• PG-13, 2 hr. 29 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Steven Spielberg
    In Theaters:
    Nov 16, 2012 Wide
    On DVD:
    Mar 26, 2013
  • Dreamworks Pictures

Disappointing

I rushed out to see this because there was buzz and because Tony Kushner wrote it. Kushner writes for the theater, and should keep doing so. The film did not work for me despite an inspired script and a great performance by DDL. It just didn't work.
Jeffrey Seeds
11-16-2012 02:48 PM

Thread Replies

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The Movie King

Jacob Martin

I didn't think it was that disappointing. Spielberg put us all in a great world and DDL was a phenomenal Lincoln. In some scenes, I felt like Lincoln was back from the dead.

May 24 - 04:23 PM

Patrick Darnell

Patrick Darnell

Where's Will Smith?

Apr 5 - 04:35 PM

Jay Pierce

Jay Pierce

Often people outside the personality of one dealing with difficult decisions are want to understand that in fact it most often happens in low tone, quiet words and measured physical presentations. Passion is often mismeasured. We want color, loud sound and burning words. When Lincoln read his intentions for the Blacks it was Righteous, Godly. It didn't require a motivation experience. Everyone understood the necessity of the purpose--regardless of the showmanship.

Apr 2 - 10:55 PM

Maurice Melvin Moran

Maurice Melvin Moran

I don't know what these Simpletons were expecting. When the movie started 4 years into the war you should have realized that this movie was not about the civil war or the life of Lincoln but specifically the 13th amendment. You people weren't interested in history and politics in the first place so go watch GI Joe or something that suits you. Boring president? You wouldn't recognize passion, drive, motivation, and integrity if it ended up in your soup.

Apr 2 - 05:54 AM

Brian Cooper

Brian Cooper

Was a great Movie.. Best I have seen.. Daniel Day Lewis
is the best..

May 12 - 04:56 PM

Leah Carrero

Leah Carrero

180 million dollars to make Abraham Lincoln look like the most boring President in US history? Why? His life was so amazing! This movie not only disappointed, it irritated me..Stephen Spielberg is officially an old fart

Mar 28 - 12:58 PM

Britain Roda

Britain Roda

Agreed! I couldn't finish the movie - not even DDL could save it from its utter dryness and lack of inspiration.

Mar 29 - 06:58 PM

Lee Augustus

Lee Augustus

The cost 50 million dollars you fucking retard. Whee did you get your numbers you moron?

Apr 7 - 08:35 AM

hiddjkns

Saul Dingler

I really liked Lincoln, it really looked and felt like Civil War era America, and the cast, come on, Daniel Day Lewis was incredible as usual, Sally Field as Mary Lincoln, awesome, and it seemed like every ten minutes or so I was like 'oh, you're in this movie too.' Everyone is in this movie. I keep reading that people thought it was long and boring but I didn't think so, I felt like I was in the movie, I wouldn't have cared if this movie was 3 and a half hours long.

Jan 11 - 03:42 PM

Paul Yoas

Paul Yoas

I am a history buff~amateur but I think Lincoln missed the mark for many reason. Yes I believe Lincoln focused on the 13 th Amendment way to much and the movie should have been called *The 13 TH Amendment*~but the acting was great but it was boring to me and I expected better. Maybe I am just jaded.

Jan 10 - 09:03 PM

Jacqueline Gilmore Estrella

Jacqueline Gilmore Estrella

I agree. I love history. Real history. Not revisionistic, pollitically correct, Hollywood guano. It was way too long to have ones' intelligence insulted.

Jan 11 - 06:53 PM

Willam Nat

Willam Nat

The performances were among the best I have seen in a movie . . . however . . .

Why does this movie celebrate lying as a virtue??? This is just plain sick. Have we come to believe that it's good that politicians lie because they believe the end justifies the means?

Jan 4 - 08:59 PM

Chase The Lost

Chase: The Lost Trollfighter

My guess is that the film glorifies fabrication for the exact reason you mentioned. This way, when people voice their opinions about the incessant lying committed by politicians, they can look back on the film and say, "well, it worked for Abe!" What was the word you used? Sick. Yes, I would say that pretty much sums it up. Cheers.

Jan 5 - 07:55 AM

Mari Stewart

Mari Stewart

Boring. Expected better.

Dec 31 - 09:50 AM

Jeremy King

Jeremy King

I though the story was ok, the dialogue was great but, the movie was bad. Poor editing choices the cut in close up every time someone had something important to say was distracting, that along with the score swelling up was very cliché. The scene with Abe and his wife could have been cut. Lincoln IMO was the least interesting character in the entire movie. The conflicts seemed glossed over, I never got a since of true honest debt or resistance from the antagonist it would have been nice to see more of their side of the story to see what they were fighting for. Of course the images were beautiful but, at times they took away from the true grit of the dilemma in certain scenes. JMO

Dec 22 - 01:37 AM

Leonard Bruce

Leonard Bruce

I would love to see a movie called Abe Lincoln: Professional Wrestler. That would be entertaining.

Dec 20 - 07:24 PM

Lacey Springer

Lacey Springer

Try Lincoln Vampire Slayer -- no skinny, feeble old man here !!

Jul 8 - 10:33 PM

Leonard Bruce

Leonard Bruce

Four score and seven years ago I bought a banana down the street and I must say it was quite good.

Dec 20 - 07:23 PM

Lesly Clarke

Lesly Clarke

I too, thought the acting was very good but the movie was too long and I personally thought, too plodding. Perhaps Americans will look on it more fondly but it just didn't do much for me. I am a huge fan of historical novels and movies but I could have waited for it to be on Netflix.

Dec 16 - 07:47 PM

HB Le

HB Le

I very much enjoyed reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's book and found the movie equally compelling, so much so that I have watched the movie twice. I took my friends from Switzerland to see Lincoln during its opening weekend; it was their first-ever movie in the U.S. which made it all the more memorable for them. I just watched it this afternoon with my wife. She wasn't convinced that she would enjoy a movie framed in such a historical context but she also liked it. Brilliant portrayal of one of the greatest men in history.

Dec 16 - 05:22 PM

Steve Auerbach

Steve Auerbach

Sorry about the disappointed viewers, but this was a brilliant, intelligent film. Perhaps you should all read the Doris Kearns Goodwin book, Team of Rivals, to understand that Lincoln was a real politician, perhaps the greatest one we ever had, in the sense that politics includes not getting everything you want, but trading and compromising in order to achieve what is possible. Certainly this movie wasn't a narrative of Lincoln's life, but a focused look at one important part of the great man's career, illustrative of his savvy, his wit, his family struggles, and, above all, his place at the very top of American Presidents. And done in the inimitable Spielberg way.

Dec 16 - 04:27 PM

Ed Cater

Ed Cater

Way too long. It should have been 2 hours maximum. It dragged in places. DDL is a very good "method actor". He referred to himself as Abe during the filming in his tweets and conversations. He deserves Best Actor award if you define method acting as Lee Strasberg has..ie;acting well. Agreed, the end should have come when Lincoln is leaving for the Ford Theatre.

Dec 16 - 10:13 AM

William Wills

William Wills

This movie harkens back to when acting was about accurately portraying the feelings behind the lines. All of the characters are played well, and not overplayed and hammed up. Lincoln doesn't wink at the camera as he heads out to Ford's theater. I think people come to expect that in movies. And then you see one like this one where it's played so well you wonder why other movies don't do the same. It is a classic for the ages? I don't know. But it's certainly a very good movie with a very specific point.

Dec 16 - 07:13 AM

David Warren

David Warren

I heard the buzz about the movie, my expectations were not extremely high. I just saw the movie. I was far from disappointed, in fact I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the dialogue. They did a great job of taking us back to the 1860's. The passing of the 13th amendment was truly a historic event which very few Americans know anything about. It will be a classic because of the way Lincoln is portrayed in the movie. Daniel Day-Lewis will definitely be up for an Oscar, one of the best performances I have seen. Sally Fields was also great as Lincoln's wife. Lincoln exceeded my expectations which I can not say for many of the movies I have seen.

Dec 15 - 08:30 AM

Scott B.

Scott Beatty

How much people like a film is based entirely on how it matches their expectations. When expectations are set too high then one is disappointed no matter how good the film. (Alternately if you expect a film will be complete trash and boring and it is at all worthy or entertaining we tend to give it better reviews that it may deserve.) Apparently people went into this expecting a huge saga of the life of Lincoln. If you went into to see the drama and bigotry of the age played out and Lincoln played as an ordinary human being and not the near God-like legend time has turned him into then you likely were not disappointed.
That is the only way I can account for people being SO disappointed by a comparably (to most trash out as entertainment today) beautifully photographed, cleverly written, and brilliantly acted film.

Dec 9 - 10:25 AM

William Wills

William Wills

Another great point. I think you hit it dead on. The point was that Lincoln was a man. He didn't leap off of buildings and carry slaves away to freedom. He didn't have a gun fight with John Wilkes Booth. That's the point of the movie. A rather ordinary man did some pretty amazing things, surrounded by some pretty amazing people, in a political climate that's not much different than today.

Dec 16 - 07:17 AM

Scott B.

Scott Beatty

How much people like a film is based entirely on how it matches their expectations. When expectations are set too high then one is disappointed no matter how good the film. (Alternately if you expect a film will be complete trash and boring and it is at all worthy or entertaining we tend to give it better reviews that it may deserve.) Apparently people went into this expecting a huge saga of the life of Lincoln. If you went into to see the drama and bigotry of the age played out and Lincoln played as an ordinary human being and not the near God-like legend time has turned him into then you likely were disappointed. That is the only way I can account for people being SO disappointed by a comparably (to most trash out as entertainment today) beautifully photographed, cleverly written, and brilliantly acted film.

Dec 9 - 10:22 AM

DeWitt Cheng

DeWitt Cheng

Everyone's a critic these days, but sometimes the responses do not reflect well on us. I think it was a great film ‚?? a classic, even.

Dec 3 - 11:20 AM

joe t.

joe tromansky

How can it be a "classic" if it puts most people to sleep? Time will tell, but this movie will fall off the table soon enough--you'll rarely see it again, mark my words.

Dec 7 - 10:37 AM

Derek Rose

Derek Rose

Movie could of been a lot better.. it wasn't bad, but it could of been A LOT BETTER... actually it was pretty boring and not worth seeing in theatres. I'm pretty sure none of us needed to pay the extra amount of money for the extra amount of screen-size and surround-sound to see this film. Good film for a history class or perhaps a hypnotherapist to get their clients to take a little snooze.

Dec 2 - 06:59 PM

Jacqueline Gilmore Estrella

Jacqueline Gilmore Estrella

Hahahahahahah.....thanks Derek! I needed that belly laugh! You nailed it!

Jan 11 - 07:00 PM

Jake Freydont-Attie

Jake Freydont-Attie

I agree, I think most of the blame falls on Kushner. Interesting history lesson, but disengaging film. DDL pegs Lincoln physically, but there doesn't seem to be any meat on the bones.

Dec 1 - 07:07 AM

Sandi Huckaby

Sandi Huckaby

The only disappointing thing about the movie was the ending. It should have ended when Lincoln was leaving the White House for the Ford theater and he said, "I would rather stay, but I must go now." (or something to that effect). It was a beautiful shot of him walking toward the arched window and the face of his butler who seemed to be having a premonition he wouldn't ever see him again. That's where the movie should have ended. It was a gorgeous shot and some of the best cinematography in the whole film. I also wish there had been a scene with Frederick Douglass. How can you talk about the 13th Amendment without him? Even if it was done as a flashback to a previous meeting the two men had together. But other than that, I loved the movie. Daniel Day-Lewis did such an awe-inspiring job that forever more when I think about Lincoln, the image in my mind will be the way he portrayed him, the walk, the stoop, the voice---what a perfect job he did!

Nov 29 - 06:41 PM

William Wills

William Wills

Great point, Sandy. I agree that would have been a perfect ending. Especially since the play his son was watching showed an actor getting killed and a bird rising up to heaven. Great symbolism.

Dec 16 - 07:14 AM

Amber Branson

Amber Branson

If you don't like history you shouldn't go see this movie. For people who like history and politics this movie would be for them. I'm not going to give any bs about me being a history teacher or I study this in college. I just love history and happen remember stuff about it. I can see why people are upset that the movie is called Lincoln but it does not show very much of his life. Lincoln's legacy is the 13 amendment. The movie did not make Lincoln out to be a saint. He was human and it didn't continue the Lincoln myth. The movie would have had DDL screaming I am against slavery and I love black people in every scene in the movie.It felt like Lincoln was studying the blacks and trying to figure them out. He even says he knows little about them. They made him somewhat racist too.

Nov 25 - 09:41 PM

Michael Fargo

Michael Fargo

But I don't think "history" needs to bore the pants off you. We come away without knowing Lincoln, who still remains lofty and out of reach. I felt that Spielberg sold us out (and short) by adding the low-brow humour, which would have been equally out of place in his masterpiece "Schindler's List." The performances were certainly illuminating, but the screenplay seemed dull and stagebound. I thought it was interesting that the film focused on one issue, but that particular issue was so specific and nuanced (and the outcome predetermined) that nothing dramatic happened. Spielberg's notorious use of sentimentality should also have been checked here. Again, in "Schindler's List" the cloying use of a child almost sabotaged his work; here I think it did.

Nov 30 - 08:02 AM

Matt Mach

Matt Mach

The humor was definitely not an issue. Abraham Lincoln loved humor, regardless if it was appropriate or not.

Dec 9 - 12:56 AM

MJFargo

Michael Fargo

I wasn't referring to Lincoln's love of humor. The plot lines with Thaddeus Stevens and Robert Latham/W.N. Bilbo where we are invited to laugh at their "antics" I felt trivialized, rather than engaged us, in their actions. Pratfalls, seemed to me, a failure of the screenplay to draw us into the (rather serious) action.

Dec 11 - 07:11 PM

joe t.

joe tromansky

And who says this was "real" history anyway. I rather doubt it.

Dec 7 - 10:37 AM

Ryan Koog

Ryan Koog

Only a misguided soul could not appreciate the brilliance that is "Lincoln."

Nov 17 - 08:54 PM

Gavin Steidele

Gavin Steidele

By brilliance I assume you mean: "Incredibly boring film that has no drama, no pacing, seemingly no direction and isn't actually about Lincoln at all"...cause thats what Lincoln was.

Nov 20 - 12:00 PM

Lee Augustus

Lee Augustus

fag

Dec 20 - 07:15 PM

Jaime Lannister

Jaime Lannister

Brilliant? Continuing the Lincoln myth I suppose makes this brilliant propaganda i suppose

Nov 25 - 06:32 PM

CherryPop

Cherry Pop

Exactly.

Nov 27 - 01:24 PM

William Wills

William Wills

Well, first, no reason to denigrate people who liked this movie. For Pete's sake. Second, don't confuse boring with "lacking gun fights and chase scenes and sex scenes". There are not a lot of movies like this, that are underplayed. Certainly you don't have to like this thing, but to get personal about it is sort of silly, no?

Dec 16 - 07:16 AM

Jacqueline Gilmore Estrella

Jacqueline Gilmore Estrella

Jesus Ryan, then I guess I'm a misguided soul. This movie was a snooze fest and I usually don't take afternoon naps! I also hate it when Hollywood varnishes history to fit the political correctness of today. Sheesh Ryan, please be kind to those whom lack your intellectual "brillance."

Jan 11 - 07:11 PM

Zane M.

Zane Morrow

No it is not

Nov 17 - 09:29 AM

almightygozar

Darrell Kay

Huh? No, it is not...what?

Nov 19 - 10:53 AM

Yodaman Solo

Yodaman Solo

They are referring to the "disappointing" title of this forum topic.

Nov 21 - 12:25 AM

Eric Youngstrom

Eric Youngstrom

What exactly didn't "work" for you?

Nov 16 - 07:32 PM

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