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Lincoln (2012)

tomatometer

90

Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 249
Fresh: 223 | Rotten: 26

Daniel Day-Lewis characteristically delivers in this witty, dignified portrait that immerses the audience in its world and entertains even as it informs.

94

Average Rating: 8.5/10
Critic Reviews: 49
Fresh: 46 | Rotten: 3

Daniel Day-Lewis characteristically delivers in this witty, dignified portrait that immerses the audience in its world and entertains even as it informs.

audience

81

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 242,746

My Rating

Movie Info

Steven Spielberg directs Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln, 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. -- (C) Walt Disney

PG-13,

Drama

Mar 26, 2013

$182.2M

Dreamworks Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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Cast

Latest News on Lincoln

October 30, 2013:
Steven Spielberg Steps Up to The Bully Pulpit
He's set to adapt another tome from "Lincoln" writer Doris Kearns Goodwin -- this one focusing on...
June 5, 2013:
Spielberg and Day-Lewis May Reunite for New War Film
They're reportedly eyeing an adaptation of David Finkel's Iraq War novel "Thank You for Your...

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All Critics (249) | Top Critics (49) | Fresh (223) | Rotten (26) | DVD (4)

It's very good, but that's not the point. It's necessary.

June 14, 2013 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

'Lincoln' works as a snapshot of a great man without ever slipping into a portrait of sainthood.

January 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is movie magic -- history coming to life, before our eyes.

January 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's the most remarkable movie Steven Spielberg has made in quite a spell, and one of the things that makes it remarkable is how it fulfills those expectations by simultaneously ignoring and transcending them.

November 19, 2012 Full Review Source: MSN Movies
MSN Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lincoln paints a powerful and compelling portrait of the man who has become an icon. We don't need to see more of his life to understand how rare a figure he was - this window is more than sufficient.

November 18, 2012 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lincoln offers proof of what magic can happen when an actor falls in love with his character. Because as great as Day-Lewis has been in his many parts, he has never seemed quite so smitten.

November 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Spielberg brings a level of tension to what could have been an overly stuff historical period piece. He's supported by a superb cast highlighted by the work of Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th President of the United States.

December 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

This is a wonderful film, full of detail and behavior, and one that lifts broadened historical details into a poetic marriage of humanity and triumph.

August 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinemaphile.org
Cinemaphile.org

When it focuses on the political, social, and historical side of things - which is 80% of the film - it's grand, populist, high-minded entertainment.

July 27, 2013 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

It makes you think we can still do great things.

June 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin

Spielberg and Kushner lend the House scenes so much vigor that "Lincoln" comes fully alive for about half an hour. Then Spielberg tacks on three addenda, and thus dissipates the good will that has developed on both sides of the movie-theater aisle.

May 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

Spielberg's 'Lincoln' burns itself into your memory like no other film about American politics.

May 13, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

A bit like watching the West Wing played by Amish People. Desperately needed 40 minutes cut out of what is essentially quite a beautifully made movie.

April 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Triple J
Triple J

Day-Lewis...wears well the weariness of the office and Lincoln's puckish yet subdued sense of humor, scaling the man closer to life-size than Mount Rushmore monumental. [Blu-ray]

April 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Spielberg's 'Lincoln' gives us the fullest portrait of the man on the five dollar bill that Hollywood has produced.

March 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Pushing this film as merely 'Lincoln' is something of an injustice to the man himself, as if audiences wouldn't have any interest in the actual story of the film.

March 23, 2013 Full Review Source: MovieCrypt.com
MovieCrypt.com

Somewhere in there, Lincoln will call upon [his administration's] faculties and better sense, and the film about him will ask something similar of us.

March 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Movies With Butter
Movies With Butter

A spellbinding performance and a beautifully nuanced film about statesmanship, quiet contemplation and - above all else - principle.

March 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground
Concrete Playground

Once you settle in, this is an educational and enlightening epic. Yes, it can be ponderous, but for the most part, Lincoln is entertaining.

February 28, 2013 Full Review Source: The Standard
The Standard

A powerful and brilliant look at the most important moment in US history...

February 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Oddly, Spielberg chooses to set his gabby epic largely indoors...This gives Lincoln a rather inert feel...It's infuriating that spectacular battle scenes are described in the film, but not shown.

February 15, 2013 Full Review Source: 3AW

A remarkable performance by Daniel Day-Lewis is the glue that holds Lincoln together. Without him, this would be a very unremarkable film.

February 11, 2013 Full Review Source: The Mercury
The Mercury

Spielberg's guarded representation of Honest Abe highlights some problems with the biopic format, especially in terms of veracity, and especially in terms of how we can (or can't) measure accuracy as the years roll by.

February 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Crikey

Every ounce of time-honoured respect a nation has seen fit to bestow upon The Great Emancipator is addressed frame by frame in Steven Spielberg's stately masterwork, Lincoln.

February 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Screen-Space
Screen-Space

For the most part Lincoln is not a significant inclusion into Spielberg's filmography despite the noblest of intentions and undeniable cinematic craftsmanship.

February 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Autopsy
Cinema Autopsy

Audience Reviews for Lincoln

First off: lots of history here that I didn't know. I didn't understand the legal technicalities of wanting a constitutional amendment to free the slaves; how Lincoln thought that the Emanicipation Proclamation wouldn't hold after peace was declared as the Supreme Court might squash it. I didn't know that Thaddeus Stevens, rep from Pennsylvania (yeaaah, Pennsylvania!) was so cool or that, as I later read, his interest in racial equality was based on the bible: Egyptians kept Jews as slaves and God visited plagues on them, he thought America condoning slavery would keep us from being prosperous--I don't agree with his reasoning, but I admire the end result and his tenacity. Secondly, the willingness of Lincoln to sully himself in the trenches of politics to get to a higher good was astounding and I wish we had a little more of that in our current-Obama-led administration. Politics ain't pretty, Barrack. My one itsy-bitsy criticism is this: Spielberg did a wonderful job of not sentimentalizing Afro-Americans-then-slaves, great scene where is he talking to his wife's maid saying "I don't know any negroes" for example and you get the point that his is a fight about justice, not some rose colored glasses reading of human nature, but John Williams musical accompaniment was treakle: every time the camera lingered on a dark face the violins swelled and I thought it dragged the story into the Hallmark forest. Sally Fields was wonderful as the hysterical Mary Todd Lincoln--their fight over their son's joining the military was brilliant and bone-chilling. And I loved the blue-gray wash of the film.
January 16, 2014
Bathsheba Monk
Bathsheba Monk

Super Reviewer

Not only intimate and engaging, Lincoln also presents a surprisingly thoughtful and relevant political perspective. Spielberg has never been adept at making gripping political battles but as always, he finds the heart that's at the center of war. Day-Lewis is subtly brilliantly and encompasses the title role, if only ever upping the wow-factor a few key times. Field is great in a role that could have easily been portrayed terribly and supporting performances-notably Jones- are equally great. It glosses some things, like Republican lobbyists, but for the film's purpose it was suitable. One of the things I feared about the film is that it would be more of a fluff piece- Lincoln's life is never played here as expository and he never faces any controversial conflict- the conflict is one that the history books have already told, but for the first time its shown with humanity. Day-Lewis maintains the enigma of the figure while also showing the man behind it- or at least as much as we'll ever know. Is it a revolutionary film? No. Will it change the way you think about politics? Maybe. Is it the most sensitive and compelling depiction we've seen of a beloved figure in recent history? Absolutely.
December 31, 2013
Jason Lalljee
Jason Lalljee

Super Reviewer

Being English and therefore having a British education, I know very little about Lincoln other than he freed the slaves, wore a top hat and got shot in a theatre. So, I was happy for the education this film bought. However, after reading up about Lincoln (I always read up about the film I've just watched) I found there to be loads of mistakes throughout. Sometimes these mistakes don't matter but when they are on purpose in order to make the story more entertaining, I don't respect them. For instance, Lincoln's son seen crying at the news of his death had himself died a few years beforehand, Spielberg would rather pull at our heartstrings and watch a boy cry, rather than show us what really happened. Fact or fiction though, it was still an education and the performances were brilliant. I enjoyed it and actually to be fair, it was fairly light on the schmaltz.
August 15, 2013
SirPant

Super Reviewer

I guess the hype sucked me in to expecting more.
July 31, 2013
Tomassgringo

Super Reviewer

    1. Edwin Stanton: You're going to tell one of your stories! I can't stand to hear another one of your stories!
    – Submitted by Peter A (5 months ago)
    1. Mary Todd Lincoln: You have always taken such a lively, even prosecutorial, interest in my household accounts.
    2. Thaddeus Stevens: Well, that's because you're household accounts have always been so interesting.
    – Submitted by Jared B (10 months ago)
    1. Abraham Lincoln: The fate of human decency is in our hands!
    – Submitted by Alexandria P (16 months ago)
    1. Thaddeus Stevens: Trust? Gentlemen, you seem to have forgotten that our chosen career is politics.
    – Submitted by Ahmed A (16 months ago)
    1. Thaddeus Stevens: Trust? Gentlemen, you seem to have forgotten that our chosen career is politics.
    – Submitted by Caesar M (18 months ago)
    1. Abraham Lincoln: Euclid's first common notion is this: "Things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other."
    – Submitted by Mahesh W (18 months ago)
View all quotes (37)

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