Lincoln

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 637 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 59 out of 637
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  1. Nov 24, 2012
    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.
  2. 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 servedIt'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
  3. 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 itA 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
  4. 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
  5. Dec 3, 2012
    8
    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".
  6. Nov 17, 2012
    8
    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 speechThree 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.
    Expand
  7. KJJ
    Nov 10, 2012
    9
    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?
  8. Nov 16, 2012
    9
    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 inThe 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
  9. Nov 16, 2012
    8
    If you are looking for action pass this by. The movie is like watching a chess game. Slow thinking, planning and timing
  10. Nov 9, 2012
    9
    I was enthralled from the start.
    http://scriptsmotion.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/lincoln/

    While it isn
  11. Nov 11, 2012
    10
    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
  12. 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 StatesA 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. Collapse
  13. Dec 16, 2012
    8
    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 IThis 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
  14. 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"
  15. 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 wouldI 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
  16. Nov 19, 2012
    10
    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 rolesMy 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
  17. Nov 18, 2012
    9
    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.
  18. Nov 9, 2012
    10
    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 .
  19. Nov 9, 2012
    8
    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 wereWho 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
  20. Nov 20, 2012
    7
    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.
  21. BKM
    Nov 19, 2012
    7
    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 aLincoln 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
  22. Nov 21, 2012
    7
    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 moreA 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
  23. Dec 30, 2012
    8
    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.
  24. Nov 17, 2012
    10
    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.
  25. CBN
    Nov 21, 2012
    8
    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.
  26. 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!!
  27. 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 fitsI 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
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
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.