User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 580 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 53 out of 580

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. 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 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
  2. 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
    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. Expand
  3. 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.
  4. 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...
  5. 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.
  6. Apr 27, 2013
    3
    This movie was like watching C-SPAN from the 1800's. It is EXTREMELY slow and stuffy. Some of the vocabulary is like listening to Shakespeare, you kind of understand what they are saying but it still would be helpful to have a translator to make sure you know what is going on. Abraham Lincoln and his rambling stories....... I wanted to shoot him myself by the end of the movie. He is like that uncle that tells you a 15 minute story that has nothing to do with anything. All that being said, there is great acting and I can see where it would be critically acclaimed. If you are looking for a true look at politics in the 19th century, this movie is for you, but if you want action or anything resembling entertainment, pick a different movie. Expand
  7. Apr 23, 2013
    0
    This is Steven Spielberg's worst movie. It is boring, it has no action, it has no suspense, it has no story, it really has nothing. It was just one VERY long story of Lincoln's last few months, which are not very exciting at all. A History Channel documentary on Lincoln would have been 10 times better. Trust me, halfway through this movie, you will want to see Lincoln assassinated.
  8. 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.
  9. Apr 6, 2013
    2
    Couldn't watch it all it was so dull. Ridiculous facial prosthetics. Watch "Boy with a bike" instead. This is not, as had expected, a biopic, it just focuses on one small piece of legistlation that they're trying to pass. An episode of the West Wing is more entertaining. DDL is good but the rest of the film ducks sonkey sicks.
  10. Apr 6, 2013
    3
    Yawn!! I can certainly appreciate the artistic talents of the writers and the actors, but when I go to see a movie, I want to be entertained. If I wanted to learn the intricate details of how Lincoln was able to pass the 13th amendment, then I'd watch a documentary. This movie stretched on for two and a half hours of mostly boring dialog. Yeah, I can appreciate the acting, but this was not what I was expecting. Very disappointing. Expand
  11. Apr 1, 2013
    0
    I love movies, that, make you think and get you sucked into that world. This movie had none of that.
    I found this movie, extermely boring. So much pointless talking, all they do is talk. total bore of a movie.
  12. Feb 16, 2013
    0
    If there was ever a movie that WASN'T what it said on the tin, this is it. It kicks off with yer man from My Left Foot, here with a funny hat and beard for whatever reason, sitting about drinking tea and telling stories. This goes on for quite a bit. Dunno what he was saying. I don't think the other characters were even listening. Half an hour in and still no sign of the vampires, so I fast forwarded a bit (don't ask me how I did this in the cinema). Watched another scene. Tommy Lee Jones out of off of US Marshals pops up with a silly wig. Still no action. Fast forwarded again and the end credits were rolling. Maybe I skipped past the vampire scenes. And this is supposed to win Oscars? Pfft... Expand
  13. Jan 29, 2013
    3
    I wish that Spielberg would have taken a more Hollywood approach with this film. First of all, I feel like I've seen recreations of Lincoln's life and death about a million times bellow the fluorescent lights that projected hours of ho-hum documentaries in History classes. This film, was no different. I believe that critics were so infatuated with praising this film under the telescope of intellectual scrutiny. I mean, come on, imagine if the Wall Street Journal gave this film a negative review. What "reputable" company would tear apart a film themed around abolition and the Civil War, directed by America's prodigious director, and centered around America's iconic President, Abraham Lincoln? >>Lincoln's death at the end (for people who are angry that I "spoiled" the movie, seriously?) was more of a refreshing release. >>Sally Field's portrayal as Mary Todd Lincoln was so abhorrently hard to watch. The potentially Oscar-winning performance COULD have came from Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln's grand argument about sending their son to war, but it was short lived and BORING since Daniel Day-Lewis was the only one pushing and trying to stimulate tense atmosphere (I can picture Steven Spielberg face palming big time). I almost laughed when Sally Field collapsed onto the ground...I thought the dress was going to eat her. Expand
  14. Jan 19, 2013
    2
    Spielberg does C-SPAN and, all things being equal, I'll take 3 hours of Brian Lamb over this schmaltzy, simplified hagiography any day. Wonderful performance by DDL, as usual, but the script should have been dispatched in a Ford's theater (where is belongs) with a very short run. What a waste of time, money and talent - sort of like the civil war - with so little to show for it. This movie was obviously created for the "low information voter" but even they deserve a better effort from the biggest director in Hollywood. Very disappointing and discouraging - I CAN NOT BELIEVE how many positive reviews this film has received. Expand
  15. Jan 15, 2013
    1
    I have to say this was an incredibly dull movie. If you're not american, you'll be scratching your head in bafflement about why there was a need to create a whole movie about a bunch of senators trying to wrangle votes for a bill. The sort of stuff you'd avoid on TV nowadays even if you're interested in politics.

    From the very first few moments of this banal platitude of a
    snoozefest, Lincoln is portrayed as some sort of angelic benevolent grandfather who can do no wrong. A bunch of soldiers appear at the base of his pedestal where he is bathed in a glorifying halo and recite verbatim a speech that he gave at some pivotal historical moment. The awe and respect from the soldiers is painful, one dimensional and almost insulting.

    So the tone is set. Lincoln is a hero from the outset, a glorified angel, a beatific beaming wise one. Where was the man? The depressed, racist, that is the reality of who he was? There's not a glimpse of it here.

    Add to that, the non stop speaking. It's incessant dialogue and not very good dialogue at that. Just because someone speaks fast doesn't make it clever or interesting or persuasive. I can't figure out why Day - Lewis would be involved in this turd. Is he desperate for an Oscar? Because everyone in this movie telegraphed from afar 'Watch this, this is my Oscar moment' I nearly gagged at Sally Field's first scene where she emoted sentimentally claiming she understood the significance of a dream claiming it was to do with a senate bill. She nearly wept. I have to say the cinematography wasn't very interesting either and the lighting was poor at some moments especially outdoor scenes where it was especially weak. And the hackneyed battle scene at the start? Forget about it, I wish I could unsee it.

    Turgid, Turgid, Turgid, avoid, avoid, avoid!
    Expand
  16. Jan 14, 2013
    2
    I am very surprised to see such praise for this film.It is not only too long,but its turgid pace which drags relentlessly make it it appear even longer.Spielberg appears to have thrown away the magic template.
  17. Jan 9, 2013
    2
    No academy award winning directors or actors could save this tediously long debacle of a film. This movie seemed longer than the Civil War. It is neither engaging, entertaining, or thought provoking. Completely overrated.
  18. Jan 9, 2013
    2
    Lincoln is deprived of emotion, comedy, action and music that makes a film come alive. Even with a interesting time in our history the movie is a total bore with a pace unimaginably slow. It tries to come alive in the end but with a rushed ending the movie falls apart. A disgraceful film by Spielberg.
  19. 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 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
  20. Dec 21, 2012
    1
    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
  21. 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'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
  22. Nov 27, 2012
    3
    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
  23. 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 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
  24. Nov 23, 2012
    1
    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. Collapse
  25. 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 of feel-good American jingoism. 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.