Review: Lincoln

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Lincoln opened in limited release on this date in 2012. The historical drama starred Daniel Day-Lewis & Sally Field. Lincoln was directed by Steven Spielberg.


President Abraham Lincoln struggles to deal with the massive loss of life that is being caused by the Civil War. As the battles rage on, Lincoln is fighting hard within his party, and out, to end slavery. The adversity he faces as President also begins to hurt his relationships with his wife and children.


  • Daniel Day-Lewis gives one of the all-time great performances. You never feel like you are watching an actor when he is on screen, you feel like you are watching the actual Abraham Lincoln.
  • The look of Lincoln makes you believe you are experiencing an authentic recreation of that era. Nothing feels artificial or out of place in the film.
  • Steven Spielberg does an excellent job of keeping the story of Lincoln contained to a rather small portion of the iconic figure’s life. Focusing the drama on the Civil War and the abolishment of slavery keeps Lincoln from becoming too bloated or unfocused.


  • At times Lincoln feels more like a play than a movie. Everything on screen looks good, but the story is very contained and doesn’t allow for many cinematic flourishes.
  • There are times when you feel the weight of the 150-minute runtime, especially when Lewis’s performance isn’t at the center of the film.
  • While the focus on a small period of Lincoln’s life is applauded, it does not allow you to learn much about the President that we already didn’t know. By focusing on arguably the most important moments of his life/Presidency, we loose the opportunity to learn anything that hasn’t already been covered in great detail.


Lincoln is an acting showcase for Daniel Day-Lewis and it shows why he is possibly our greatest living actor. Steven Spielberg brings his usual attention to detail and that allows Lincoln to feel like one of the more accurate period dramas to have ever been made. Like many historical films, at times Lincoln feels a little dry and dull. The performance of Daniel Day Lewis makes the film a must watch and allows you to overlook some of the project’s weaker components.

Rating: B