In Theatres: 
Nov 09, 2012
Running Time: 
2 Hours, 30 Minutes

Abraham Lincoln is considered one of the greatest presidents of the United States so it’s fitting that one of the greatest actors of our time should play him on screen. Daniel Day-Lewis steps into the role of President Lincoln and delivers one of his most powerful performances yet, which is saying a lot for the two-time Academy Award winner.

Lincoln is essentially a war film without the war. Set during the American Civil War, Lincoln is tasked with bringing an end to the bloody battle all the while attempting to pass the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery once and for all. It’s the most trying period of Lincoln’s presidency and will push him, his family, and his cabinet to the breaking point.

Almost the entirety of the film follows Lincoln as he attempts to persuade the opposing members of the Democratic Party to vote in favor of the abolition of slavery. Lincoln was a fantastic orator so it’s no surprise that the film encompasses many great speeches. Whether he’s addressing thousands of soldiers on the battlefield or a few people in the confines of the White House, whenever Lincoln talks people listen.

Daniel Day-Lewis captures every aspect of the great leader so perfectly and convincingly. There’s a humble yet powerful presence in his voice that carries throughout the film. It’s a performance that’s uniquely his and hasn’t been seen in any past Lincoln portrayals. The film is worth seeing for him alone.

That being said, Lincoln clearly isn’t for everyone. The film is heavy on the dialogue, more so than any film I’ve seen in recent months. If you’re not a history buff or fan of Daniel Day-Lewis, there’s little here to keep your interest. Lincoln isn’t like those films that attempt to disguise themselves as something different. Like its title, it’s simple and straightforward with no fancy gimmicks or over-the-top special effects.

If you can manage sitting though Lincoln and its two and a half hour runtime, it’ll leave you with a new appreciation for Daniel Day-Lewis and director Steven Spielberg. While it can drag on slowly during a few scenes, stick with it and you’ll see why Day-Lewis is well on his way to another Oscar.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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