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

Lincoln Reviews

David Thomson
The New Republic
Top Critic
June 14, 2013

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

Dave Calhoun
Time Out
Top Critic
January 22, 2013

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

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
Top Critic
January 8, 2013

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

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
Top Critic
November 19, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
November 18, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
Top Critic
November 16, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
November 15, 2012

The film masterfully captures the dual dilemmas facing the president in the final months of his life: how to bring the war between the states to an end, and how to eradicate slavery, once and for all.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic
November 15, 2012

Lincoln is a stirring reminder that politics can be noble. Might there be a lesson here for today's shrill D.C. discourse? 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

Full Review | Original Score: A
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
November 15, 2012

Day-Lewis' voice is thin and reedy, which jibes with historical accounts but subverts our expectations. His attitude makes listeners lean in, and so do we, magnetized by his kindly reserve.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic
November 15, 2012

Spielberg is legendary for his visual feasts, yet he serves us this turkey with no relish. There's scarcely a memorable image in the entire film.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
November 15, 2012

If it sounds like so much backroom politicking, it is. But it's exceptionally interesting, entertaining backroom politicking.

Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
Top Critic
November 15, 2012

The true tussle of the movie, however, is between the Spielberg who, like a cinematic Sandburg, is drawn aloft toward legend and the Spielberg who is tugged down by Kushner's intricate screenplay toward documentary grit.

Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
Top Critic
November 13, 2012

"A richly detailed interpretation of all the backroom deals, political horse- trading and compromises Lincoln and his allies had to make to put an end to slavery in America.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Alan Scherstuhl
Village Voice
Top Critic
November 13, 2012

Lincoln is the work of a different director, one truly fascinated by why his subjects do what they do, one who invests each moment with the artistry he has often reserved for setpieces.

Dana Stevens
Slate
Top Critic
November 9, 2012

There are long stretches that are as quiet, contemplative, and austere as anything Spielberg has ever done.

Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
Top Critic
November 9, 2012

Lincoln is a film about the arts of suasion-one that encompasses oratory and extortion, conciliation and conspiracy, arms twisted and cheeks turned. It is a film, in short, about politics.

Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic
November 9, 2012

Day-Lewis's Lincoln is the spiritual center of the film, but he's ringed by a multitudinous cast of characters.

Full Review | Original Score: B
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
November 9, 2012

For a man so funny, so vital, so literally larger than life, "Lincoln" remains a Daguerreotype - careful, quiet and dully framed.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
Top Critic
November 9, 2012

Lincoln serves history better than it does the multiplex, and that's a brave and worthy thing in a time of slippery truths and splintered attention spans.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Stephanie Zacharek
Film.com
Top Critic
November 9, 2012

Its characters, people who lived long ago and who tended to be much more loquacious than a 140-character burst would allow, somehow seem to breathe the same air we do.

Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
Top Critic
November 9, 2012

"Lincoln" gratifyingly dodges the kind of safe, starchy hagiography that some Spielberg skeptics feared.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
November 9, 2012

Yes, this is a movie about people talking in rooms. And the talk, at its best, fascinates.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
November 8, 2012

Lincoln has been an oracle, and now, in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," as portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis, he is a man.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
Top Critic
November 8, 2012

"Lincoln" looks like a big historical drama on an epic scale, but it's also a tightly focused study of character, principle and politics.

Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic
November 8, 2012

The portrait of Lincoln transcends conventional judgments; it's a complete creation, perfect on its own terms.

Claudia Puig
USA Today
Top Critic
November 8, 2012

Its title notwithstanding, Lincoln is an absorbing, intellectual look at the political machinations involved in abolishing slavery, not an exhaustive biopic about Honest Abe.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Ian Buckwalter
NPR
Top Critic
November 8, 2012

This Lincoln isn't an abstracted, infallible ideal, but rather a deeply conflicted, often lonely leader simply trying to do the right thing - even if that means a few wrong things along the way.

Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
November 8, 2012

There is nothing bravura or overly emotional about Spielberg's direction here, but the impeccable filmmaking is no less impressive for being quiet and to the point.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
Top Critic
November 8, 2012

It provides Daniel Day-Lewis with an opportunity for his latest extraordinary performance, one filled with kindness and strength in equal measure.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic
November 8, 2012

"Lincoln" does something that, at this very particular moment in time, seems almost impossible to comprehend. It makes politics exciting again.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
Top Critic
November 8, 2012

It's a must-see for Daniel Day-Lewis' charismatic, subtly shaded performance as Lincoln - and an even richer one by Tommy Lee Jones ...

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
Top Critic
November 8, 2012

"Lincoln" is wrapped in the heavy cloak of the traditional biopic, with all the top-shelf acting, period detail and important speeches the genre requires.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
November 8, 2012

Daniel Day-Lewis is extraordinary as the president, capturing his wit and generosity but also the iron will that made him the country's greatest hero.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
November 8, 2012

The phenomenal Daniel Day-Lewis plays Lincoln with immersive, indelible power in Spielberg's brilliant, brawling epic.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
November 8, 2012

Lincoln is brain food and, at another pivotal moment in American political history, an instructive feast.

A.O. Scott
New York Times
Top Critic
November 8, 2012

To say that this is among the finest films ever made about American politics may be to congratulate it for clearing a fairly low bar.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
November 8, 2012

It blends cinematic Americana with something grubbier and more interesting than Americana, and it does not look, act or behave like the usual perception of a Spielberg epic.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Keith Phipps
AV Club
Top Critic
November 8, 2012

Lincoln is built around a magnetic Day-Lewis turn, and the film is a memorable, sometimes stirring look at how even the most righteous bill must struggle, and even cheat, to become a law.

Full Review | Original Score: B
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
November 8, 2012

The hallmark of the man, performed so powerfully by Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln," is calm self-confidence, patience and a willingness to play politics in a realistic way.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
Top Critic
November 7, 2012

One of the best American movies this year, and Spielberg's finest work in decades.

Chris Packham
Village Voice
Top Critic
November 7, 2012

This Lincoln, stunningly portrayed by Spielberg and Day-Lewis, is real and relatable and so, so cool.

Charlie McCollum
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic
November 7, 2012

One of the finest historical dramas ever committed to film. It's a triumph for Spielberg, Kushner and, most of all, Day-Lewis.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Rex Reed
New York Observer
Top Critic
November 7, 2012

In all, there's too much material, too little revelation and almost nothing of Spielberg's reliable cinematic flair.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
Top Critic
November 7, 2012

This is a movie that's easier to admire than love; it's impressive but not exactly moving.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
November 6, 2012

Lincoln is a stirring paradox, a dream of history as it might truly have happened.

Full Review | Original Score: A
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
Top Critic
November 6, 2012

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic
November 6, 2012

By the time the movie ends, you don't feel as if you know Lincoln-few, in his own time, claimed to know him. But you feel as if you know what it was like to be in his presence.

Peter Debruge
Variety
Top Critic
November 2, 2012

Though historians will surely find room to quibble, every choice Day-Lewis makes lends dignity and gravitas to America's most revered figure.

Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
November 2, 2012

An absorbing, densely packed, sometimes funny telling of the 16th president's masterful effort in manipulating the passage of the 13th amendment.