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Review: Lincoln

Posted November 20, 2012 by in Biography







Musical Score

Total Score

82/ 100

What We Thought

Genre: , ,
Actors: , , , ,
Year: 2012
Runtime: 149 Minutes
Available in 3D: No

What We Liked :

Daniel Day-Lewis is fantastic once again, All around good cast, Anything Focusing on the 13th Amendment

What We Disliked:

Tries to accomplish too much, Ending needs work
Bottom Line

For those fearing that the master of film has lost his touch, fear not, Lincoln is a powerful biopic.

by Max
Full Article

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” ~ Lincoln

Lincoln is the collaboration between Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis film aficionados have waited for. With the expectations of being the next Oscar-winning film as well as a chance for Spielberg to redeem himself after War Horse, a lot was riding on the success of Lincoln. Has Spielberg lost his touch? Or can he still craft a movie that can be truly memorable? Luckily, Lincoln is one of the better Spielberg films to come out in sometime.

Lincoln wisely begins near the end of the Civil War, the last weeks of Lincoln’s life and the push to ratify the 13th Amendment. The Civil War has taken countless American lives and there are factions that wish the bleeding to stop. The only problem is that Lincoln has promised freedom and he doesn’t believe freedom will come to the slaves unless the 13th Amendment is passed. The Amendment has been up for debate in the house for months, but Lincoln has to get the Amendment passed before the war ends and time is not on his side.

When Lincoln focuses on the politics of the 13th Amendment the film is at its best. The Secretary of State (David Strathairn) must procure votes from the Democratic side to get the 60% vote needed to pass the Amendment. He hires the services of three men led by W.N. Bilbo (James Spader) to do some canvassing of the vote. These are some of the best sequences of the film and Spader is hilarious. One of the men with the greatest influence in the House of Representatives is Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones).  His performance also stands out among the rest and his interest in getting the 13th Amendment passed fails to come clear until the end. The conflict that takes place in the House of Representatives consists of the most riveting material in the film. When the time comes for the final votes to be cast the film matches the same brilliance that Mr.Smith Goes to Washington captured all those years ago.

The film also spends a lot of time on the life of Lincoln. His wife, Mary Todd Lincoln (Sally Field), suffers from depression because of the loss of their youngest son. While she wants to support the wishes of her husband, her worry for her children is crippling. When their son, Robert (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), wishes to join the war she pleads for Lincoln to save her boy from the battlefield. While these segments are interesting and add some back story to Lincoln’s personal life, they take away from the focus of the film.

The other fault of the film is a typical problem of Spielberg films in general. He never knows where to end his films. There’s many spots where the curtain could’ve dropped that makes better sense than where it eventually does. A little bit of subtlety could’ve gone a long way towards the impact Lincoln leaves on audiences.

Daniel Day-Lewis has once again made himself a frontrunner for Best Actor with his incredible depiction of Lincoln. Day-Lewis has captured the man down to the smallest of mannerisms and fully embodies the iconic president. Lincoln is one of the better films Spielberg has released in the past decade. For those fearing that the master of film has lost his touch, fear not, Lincoln is a powerful biopic.

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About the Author


Chief Editor of Impassionedcinema. A film enthusiast who studies and creates his own films. Criticizing movies is his favorite pass-time.



    I’m hoping to catch this over the holiday weekend. Very happy to hear this one gets your approval.


    “A little bit of subtlety could’ve gone a long way towards the impact Lincoln leaves on audiences.”

    Ha! Especially in regards to the ending, which was really one of the only spots where Spielberg let his melodramatic demons out. 😀 Histrionics!

    For the most part though, he kept that heavy hand of his in check, which was nice. I thought it was solid and very well done. Day-Lewis was incredible, man. Mind blowing turn.


      Yeah. I\’m glad you agree with me about the ending. I\’d be surprised if a lot of people didn\’t feel the same way.

      Day-Lewis is one the greatest actors alive so I wasn\’t too surprised by his incredible performance. It is one for the history books though. It\’s going to be a tough race for best actor this year.


    So keen to see this – great review, Max, although I tend to enjoy Spielberg’s films a little more than you do, i think. Can’t wait to see DDL win another Oscar for this…. 😉

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