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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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Technical Specs

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Describing his experience playing Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Day-Lewis said, "I never, ever felt that depth of love for another human being that I never met. And that's, I think, probably the effect that Lincoln has on most people that take the time to discover him... I wish he had stayed [with me] forever." See more »

Goofs

Thaddeus Stevens says that the 13th amendment will be the first time slavery is mentioned in the Constitution. Slavery is often believed to be mentioned explicitly - particularly in the first paragraph of Article 1, Section 9 - but it was not. In fact, the absence of the direct mention of slavery formed the basis of an argument made by abolitionists including Lysander Spooner that slavery was unconstitutional even before the 13th amendment. See more »

Quotes

Thaddeus Stevens: Lincoln the inveterate dawdler, Lincoln the Southerner, Lincoln the capitulating compromiser, our adversary, and leader of the God forsaken Republican Party, our party... Abraham Lincoln has asked us to work with him to accomplish the death of slavery in America. Retain, even in opposition, your capacity for astonishment.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.60 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Overture to Egmont Op. 84
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
...and the Academy Award for Best Actor goes to....Daniel Day Lewis!
8 February 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring Daniel Day Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field. Written by Tony Kusher and Doris Kearns Goodwin.

"I am the president of the United States of America, clothed in immense power! You will procure me those votes!"

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

Steven Spielberg has done it again! It seems like the older he gets, the better his films are! I was very satisfied with his efforts, particularly the set designs and tone. It was a joy to watch. I was not impressed with the cinematography efforts. It was well done but nothing stood out for me. For instance, Scorsese seems to bring a new camera angle/shot/position in every one of his films. I was expecting more.

The acting was this film's strongest aspect. Daniel Day Lewis brings an historic performance to the screen except I didn't see him in this picture. I saw Abraham Lincoln. He was so driven into the character, at times it was scary. Lewis' vision of Lincoln is self confident, calm and patient. It was in my favorite scene that his patience finally wore thin on his colleagues about the negativity in the 13th amendment. The mannerisms were spot on. His efforts match my personal favored work of his in 'My Left Foot'. His best contribution to the picture was consistency. Throughout, he never faltered. His accent never trailed off and his actions were always precise. He is fully deserving of the Academy Award for Best Actor. Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field also gave great performances. They brought character and charisma to the picture. I particularly enjoyed the Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Field combination. They compliment each other very well. My only criticism of the cast is that there were too many actors. At times, the characters were defined with a tag on the bottom of the screen. I don't enjoy being told in letters who the characters are. I want the character to show me in action who they are.

The Score is very well done in this movie. The team of Spielberg and Williams never fails. The music brings just as much emotion to the screen as the actors do. It helps bring the vision and atmosphere to life.

This film isn't what I would call a 'masterpiece' but it was a joy to watch. A must see and one of the best films of 2012.


29 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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