Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 44 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 585 Ratings

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  • Summary: Lincoln is a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President's tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come. (DreamWorks Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Nov 6, 2012
    100
    Defiantly intellectual, complex and true to the shifting winds of real-world governance, Lincoln is not the movie that this election season has earned-but one that a more perfect union can aspire to.
  2. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Nov 8, 2012
    100
    The experience of watching Daniel Day-Lewis in this role is nothing less than thrilling. This is Lincoln. No need for a time machine, there he is.
  3. 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Nov 8, 2012
    88
    The result, glitches and all, is a great American movie.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Nov 8, 2012
    80
    The history lesson in Steven Spielberg's austere, engrossing Lincoln is less about the revered President himself but his method for justice.
  6. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Nov 15, 2012
    75
    Spielberg manages to give us a Lincoln for our times, inspiringly heroic but demonstrably human.
  7. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Nov 6, 2012
    50
    Lincoln is also a colossal bore. It is so pedantic, slow-moving, sanitized and sentimental that I kept pinching myself to stay awake - which, like the film itself, didn't always work.

See all 44 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 172
  1. 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 .
    Expand
  2. 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 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
  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. Expand
  4. 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. Collapse
  5. 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 more enjoyment from it. I will watch this again for sure. Turned out to be pretty powerful. Expand
  6. Feb 25, 2013
    6
    I find this a very hard movie to judge. It's lacking in any real drama or suspense, has a mostly plodding script and there is no real visual excitement either from set design, set pieces or even camera work. Spielbergs work of lot (anything after Saving Private Ryan) has had a mostly sterile feel for me very well executed but nothing special and Lincoln falls into that as a film overall. Yes, Day Lewis is strangely captivating as Lincoln but only in some scenes where he gets to cut loss. The film seems to hold the Lincoln character on too high a pedestal. We only get glimpses into what may be a slightly more selfish side to him. When it comes to the messy side of politics, the film keeps Lincoln at very much an arms length approach. This may or may not be true, I'm no history buff but I would have thought it unlikely that any high ranking politician would be able to keep such a distance. The other characters really only work as plot points. There's no bad acting but its all so dull and, well, predictable (I know odd for a true story). Granted, the film cant change what happened but the South are predictable drawn as out and out bad guys. General Ulysses is, like Lincoln, far too upstanding. There's no surprises anywhere and the film wont question any views you may have going in. Not that it has to but when the main flow of the film is, essentially, very dull lobbying it would be nice to have something else to keep the attention.

    As it is, I feel this follows many of Spielbergs other works into the "fine, but nothing more" column for me. Worth a look? Maybe, but don't expect too much to amaze you.
    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. Expand

See all 172 User Reviews

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