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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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(screenplay), (book)
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1,164 ( 16)
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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Details

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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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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary have one of their famous fights, in which he threatens to have her committed to a mad house. In the case of this film, the issue they fight over is their son Robert's enlistment in the army. It would be Robert Lincoln who ultimately did commit his mother to an insane asylum, tragically leading to their permanent estrangement. See more »

Goofs

In 1863, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton "commissioned" Tad Lincoln an artillery 2nd lieutenant. In the film, Tad wears the uniform of an infantry lieutenant colonel, outranking his brother, Captain Robert Lincoln, by two grades. See more »

Quotes

Abraham Lincoln: It's nighttime. Ship's move by some terrible power at terrific speed. And though it's imperceptible in the darkness, I have an intuition that we're headed towards a shore. No one else seems to be aboard the vessel. I'm keenly aware of my aloneness.
Abraham Lincoln: [quoting Hamlet] "I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams."
Abraham Lincoln: Hmm. I reckon it's the speed that's strange to me. I'm used to going at a deliberate pace. I should space you, Molly. I ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Capital Punishment (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Cry of Freedom
Music by George Frederick Root
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
I walked out of the theater wanting to go back in and see it again.
30 October 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

It's seldom that I leave a movie knowing that I absolutely will go back to a theater to see that movie again rather than wait for distribution. As I walked out, I absolutely knew that I would be back. There are so many amazing actors in this movie that I need to go back to fully appreciate the story.

In my estimation, Spielberg's Lincoln will become the definitive movie on Abraham Lincoln. Daniel Day Lewis absolutely disappeared into this character and out gallumped Honest Abe - country lawyer, gifted orator and a man born more fully suited to the desperate needs of a nation than possibly any other man in history. This movie is not the shiny myth, but a portrait of an amazing man who inspired, cajoled and even bribed the Representatives of the People into representing ALL of the people.

If you go, and I hope that you do, go with ears ready to hear voices speaking out to us from our violent past, telling us that we can be better than we are, that some things should be done because they must be done and that we can sometimes accomplish the impossible.


257 of 438 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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