Lincoln 2012

Critics score:
90 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Lincoln is brain food and, at another pivotal moment in American political history, an instructive feast. Read more

Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies: 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. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: 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. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: 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. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: In all, there's too much material, too little revelation and almost nothing of Spielberg's reliable cinematic flair. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: The portrait of Lincoln transcends conventional judgments; it's a complete creation, perfect on its own terms. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: This is movie magic -- history coming to life, before our eyes. Read more

Keith Phipps, AV Club: 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. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: If it sounds like so much backroom politicking, it is. But it's exceptionally interesting, entertaining backroom politicking. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: "Lincoln" does something that, at this very particular moment in time, seems almost impossible to comprehend. It makes politics exciting again. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: 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. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: 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. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Day-Lewis's Lincoln is the spiritual center of the film, but he's ringed by a multitudinous cast of characters. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: 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. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: 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. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Lincoln is a stirring paradox, a dream of history as it might truly have happened. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, 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. Read more

David Thomson, The New Republic: It's very good, but that's not the point. It's necessary. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: An absorbing, densely packed, sometimes funny telling of the 16th president's masterful effort in manipulating the passage of the 13th amendment. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: This is a movie that's easier to admire than love; it's impressive but not exactly moving. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: 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. Read more

Charlie McCollum, San Jose Mercury News: One of the finest historical dramas ever committed to film. It's a triumph for Spielberg, Kushner and, most of all, Day-Lewis. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: "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. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: 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. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: For a man so funny, so vital, so literally larger than life, "Lincoln" remains a Daguerreotype - careful, quiet and dully framed. Read more

Ian Buckwalter, NPR: 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. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: It provides Daniel Day-Lewis with an opportunity for his latest extraordinary performance, one filled with kindness and strength in equal measure. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: It's a must-see for Daniel Day-Lewis' charismatic, subtly shaded performance as Lincoln - and an even richer one by Tommy Lee Jones ... Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: 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. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: 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. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard "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. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: 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. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: The phenomenal Daniel Day-Lewis plays Lincoln with immersive, indelible power in Spielberg's brilliant, brawling epic. Read more

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

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Lincoln has been an oracle, and now, in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," as portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis, he is a man. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: There are long stretches that are as quiet, contemplative, and austere as anything Spielberg has ever done. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: 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. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: 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. Read more

Christopher Orr, The Atlantic: 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. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: Yes, this is a movie about people talking in rooms. And the talk, at its best, fascinates. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: 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. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: One of the best American movies this year, and Spielberg's finest work in decades. Read more

Dave Calhoun, Time Out: 'Lincoln' works as a snapshot of a great man without ever slipping into a portrait of sainthood. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: 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. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Its title notwithstanding, Lincoln is an absorbing, intellectual look at the political machinations involved in abolishing slavery, not an exhaustive biopic about Honest Abe. Read more

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

Chris Packham, Village Voice: This Lincoln, stunningly portrayed by Spielberg and Day-Lewis, is real and relatable and so, so cool. Read more

Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice: 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. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: "Lincoln" gratifyingly dodges the kind of safe, starchy hagiography that some Spielberg skeptics feared. Read more