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As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 108 wins & 242 nominations. See more awards »

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Storyline

In 1865, as the American Civil War winds inexorably toward conclusion, U.S. president Abraham Lincoln endeavors to achieve passage of the landmark constitutional amendment which will forever ban slavery from the United States. However, his task is a race against time, for peace may come at any time, and if it comes before the amendment is passed, the returning southern states will stop it before it can become law. Lincoln must, by almost any means possible, obtain enough votes from a recalcitrant Congress before peace arrives and it is too late. Yet the president is torn, as an early peace would save thousands of lives. As the nation confronts its conscience over the freedom of its entire population, Lincoln faces his own crisis of conscience -- end slavery or end the war. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage and brief strong language | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

16 November 2012 (USA)  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$944,308 (USA) (9 November 2012)

Gross:

$182,204,440 (USA) (19 April 2013)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The two Presidents of the United States depicted, Abraham Lincoln and US Grant, are both played by London-born actors, who are the sons of Irishmen. Daniel Day-Lewis is the son of UK Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis aka Nicholas Blake (born in County Laoise) and Jared Harris is the son of Richard Harris (born in Limerick). See more »

Goofs

Abraham Lincoln's secretary, John Nicolay, was Bavarian by birth, but immigrated with his parents to the United States at age 6, grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and did not speak with a German accent. (Despite this, in the 1992 documentary Lincoln, his letters were read by future California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with his usual trademark Germanic accent.) See more »

Quotes

Abraham Lincoln: I ought to have done it, I ought have done for Tad's sake! For everybody goddamned sake! I should've clapped you in the madhouse!
Mary Todd Lincoln: Then do it! Do it! Don't you threaten me,you do it this time! Lock me away! You'll have to, I swear if Robert is killed!
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Crazy Credits

No opening credits except for the main title. See more »

Connections

Referenced in On Cinema: 'Skyfall' and 'Lincoln' (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Last of Sizemore
Performed and Arranged by Jim Taylor
Courtesy of Gourd Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Sigh. Daniel does it again
29 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm prepared to admit at this point that Daniel Day Lewis has succeeded to the title of most brilliant actor of his generation--and I do not say that lightly. But when I consider what he has done here--imbued the most sacred president in our history with such aching, gorgeous, complex humanity--seemingly without conscious effort on his part--I say give it to him.

His Lincoln is at once ordinary and divine, passionate and all too earthy...and he inhabits the role so fully that not beyond the first minute do you think to yourself that you are watching an actor and not the man himself. I admit, at the first speech, I rather expected the voice to be deeper and more commanding, but that wore off instantly, and Spielberg to his credit gets every scene note-perfect. The scene where soldiers on the field were quoting back to him the Gettysburg Address was heartbreaking--The big guns, to be sure, but everyone in the theater stopped breathing. Spielberg has the mood and light fine-tuned to the point that when the characters are donning shawls against the cold--this in the white house--you shiver. I can'think of a single actor who was not up to snuff, but James Spader as a rascally vote procurer stands out. Sally Field as the troubled Mary Todd Lincoln is a sympathetic gem, and her portrayal should go a long way towards explaining and perhaps inviting history's revision of that unhappy woman. The film focuses most on the nuts and bolts of legislative and presidential processes, and while that may be boring for some,it has such a ring of authenticity and research that it had me scrambling for the history books to check on things I hadn't known. This is the most difficult of all subjects to film, a dense scholarly work translated to popular culture, but it succeeds on all counts. See it, make your children go with you. You won't regret it.


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