User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 622 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 59 out of 622

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  1. May 4, 2015
    8
    Lincoln can definitely be seen as director Steven Spielberg’s pet project, starting with him telling author Doris Goodwin in 1999 he wanted the film rights to a book she was planning to write on Lincoln. 13 years later, the film is finally here. The film focuses on the many difficulties (both political and personal) Lincoln encountered while trying to pass the Thirteenth Amendment.Lincoln can definitely be seen as director Steven Spielberg’s pet project, starting with him telling author Doris Goodwin in 1999 he wanted the film rights to a book she was planning to write on Lincoln. 13 years later, the film is finally here. The film focuses on the many difficulties (both political and personal) Lincoln encountered while trying to pass the Thirteenth Amendment.

    Lincoln can easily be categorized as a biopic, but I’d say it’s more of a political thriller with some biographical elements. This can be seen in the decision to only focus on events surrounding the Thirteenth Amendment, thereby avoiding things like Lincoln’s youth. This is not to say the personal elements are not there – quite the opposite – but that some of the character-related scenes feel out of place. The film struggles in juggling both the political and the personal and because the political overshadows the personal, scenes featuring Lincoln’s son Robert feel a bit unnecessary for me.

    What to say of Daniel Day-Lewis who is scarily good as Lincoln, as expected. One need only know he read over a hundred books on Lincoln to realize how much effort he put into this performance. Day-Lewis might represent the ultimate in method acting today, choosing to stay in character in between takes, etc. Only after his final scene did he revert to using his normal voice upon which Spielberg burst into tears.

    Interestingly, I read a lot of criticism directed at Sally Field with some comments calling her performance ‘annoying’. I can see why they’d think that, but I think the character of Mary Todd Lincoln (her personality, history, etc.) more than justifies this and that it might have more to do with a lack of empathy and patience on the audience’s part, perhaps.

    Speaking of patience, the film is challenging to watch and not because of the amount of gore. The opening battle is the only action scene, leaving nothing but talking (in all its many forms) for the rest of the film. This might scare off the ‘adrenaline junkies’ among us. I confess I struggled to keep up during the first half hour during which we are mercilessly thrust into long, complex conversations (see, for instance Lincoln’s monologue on interpreting the law). Afterwards, however, the film wasn’t so hard to follow. Despite the difficulties in watching Lincoln, it seems like a sign that things have not been simplified for the sake of ‘watchability’.

    Lincoln has received a fair amount of flack on the historical accuracy front, although it’s usually about rather minor details, but overall, it is seen as a historically accurate film. And given my lack of knowledge on the subject, that’s all I can really say… But for me, in the end, little historical errors aren’t as important as bringing the past to life in an effective (and affective) manner and Lincoln, despite the considerable effort required on the audience’s part, does just that.

    Lucas Versantvoort
    http://deepfocusreviews.blogspot.nl
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  2. Mar 13, 2015
    10
    'Lincoln' is Steven Spielberg's best historical movie since 'Schindler's List' (1993) and 'Saving Private Ryan' (1998). What he has made here is a great, important and poignant drama with Daniel Day-Lewis in one of his best performances to date, he gives us an in-depth look at a man who had to make difficult decisions to change America.

    'Lincoln' may not go down as the most entertaining
    'Lincoln' is Steven Spielberg's best historical movie since 'Schindler's List' (1993) and 'Saving Private Ryan' (1998). What he has made here is a great, important and poignant drama with Daniel Day-Lewis in one of his best performances to date, he gives us an in-depth look at a man who had to make difficult decisions to change America.

    'Lincoln' may not go down as the most entertaining movie there is, but I was completely immersed and it led me to having one of the best movie-going experiences I've ever had, you forget that it's Daniel Day-Lewis and you think that's Abraham Lincoln right there. Almost as if Spielberg invented a time machine and took us back in time to see Lincoln and how he managed to abolish slavery.

    Definitely worth the Oscars that it won and Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones were also wonderful in their roles as Mary Todd Lincoln and Thaddeus Stevens.
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  3. Jan 18, 2015
    0
    Not being American and familiar with the story I found this incomprehensible. It does not even seem to be a particularly momentus time in history. Its not as if the Americans were the first to ban slavery !!
  4. Oct 4, 2014
    8
    A very solid movie all the way through. It's well acted by an ensemble cast, involving, and directed with assurance. I've heard people say that it drags, but in actuality it moves by very quickly for such a long movie. In other words, it's very well paced in its storytelling. Day Lewis makes a great Lincoln, and there's plenty of political intrigue. Abe Lincoln might not have been asA very solid movie all the way through. It's well acted by an ensemble cast, involving, and directed with assurance. I've heard people say that it drags, but in actuality it moves by very quickly for such a long movie. In other words, it's very well paced in its storytelling. Day Lewis makes a great Lincoln, and there's plenty of political intrigue. Abe Lincoln might not have been as honest as his reputation has made him out to be, but he may have actually been a better person. Expand
  5. Aug 27, 2014
    8
    Through the direction of Steven Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lewis brings us on an incredible journey through the mind and intimacy of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln is a focus on the person as well as the accomplishments.
  6. 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
  7. Jul 28, 2014
    3
    Tarihsel gerçekliğe lafım yok o dönemi iyi yansıtıyor oyuncu, yönetmen hatta müzikler çok iyi fakat bir filmi izlerken bu kadar sıkıldığımı az hatırlıyorum.
  8. Jul 19, 2014
    0
    The film should be retitled as " Lincoln in Darkness" since our eyes were crying out for a tiny big of light to see lincoln as Daniel Day Lewis's face was in half darkness throughout the film even though we were able to the other stars clearly. Day - Lewis's performance did nothing for me as he was actin in darkness to disguise his heavy make up though Sally Field has still got it. She wasThe film should be retitled as " Lincoln in Darkness" since our eyes were crying out for a tiny big of light to see lincoln as Daniel Day Lewis's face was in half darkness throughout the film even though we were able to the other stars clearly. Day - Lewis's performance did nothing for me as he was actin in darkness to disguise his heavy make up though Sally Field has still got it. She was excellent. The film is so slow and uninteresting even the last half an hour of the film couldn't save it. We never see lincoln making a public speech in the entire film but Mr Spielberg puts a public speech scene soon after the Lincoln death scene. Give me a bucket because I will throw up. Expand
  9. Jun 16, 2014
    10
    As usual, Daniel Day-Lewis shined as he played the character of U.S most prominent president of all time, Abraham Lincoln; and Steven Spielberg, with his passion for making a movie to commemorate his favorite Head of State and powerful, brilliant direction, successfully delivered a classic biography about president Lincoln's struggle with both unflinching dissent from Democratic Party andAs usual, Daniel Day-Lewis shined as he played the character of U.S most prominent president of all time, Abraham Lincoln; and Steven Spielberg, with his passion for making a movie to commemorate his favorite Head of State and powerful, brilliant direction, successfully delivered a classic biography about president Lincoln's struggle with both unflinching dissent from Democratic Party and disagreement inside his own cabinet during his quest for liberation of black people from slavery for good, while still having to deal with the Civil War reaching its' final moments with escalating casualties for Union army Expand
  10. 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
  11. Feb 17, 2014
    8
    Having Steven Spielberg, the mastermind behind many of the films with the highest budget and the biggest scale in the last 40 years, direct an entirely dialogue-centred portrayal of Abraham Lincoln doesn’t seem like your first choice. However, it proved to be an excellent one, as Spielberg’s vogue attracted some of the most talented people currently in the business to his project, both inHaving Steven Spielberg, the mastermind behind many of the films with the highest budget and the biggest scale in the last 40 years, direct an entirely dialogue-centred portrayal of Abraham Lincoln doesn’t seem like your first choice. However, it proved to be an excellent one, as Spielberg’s vogue attracted some of the most talented people currently in the business to his project, both in the acting and general filmmaking cast, and thereby obtained twelve much deserved Academy Award nominations. Lincoln is an excellent biographical film, informative due to the information it brings up about the real-life figures working as supporting characters in the film and entertaining with an immensely talented acting ensemble and an enthralling way of storytelling, even though we’re all familiar to the story. Expand
  12. Feb 6, 2014
    8
    Steven Spielberg loves to tell a story and that is what makes his movies so engrossing even when the subject matter appears a bit daunting, however Lincoln's pacing is an issue that only the die hard fans could possibly ignore. In terms of entertainment one must have a love of history, a love acting and love of politics if you do not have these then this film will score low on yourSteven Spielberg loves to tell a story and that is what makes his movies so engrossing even when the subject matter appears a bit daunting, however Lincoln's pacing is an issue that only the die hard fans could possibly ignore. In terms of entertainment one must have a love of history, a love acting and love of politics if you do not have these then this film will score low on your entertainment measure. From a cinematic stand point it is something one could study and learn a lot from.
    Entertainment value a crushing 6.5
    On the Poe Scale an impressive 8.5

    Acting: 1.5/2
    Cinematography: 1.5/2
    Editing: 2/2
    Effects and Design 2/2
    Writing: 1.5/2
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  13. Feb 3, 2014
    8
    和这位伟人一样,本片很沉闷,当然也是一部拍得很美的电影,刘易斯的演技如火纯青,菲尔德和琼斯的演技也很不错,John Williams继续发挥其大神水准。
  14. Feb 1, 2014
    10
    Movie making at its finest. Daniel Day-Lewis' performance will be how a generation pictures the character of President Lincoln. What is compelling about this story is that it takes place in a moment in time rather than attempting to cover the entirety of the President's life. Instead, Spielberg captures the spirit of the President in his attempts to having a new constitutional amendmentMovie making at its finest. Daniel Day-Lewis' performance will be how a generation pictures the character of President Lincoln. What is compelling about this story is that it takes place in a moment in time rather than attempting to cover the entirety of the President's life. Instead, Spielberg captures the spirit of the President in his attempts to having a new constitutional amendment ratified. The script is well written, the acting is inspired, and the cinematography is near perfect. Expand
  15. Jan 29, 2014
    7
    Great performances, especially Daniel Day Lewis and Tommy Lee Jones, and fascinating subject matter. Unfortunately, at two and a half hours, the film is simply hard to get through.
  16. Jan 25, 2014
    10
    This movie truly amazed me. I had mixed feelings about how it was going to be. However, after watching it, I felt it was a true masterpiece. Daniel Day-Lewis once again exceeds my expectations of acting. Stephen Spielberg did an outstanding job making this film. It is such an important part of our history, and shows the struggle that Lincoln would have went through trying to free theThis movie truly amazed me. I had mixed feelings about how it was going to be. However, after watching it, I felt it was a true masterpiece. Daniel Day-Lewis once again exceeds my expectations of acting. Stephen Spielberg did an outstanding job making this film. It is such an important part of our history, and shows the struggle that Lincoln would have went through trying to free the slaves. History buffs will love this movie as I did. Very highly recommended. Expand
  17. Dec 31, 2013
    8
    Certamente foi um filme bem interessante, graças a genialidade de Steven Spielberg e a atuação hipnótica de Daniel Day-Lewis e de todo seu elenco que foi magnífico.
  18. 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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  19. Nov 30, 2013
    7
    I do admit, it was okay, but it just wasn't what I was expecting. It was disappointing, fairly. It didn't seem to fit in with the whole History thing. But that's just me. It was slow, and some parts I did not understand. It had boring moments that I also fell asleep to. But other than that, it was an okay film.
  20. 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.
  21. Oct 14, 2013
    7
    Lincoln is a great historical political film from Spielberg. Day-Lewis is absolutely perfect as Lincoln (when is he not perfect?) and the acting throughout is excellent. That said, there are a few niggles. The prime one being that Lincoln's death is not really gone into. I understand the artistic reasons for going in that direction, but it's still disappointing to be deprived of such aLincoln is a great historical political film from Spielberg. Day-Lewis is absolutely perfect as Lincoln (when is he not perfect?) and the acting throughout is excellent. That said, there are a few niggles. The prime one being that Lincoln's death is not really gone into. I understand the artistic reasons for going in that direction, but it's still disappointing to be deprived of such a famous and dramatic moment in history. Otherwise, it's a great slice of film-making. Expand
  22. Sep 29, 2013
    10
    It's clear throughout 'Lincoln' that the man himself was not a man of means, he didn't come from money nor did he have much of an educational background, he learned about life through living it, rising the ranks with popularity amongst the people he served, Daniel Day-Lewis delivers a dazzling and powerful performance as the 16th President of the United States, a man with countless storiesIt's clear throughout 'Lincoln' that the man himself was not a man of means, he didn't come from money nor did he have much of an educational background, he learned about life through living it, rising the ranks with popularity amongst the people he served, Daniel Day-Lewis delivers a dazzling and powerful performance as the 16th President of the United States, a man with countless stories and a calm and collective attitude that resonates throughout the film, a film that breathes a sombre breath, yet it accomplishes an impressive feat of pivotal speeches, interesting characters and a story intertwined with the politics that surrounds Lincoln and his family. We pick up out story in the closing month of Lincoln's fruitful life and as he attempts to push through 13th Amendment with the aid of Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones) and William Seward (David Strathairn) amongst others. The detail and careful consideration put into each political moment of this historic amendment is quite astonishing, an ensemble cast full the shoes of various figures in the life of Lincoln as he attempts to be the driving force in the abolishment of slavery in the United States, but the opportunity to break away the financial roots of the Confederacy also played a major factor in an attempt to end civil war. The film doesn't have the typical blockbuster and big-budget effect that director Steven Spielberg creates, but instead we have gatherings of important people in dark, candlelit rooms as they argue for themselves but also what truly matters, peace, there isn't epic portions of flying flags, but instead there are intensely flawed characters, never really sure of loyalty or allegiance, equality plays a major factor in the film, not just amongst the people, but for the President himself, who is often held accountable for his past as a man not coming from a privileged life, but it also fits well with a film that wants to show the real side, as Lincoln himself uses tactics, as any politician does, to sway voters, using negotiators (James Spader, John Hawkes and Blake Nelson) to change the minds of a few Democrats. The performances are the true heart and brilliance of the film, Daniel Day-Lewis captures the mannerisms of what we perceive to be the man in the top hat, a soft spoken individual but one who seems tired and endlessly in thought, often brought back down by his passionate and forthright wife, Mary Todd Lincoln (Sally Field), and his stubborn son Robert (Joseph Gordon-Levitt).
    Writer Tony Kushner has managed to make the politics enthralling by working pivotal moments into passing parables, no fireworks or streamers necessary, it feels more real and candid when it is played out in this way, which Spielberg perfectly portrays onscreen.
    The film really should have ended five minutes earlier than it did, although we all know how the end of the sorry goes, many people probably still want to see, but a much better close happened a little earlier. Even so, this is quite an engrossing and dramatic piece, expert direction, writing and performances, sheer brilliance throughout.
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  23. Sep 24, 2013
    8
    Even though I am more of a Confederate guy... I gotta say that the film Lincoln is a great film with great acting and a great inside look at Lincolns time as president.
  24. Sep 16, 2013
    10
    Oh, what a movie. Spielberg is back to his old tricks to making good movies. Lincoln is a character study, as well as featuring an authentic, true performance by Daniel Day-Lewis hat seals us away and shows off his acting talents. He gets everything about Lincoln's disposition down to a tee, beard and all.
  25. Sep 7, 2013
    3
    Lets get this Bill passed.. find someone to help pass this bill... hey bill will you help me pass this Bill.. wow what a waste of talent. actors were superb sets and direction was excellent. but give me a break the story should have focused much more on personal relationships and how without that bill there lives being affected by it. that would have made a more powerful movie...
  26. Aug 22, 2013
    9
    The real masterpiece comes from Daniel Day-Lewis' climactic performance, as well as his dead on portrayal of our greatest president. Tommy Lee Jones as the cynical Thaddeus Stevens gives us a laugh with his sardonic humor. And Sally Field scores again as the emotionally traumatized Mary Todd. The story-line is brief considering their history altogether, but "Lincoln" is a gut-wrenchingThe real masterpiece comes from Daniel Day-Lewis' climactic performance, as well as his dead on portrayal of our greatest president. Tommy Lee Jones as the cynical Thaddeus Stevens gives us a laugh with his sardonic humor. And Sally Field scores again as the emotionally traumatized Mary Todd. The story-line is brief considering their history altogether, but "Lincoln" is a gut-wrenching memoir of the 13th Amendment. Expand
  27. Jul 14, 2013
    7
    I really don't think anyone really needs any kind of lengthy review of this movie at this point. You know what it's about, or at least you should.

    Exceptional acting from the entire cast; a very well written script and great directing.
  28. Jun 28, 2013
    9
    I'm not really into biographies or historical films, however Lincoln just fascinated me. The movie was set at the apex of his career and the film really never got boring. The acting was amazing, the narrative was well told, and it was an extremely memorable movie.
  29. Jun 23, 2013
    0
    I am not an American and don't now much about their history. This was a huge disappointment. Tedious and long winding. If you don't care for the intricacies of politics, don't waste your time.
  30. Jun 20, 2013
    10
    With excellent acting by the entire cast, deep characters, and great dialogue, Spielberg and Kushner create a beautiful film that immerses the audience into the time period and reanimate these historical characters. Through my personal passion for history and politics, I was able to recognize and appreciate the amount of detail they put into their work. Daniel Day-Lewis once againWith excellent acting by the entire cast, deep characters, and great dialogue, Spielberg and Kushner create a beautiful film that immerses the audience into the time period and reanimate these historical characters. Through my personal passion for history and politics, I was able to recognize and appreciate the amount of detail they put into their work. Daniel Day-Lewis once again immerses himself into a role and the result is breathtaking. My favorite film of 2012, this movie is destined to be a classic. Expand
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.