Lincoln (2012)


Biography, Drama, History


Steven Spielberg




Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Strathairn, Hal Holbrook, James Spader, John Hawkes, Jackie Earle Haley, Lee Pace, Gloria Reuben, Jeremy Strong, Bruce McGill, Walton Goggins, David Oyelowo, Dane DeHaan, Elizabeth Marvel, Adam Driver, Colman Domingo


As the Civil War enters its fourth year, President Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) fights with many inside his own cabinet to abolish slavery.


Lincoln is one of those movies that has all it takes to be a boring film, especially to an audience outside the US that doesn't care much for President Lincoln. Which is pretty much the reason I've been putting off the film for the past five years. But I really wanted to see if Daniel Day-Lewis's performance was worth the Oscar. And a Spielberg movie can't really be bad, can it? And thank god it wasn't. Despite its slow pace that makes it a little boring at times, Lincoln turned out to be a pretty solid biopic.

According to a brief research of mine, the film tells a big part of American history that features a big if not the greatest American hero ever in a quite accurate way. I did appreciate the choice to portray a specific part of the life of Lincoln rather than making the typical biography that sees the title character grow up, become president and eventually learn about the events that led to his assassination. No, Lincoln focuses only on the last part of Lincoln's life, his fight to abolish slavery which is the real war in the film. Sure, it all happened during the Civil War, but the really interesting war is the one politicians are having inside a room.

And that's pretty much how you can tell Spielberg is a skilled filmmaker. He took a story everyone knows how would end, and made it incredibly tense, suspenseful and gripping. Sure, it does have some dead moments, but I guess it's normal with a two and a half hour long movie.

Then, of course, there's the reason I watched the movie, Mr Daniel Day-Lewis. He completely disappeared into the character. His mimic, his gestures, it doesn't feel like watching an actor at all but like a real president trying to change the world. However, although he gives pretty much a flawless performance, the movie would be the same without the supporting cast, with a mesmerising Sally Field as Lincoln's wife and a sensational Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens - to be honest, his is my favourite performance in the movie.

The rest of the movie is also well done. The sets, costumes and makeup make Lincoln very beautiful visually, and John Williams's score is a real pleasure to listen to. 


  1. I thought this movie was very well made, and I enjoyed it, but the pacing wasn't the greatest.

    1. I know, but it could have been way worse than that.

  2. Wonderful review and I really enjoyed it. I too, was concerned about the pacing despite my love for Daniel Day Lewis and Lincoln but I was pleasantly surprised. There were some zzzz parts but overal, quite excellent and Field and Jones really did stand out

    1. Thanks! I'm so glad I was not the only one who noticed Field and Jones's performances. I mean, everyone goes on and on about Lewis but nobody ever mention the others.

  3. Nice review! I wish I could say I enjoyed this one, but I felt the pace and script was all over the place. Sally Field gave a brilliant performance though, even if it was so small. :)

  4. You are so right about DDL disappearing inside the Lincoln persona. It's a masterful performance. The work of Field and Jones was nearly as good. The movie itself was very good and, as you said, proof of Spielberg's skill since much of it was just a bunch of men arguing. While it's true it didn't have the best pacing, it's hard to see what he could've done to liven it up, other than give us some extraneous battle scenes. I'm glad he didn't go that route.

    1. Me too, that wouldn't have done any good to the film anyway.

  5. Per me è stato una delusione.... Più che altro, è proprio lo Steven Spielberg che non mi piace. L'ho trovato troppo pesante, troppo corretto...