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.
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.
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.