    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'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
  25. Dec 3, 2012
    Spielberg & Tony Kushner managed to to transfer us into the mind of Lincoln giving us a historical thriller that will soon become a "Classic".The film has the two "battlefields" of war and politics that keep us on the edge of our seats.As it goes for Daniel Day-Lewis(Lincoln) I have only one word: "Breathtaking".
  26. Dec 3, 2012
    It's hard not to give this film the highest marks. Daniel Day-Lewis is amazing and so perfect. That's no surprise. What surprised me was the fact that so many other great performers were not overshadowed. Tommy Lee Jones nearly steals the show as Thaddeus Stevens, and Sally Field commands her role as Mary Todd Lincoln. Every character gets plenty of screen-time, all the while we are served up a buffet of the greatest portrayal of a US President in the history of cinema. Expand
  27. Dec 3, 2012
    I thought the movie was good. the performances were good and the look of the film was spot on. It was a little confusing keeping track of who everyone was. I really liked Lewis as Lincoln. I want to see it again and I think I will get more out of it. overall 9/10.
  28. Dec 2, 2012
    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.
  29. Dec 2, 2012
    This movie was remarkable...Daniel Day Lewis never disappoints, especially this time out...I thought it was actually Abraham Lincoln I was watching in this movie, and not Daniel Day Lewis playing him--It was that good...The cast was remarkable as well...For those of you who have not seen this film, it covers the battle covering the 13th Amendment, which would abolish slavery, the final months of the Civil War and finishing up with Lincoln's death...Well told story, and would not be surprised to see Daniel Day Lewis, Steven Spielberg and this film to bring in not only a decent number of awards, but possibly winning Best Picture honors for this year. Definitely a must see for not only military and Lincoln historians, but for those who are big Civil War buffs. Expand
  30. Dec 1, 2012
    A grand sweeping historical epic that illuminates the passing of the 13 th amendment. The story is, of course, political but like Lincoln, Stephen Spielberg tells stories of deep human significance laced with humor. I wondered if the smallish Daniel Day Lewis could fully inhabit the great man the way that Raymond Massey did. He mostly succeeded but perhaps more importantly Day-Lewis gives Lincoln the soul that Massey attempted. This is due in significant part to the words-the great script- by Tony Kushner who brings the book by Doris Kearns Goodwin upon which the movie is based-to full life-and empathetic and plausible psychological insight into Mary Todd Lincoln (Sally Field) and her troubled marriage to the President. Hal Holbrook, James Spader, David Strathairn and Tommy Lee Jones are excellent in support-as are the many, many unknown character actors in this film. Finally, as in all (?) Spielberg films the score is by John Williams and is excellent. The only reason I did not give this movie a 10 was the calculated attempt at a tear-jerking ending needlessly followed by an extraneous 2 minute speech. A mere quibble. Expand
  31. Nov 29, 2012
    This is the best movie I have seen so far this year. It was entertaining, thoughtful, intellectual, and informative. When I got home, I looked up so many historical issues that the film brought to my attention. I really liked the acting as well and the fact that the characters were developed. It would have been so easy to have just resorted to battlefield scenes and blood to make your point. It was well timed as well since so many of the arguments were similar to what I had just heard in our election. Well worth the time and investment! Expand
  32. Nov 28, 2012
    Reminded me of Sorkin's West Wing, except better written and set in the Lincoln White House. As others have mentioned, this is an intimate look at Lincoln's struggle (indeed, our nations struggle) to get the 13th Amendment passed. Definitely a movie for political junkies and history buffs, with some stellar acting by Daniel Day Lewis and a great (and large!) cast of a supporting actors. I didn't realize how long the film was--truly enjoyed it all the way through. Collapse
  33. Nov 28, 2012
    Honestly one of the best movies I have seen in a long time! Spielberg did a wonderful job on this piece. The acting and the costumes to the filming locations were perfect. The chemistry between Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Fields was epic. A must see!!
  34. Nov 27, 2012
    I'm writing an example review for a school project. Sorry if you read this before I delete it. Well then again I hope metacritic allows me to delete this. Ok bye.
  35. Nov 27, 2012
    If you look at many of the good reviews, you will see the problem, in my mind, with this movie. It is a bit too slow, too monotone, and simply too stuffy. There could have been so much more color and life. I think we should have seen different perspectives, such as from the angle of a simple working person and from the angle of the south. The movie leaves out Lincoln's great speeches, making only brief references. The movie leaves out the assassination, and what we know about who did it and why. The real death blow to the movie, for me, was the lack of vigor in why and what they were fighting for. After all, huge numbers of americans died. So, for me the movie was a dud. I think a lot of people are caught up in the moment. By the way, the supporting acting was GREAT, and I would give an award to Sally Fields. Expand
  36. Nov 26, 2012
    With most biopics, the reason we are so interested in them is because they threaten to take their star down from his powerful placement in history, and show him as human rather than god. This year we get two hotly anticipated films which will attempt to do just that: **** and Lincoln. Both men have contributed so much in their respective fields that they are rarely seen in a bad light, nor are people ecstatic to see them portrayed as mere men. However, I can definitely say Lincoln attempts to show Abraham Lincoln as one of us, and not merely an icon placed upon an unreachable pedestal. With incredible acting on the part of everyone, but especially Sally Field and Daniel Day-Lewis, and writing by Tony Kushner that is both enticing and fitting for the period, Lincoln is a concrete example of how to make a biopic flourish while still being faithful and engrossing. Read the rest of the review at Expand
  37. Nov 26, 2012
    It was an enjoyable historic drama. I think the movie should have been called the "13th Amendment" considering that is really the only aspect of this movie.
  38. Nov 26, 2012
    A fantastic movie. I cannot say enough good things. The acting was amazing, especially Daniel Day Lewis and Tommy Lee Jones. However, the entire cast is great. The soundtrack is fantastic and the cinematography is great too. This is one of the few movies I have seen that left me in tears. If you dont see this movie, you should never watch another movie again.
  39. Nov 26, 2012
    I'd give it a ten except I am not a Lincoln scholar and can't attest to the historical accuracy. I was moved. There hasn't been a movie about a floor fight in congress since Mr. Smith Goes to Washington that is so engaging and compelling. And to top it off everyone knew how this one was going to end before they stepped into the theater and yet it was riveting. Being a political ideologue myself I left the movie feeling ashamed of myself for my personal intransigence. I have always believed political compromise was a sign of weakness. Shelby Foote in Ken Burns "Civil War" makes the statement that the "genius of the American political system was for compromise and it utterly failed." Post election 2012 we are a divided country again but this time we had better learn to compromise for the good of the country and posterity. The sky is not falling and this country has endured far darker days. Expand
  40. Nov 26, 2012
    The best aspect of this film is that you see Lincoln the person and not Lincoln the hero. The acting was so superb that you forget you're watching actors. Also, had a great blend of political humor. Amazing film! The only reason I didn't give this movie a ten, was for the fact that it was a bit dialogue heavy, which made it hard to follow sometimes.
  41. Nov 26, 2012
    This is defiantly an interesting movie. I enjoyed it very much because I am the type of person who can sit there and enjoy learning about something I only knew a little bit about. This is defiantly not the type of movie for people who will want to be at the edge of their seat the whole time. If you enjoy learning about history and see what it was like for these people, this is defiantly a great movie to go see, but if you want a movie that has people running around constantly and shooting each other, you will probably want to pass. Expand
  42. Nov 26, 2012
    Very good movie! I watched the weekend after THanksgiving, and what a treat! It really captures some of Spielberg's best work in quite a while. The actors were all on point and I am happy that the movie did not focus on those moments in Lincoln's presidency that we all study in some length at school, i.e., the civil war, his election campaign, and the moment of his death, but rather, focused more on the pivotal act of his presidency, the process by which the Eman. Proc. came about, and the real person Lincoln was with his wit, compassion, and humility. This is a movie I will most definitely buy the first day it is out on Blu. Expand
  43. Nov 26, 2012
    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.
  44. Nov 25, 2012
    This is one of Steven Spielberg's best films this year, and in my opinion the best so far this year. The movie does a great job capturing Lincoln's personality during a turbulent time in America's history. Furthermore, the acting by Daniel Day Lewis to Tommy Lee Jones was excellent. Daniel Day Lewis is a great actor, and he deserves another best actor nomination for his performance. I believe Tommy Lee Jones has given one of his best performances in a long time, and I hope he gets nominated for best supporting actor as he gave a great performance to the radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens. Finally the writing is incredible along with some excellent dry humor. I highly recommend everyone check this movie out. Expand
  45. Nov 25, 2012
    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 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
  46. Nov 24, 2012
    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 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
  47. Nov 24, 2012
    Lincoln is one of the greatest biopics of all time.Steven spielberg has done an incredible job.this movie is grand.the cinematography is amazing.All the performances are astonishing.daniel day lewis delivers the performance of a lifetime.
  48. Nov 23, 2012
    Looking at Spielberg's history in cinema, it is relevant that making classics is simply in his blood. Whether his movies were about raw tension, the pureness of the heart or about the examination of the human spirit, none of them blend so perfectly together as Lincoln does. Not only does Lincoln inform the audience about what an immense challenge it was for the 16th president to abolish slavery, (which could easily be unappreciated just by reading it in a textbook), but it makes you feel as if you were one of the many Americans who idolized him during the 19th century. What Spielberg, Kushner and Day-Lewis do to make Abraham appear as a real inspirational figure is not by simply filming the events that gained him his historical recognition, but by letting the audience adore his charming personality first. The scenes where the Republicans and Democrats bicker over the future of the entire African-American population of the time are so intriguing that I felt relieved when arguments were won and angry when injustice was performed. We have Spielberg and Kushner to really thank for allowing us to become so emotionally involved. I would also like to congratulate Daniel Day-Lewis on winning his third Oscar. Lets face it, he was extraordinary and held the whole film together. It was so exciting just to watch everything he did on screen that he was the main reason I didn't want the movie to end. Credits to Field, Jones and Gordon-Levitt for making the experience all the more captivating. This is perhaps the most inspirational movie of the year which adds to Spielberg's list of never-ending triumphs as well as celebrating one of the most notable historical figures in American history. Expand
  49. Nov 23, 2012
    In this movie Spielberg does to history what John Wilkes Booth did to Lincoln. Everyone knows how Spielberg voted, but just in case you were wondering, see this film. Slow and plodding at best, and for those who like history, it is a train wreck. DDL does a great performance, but Spielberg's politically motivated style kills what could have been a good film, and does a great disservice to a great man. While they got DDL spot on casting wise for Lincoln, did the casting people ever look at a picture of Mary Todd Lincoln? Pass this movie by and take the time to read a good book on Lincoln, you will be better off. Saying this movie is based on historical events is like saying Twilight is a documentary. Expand
  50. Nov 22, 2012
    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 of feel-good American jingoism. Expand
  51. Nov 22, 2012
    Lincoln presents the characters' conflicts without taking sides, but still manages to pull off a perfect historical film that, with the absolutely flawless performance of Daniel Day-Lewis, is sure to be an Oscar contender and remain one of the best films of 2012.
  52. Nov 21, 2012
    A drama movie laden with history and political theater. The pacing starts off a little slow but picks up nicely at the end. I will admit it was hard to understand all the references at times but the movie does a great job of keeping you engrossed in the time period. I highly suggest you read about the history of the 13th amendment to understand the film better as I think you'll get more enjoyment from it. I will watch this again for sure. Turned out to be pretty powerful. Expand
  53. Nov 21, 2012
    Before you see this you have to know this isn't about Lincoln as much as it is about passing the 13th amendment. While it does drag (it's 2.5 hours) it's never boring and it's filled with plenty chuckles to carry it along. Day-Lewis IS Lincoln and is sure to win the Oscar. Much like Ledger and the Joker, I could not imagine anyone else in the role.
  54. CBN
    Nov 21, 2012
    Day-Lewis proves once again he is the best actor of his generation. Spielberg's touch and mastery are all over the film, yet a bit hard to follow at time with the onslaught of new characters and dialogue. Overall, a wonderful movie experience.
  55. Nov 20, 2012
    The movie is saved by outstanding performances by the supporting cast, including some moments of humor by James Spader. It's a good movie, but not the type of historical account that you'll return to like you would Schindler's List. DDL is, of course, excellent, but the movie as a whole is essentially solid work.
  56. Nov 20, 2012
    The ingenuity of the script in impeccable. Never has a film payed such careful attention to the details of politics. Yet even through all the detail, and all the material covered, Speilberg's Lincoln is compulsively watchable. The result is a great American movie.
  57. BKM
    Nov 19, 2012
    Lincoln will likely appeal to political junkies above all others thanks to its complex and in-depth examination of the painstaking process of passing legislation through a gridlocked congress-which has eerie parallels to our current political climate. But the remainder of viewers will have to be satisfied with an expertly crafted, albeit somewhat creaky, historical drama fueled by a career capping turn from Daniel Day-Lewis and an excellent supporting performance from Tommy Lee Jones. Expand
  58. Nov 19, 2012
    My girlfriend fell asleep during this movie, but I sure didn't. It is dialogue heavy which I'm sure everybody has heard. The screenplay is excellent though, allowing for moments of subtlety where other movies would be afraid to bore the audience. The acting accompanying the screenplay works perfectly as every character seemed to be cast perfectly to suite their role. Great supporting roles in this movie go even further than Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field. James Spader is a surprisingly hilarious addition to the cast and Joseph Gordon-Levitt brought added drama to the film. See it if you are slightly educated in Civil War history, and can enjoy a well-written film. Expand
  59. Nov 18, 2012
    Interesting movie. It prompted me to read Ms. Goodwin's book. There were several actors that I absolutely loved seeing and they all did an amazing job.
  60. Nov 17, 2012
    Three things struck me about this excellent movie. First, at times I thought I was watching a play, not a flick. Lots of set pieces shot on sound stages. 90% dialogue, 10% action. Secondly, I found that dialogue to be self-consciously archaic, sometimes almost Shakespearian in syntax and dialect. (That always makes me wonder how close screenwriters and directors really come to the speech patterns that actually existed back in the day. Since we have no recordings from that era, movie makers must use diaries for clues and examples. That said, I suspect that a) the written word was different from the spoken and b) oratorical speech more different from conversational speech than it is today.)

    Thirdly, I thought Speilberg's tone to be a bit didactic, as if he wanted to educate all of us on the mechanics of what it took Abe to get the 13th amendment passed. I found this to be neither good nor bad, just noticeable.
  61. Nov 17, 2012
    Steven Spielberg's movie made a huge impression in theators. With a blazing $85,846. The movie has such a great cast. This is what a biography film should be like.
  62. Nov 16, 2012
    Daniel Day-Lewis IS Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg
  63. Nov 16, 2012
    If you are looking for action pass this by. The movie is like watching a chess game. Slow thinking, planning and timing
  64. Nov 16, 2012
    The latest from Spielberg examines the great president's last 4 months, when he struggled to pass the 13th Amendment to end slavery. Tony Kushner ("Angels in America") wrote the screenplay, so it's wordy and eloquent. In the title role, Daniel Day Lewis is simply amazing: creating a character who's not only imposing, but wise and down-to-earth. Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones also turn in great performances and the entire cast is outstanding. Visually, it's attractive and full of period eloquence. Don't expect this to be a big hit, the seriousness of the subject and constant conversation renders it too inaccessible. It is a solid history lesson in a beautifully made and intelligent package. Expand
  65. Nov 11, 2012
    they might as well give day-lewis the oscar now. he outdoes even himself here. a truly lived-in character right from the start. and kushner's script is unbelievable. bravo
  66. KJJ
    Nov 10, 2012
    First rate look at the personal side of real people written about so much as "legend" that you forget. Is Rex Reed serious about this being a "bore"? When is he going to retire and stop boring us?
  67. Nov 9, 2012
    Oh, this is beautiful film-making. Spielberg takes you on a ride inside Lincoln's mind and his intimate conflicts, in such a pretty and touching way...
    DDL is outstanding once again, and this will be seriously a big contender to the award season. I bet .
  68. Nov 9, 2012
    I was enthralled from the start.

    While it isn
  69. Nov 9, 2012
    Who is this R. Kurt Osenlund of Slant Magazine that writes, "Steven Spielberg's LINCOLN film may further the heroism so associated with its subject, and favor a liberal viewpoint that leers down at the Confederates, but it's no bleeding-heart glamorization." ? Who says conservatives were in favor of the Confederates? Lincoln was a conservative Republican, and most of the Confederates were Southern Democrats. People don't seem to realize that it's Republicans who were and still are the true "liberals": those in favor of liberty, freedom, and self-determinism (the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) for all people. The movie is good, though. Just ignore Slant Magazine. Expand

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
    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
    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
    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.