User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 624 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 59 out of 624
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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. 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?
  6. 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
  7. Nov 9, 2012
    9
    I was enthralled from the start.
    http://scriptsmotion.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/lincoln/

    While it isn
  8. 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
  9. 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. Expand
  10. 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"
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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 .
  15. 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.
  16. 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!!
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Jan 24, 2013
    9
    On some level I can relate to comments about the slow pace of the movie, especially in the beginning. I agree that the pace was slower than I expected, but it was not too slow. It was perhaps the appropriate pace to gather in the facets that were needed to relate the urgency and polarization of that time. There are plenty of scenes to make the blood race, not because of battles or otherOn some level I can relate to comments about the slow pace of the movie, especially in the beginning. I agree that the pace was slower than I expected, but it was not too slow. It was perhaps the appropriate pace to gather in the facets that were needed to relate the urgency and polarization of that time. There are plenty of scenes to make the blood race, not because of battles or other action sequences, but because of the opposing views that were being spewed out with such venom. To see a president in the midst of such turmoil, apart from the battlefields of which we have all seen and read plenty of documentaries and dramatizations, was riveting. On this side of the historical time line, we can look back, knowing that the 13th Amendment was passed. Yet this movie was able to take me to a place where I experienced how impossible it seemed then, and to experience the relief, even more than triumph, that the feat was accomplished. The film's deft script and inspired acting showed what a delicate tightrope the President had to walk to make this happen and how very close it came to failing. Then the war would have ended, and the states remain united, but the slavery issue would have remained unresolved.
    That Daniel Day-Lewis took the time needed to wait on the "voice" of Lincoln to grow within him and come forth from him with such an impact of authenticity is one of the things that moved and impressed me the most about LINCOLN. David Strathaim and Sally Field also gave powerful and eloquent performances, as well as several others, but my favorite supporting actor was Tommy Lee Jones. His Thaddeus Stevens lumbered about with a pronounced limp from a childhood bout with polio, providing a much needed counter-point to the congressional members who venomously opposed the passing of the 13th Amendment. Their loud, jeering racial put-downs sound shocking today but are revealed to have been perceived as reasonable and accepted to many in the North at that time. Jones' delivery of Stevens' rejoinders helped to balance out the harshness of the prejudices of that time, giving us some space to laugh with him at their narrow-minded stupidity. At the same time it is sobering to think Stevens" views would have been considered the radical ones to many of that day.
    I highly recommend this film as an opportunity to connect with a moment in history and experience the people and happenings of that time come to life. I have not seen a film that has done this better.
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  21. 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-TerrestrialLincoln 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 Collapse
  22. Feb 2, 2013
    10
    When you leave cinema after seeing this film you will be inspired by it. Yes it's that good. Now you probably want me to explain that. Firstly "Lincoln" was directed by Steven Spielberg. Whit that said you know what to expect, and he's not the only great name among the cast. It features Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt James Spader, and many more. TheWhen you leave cinema after seeing this film you will be inspired by it. Yes it's that good. Now you probably want me to explain that. Firstly "Lincoln" was directed by Steven Spielberg. Whit that said you know what to expect, and he's not the only great name among the cast. It features Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt James Spader, and many more. The list is just full of experts. Script is well written, acting is top notch, and every scene fits perfectly. I especially love speeches in this movie. They are well written and define personalities of characters. The thing i loved the most is Lincoln himself. In this film he's shown as a real person with problems and emotions, and they did tat brilliantly. Some people think that "Lincoln" is too slow. And maybe some scenes are dragged out a little, but they should be. Every word and shot in this film matters. It defines characters and it's important for plot. It's a political movie so some people might be bored. You'll need too bi in the mood for watching this film. With all that sad I cant find single objective fault, well i think i saw a bald cap on Tommy Lee Jones in one scene but i'm not even shore. If you like history, drama, politics or fun you will like "Lincoln" Expand
  23. Nov 20, 2012
    10
    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.
  24. 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.
  25. Mar 15, 2013
    10
    There is no way this movie did not win 'Best Picture' at the Academy awards. Truly fascinating It kept me glued to the screen. Congratulations to everyone involved here to make such a masterpiece. Daniel Day Lewis is truly an exceptional actor.
  26. 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 anachronisticIf 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
  27. 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.
  28. 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 ideologueI'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
  29. 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
  30. 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.
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.