User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 581 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 54 out of 581

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  1. Jan 24, 2013
    10
    Lincoln is an extraordinary picture that takes us into the world of politics as we have never seen it before, and Spielberg shows that he still is one of the greatest directors in the history of cinema, and that Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the finest actors of all-time. Steven Spielberg has always been my favorite director, his films such as Schindler's List and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial are one of the main reasons that I fell in love with movies in the first place. He has been planning to make this movie for a very long time, and now that it Expand
  2. Jan 20, 2013
    9
    Lincoln is unquestionably one of Hollywood's top three films of 2013; Spielberg's direction and Day-Lewis' performance are more than just noteworthy. This is an effective and fairly displayed period piece that can only be criticized for it accurate display of a slower time and its artistry prevents any other negative honesty.
  3. Jan 15, 2013
    9
    Daniel Day Lewis is a perfectly cut glittering diamond in this beautifully crafted setting. Spielberg has renewed my trust in him, since this is easily the best film he's made since Saving Private Ryan.
  4. Jan 14, 2013
    9
    Although the film is a little slow at times, the acting is superb. The beginning scene is one of the best as well as the telegraphers speaking to Lincoln. Anyone who calls this movie or acting mundane, i just don't get it.
  5. Jan 13, 2013
    9
    If you want to know and learn how Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery once and for all, see this movie immediately. I seriously do not know why this movie is getting such bad reviews. The only reason I am giving this a nine instead of a ten is because it mainly focused on Lincoln talking back and forth with delegates and such. There was really no "action" involved in the movie. Daniel Day Lewis and Tommy Lee Jones both did an amazing job in the movie, as I figured they would. I saw one review on here that had a one, and it said "this movie is a total bore", the movie was not a bore. It was both suspenseful, and tense. There were some parts of the movie where I just didn't think things were going to work out. If you want to see a real movie about Lincoln, see this one. I highly recommend it. Expand
  6. Jan 10, 2013
    10
    I can understand why on the surface alot of people may have found this movie to be boring. But when you give it a chance and look and enjoy the performances of all the leads , I found it anything but boring. Daniel Day Lewis is incredible and James Spader was surprisingly good too. I think it was a great choice not to include any real action sequences in the movie , as I feel they would have felt completely out of place and fo4ced in a movie like this. Overall I was glued from start to finish. Wonderful stuff. Expand
  7. Jan 3, 2013
    9
    I like the movie. Maybe, because I am too spoiled with action movies, this one seems slow, almost like a reading book. I found the structure to be interesting, - arguments over a passing 13 amendment has almost took entire movie, building the culmination bust in the end. The characters were deep and passionate. Overall good movie.
  8. Jan 2, 2013
    10
    A wonderful movie, it tells the part of the story that wasn't told- the struggles Lincoln had to deal with in his fight versus the Democrats and even within his own party. It's a compelling drama, in the spirit of "The King's Speech" after watching this movie I admired Lincoln, and wished I had been around to hear one of his "stories"
  9. Jan 1, 2013
    10
    A riveting portrait of the last few days of the late president, 'Lincoln' is a highly-tuned piece of historical drama that works almost the same way as a blockbuster thriller, mostly thanks to Daniel Day-Lewis (who presents us with a typically masterful performance), Tony Kushners dense, historically accurate script, and Spielberg's willingness to hold off of sentiment and keep it realistic. In fact, this movie barely feels at all like a work from Steven Spielberg. It feels more like a Sidney Lumet courtroom drama, with occasional blips of Spielberg's touch feeding through. I would have to say that, thanks to this display of restraint, 'Lincoln' marks his best film since 1998's war masterpiece 'Saving Private Ryan'. The entire cast is put to great use, even those actors who might not seem like the right choice for a role that may demand a southern accent and donning a wig (James Spader I'm looking at you). While Daniel Day-Lewis captures with absolute clarity Lincoln's steady mannerisms and droll sense of humor, Tommy Lee Jones provides an antithesis as the spitfire, strongly-voiced abolitionist Stevens. Sally Field also makes a strong return to the screen as Mary Todd Lincoln, perfectly capturing the frantic melodramatic fits that the role requires, while also not submitting to a shallow interpretation of her vibrant character. The rest of the cast shines as well, giving the look of the film the sense of being thoroughly lived-in. While we may never be able to get a 100% valid look into the life of the great man, 'Lincoln' represents the most accurate and engaging exploration of his life ever transmitted to the silver screen and it stands as a hard-won tribute to his accomplishments as well. Expand
  10. Dec 29, 2012
    10
    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
  11. Dec 29, 2012
    10
    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
  12. Dec 27, 2012
    9
    Not for the impatient; Lincoln triumphs as one of the finest movies in Steven Spielberg
  13. Dec 25, 2012
    10
    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
  14. Dec 20, 2012
    10
    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
  15. Dec 9, 2012
    9
    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
  16. Dec 5, 2012
    9
    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
  17. Dec 5, 2012
    9
    "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.
  18. Dec 3, 2012
    10
    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
  19. Dec 3, 2012
    9
    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.
  20. Dec 2, 2012
    9
    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
  21. Dec 1, 2012
    9
    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
  22. Nov 28, 2012
    10
    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!!
  23. Nov 27, 2012
    9
    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.
  24. Nov 26, 2012
    10
    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.
  25. Nov 26, 2012
    9
    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
  26. Nov 26, 2012
    9
    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.
  27. Nov 26, 2012
    9
    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
  28. Nov 26, 2012
    10
    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
  29. Nov 25, 2012
    10
    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
  30. Nov 24, 2012
    10
    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.
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.