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Lincoln (2012)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  16 November 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 185,904 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 679 user | 530 critic | 44 from Metacritic.com

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.



(screenplay), (book)
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 104 wins & 218 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:


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 »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

16 November 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Office Seekers  »

Box Office


$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Actor Daniel Day-Lewis previously portrayed Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting in Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York (2002), a character who opposed Abraham Lincoln's political plans. See more »


William Bilbo mentions that Lincoln's face is on the 50-cent piece. Abraham Lincoln appeared on fractional currency pieces, that is paper currency that was issued instead of silver coins during the Civil War, but the 50-cent denomination was not one of the ones he was on, until the fourth series, starting 1869. See more »


Thaddeus Stevens: As long as your household accounts are in order, Madam, we have no need to investigate them.
Mary Todd Lincoln: You have always taken such a lively, even prosecutorial interest in my household accounts, Mr. Stevens.
Thaddeus Stevens: Your household accounts have always been so interesting.
Mary Todd Lincoln: Yes, thank you, it's true. The miracles I have wrought out of fertilizer bills and cutlery invoices, but I had to. Four years ago, when the President and I arrived, this was a pure pigsty. Tobacco stains in the carpets, mushrooms sprouting from ...
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Crazy Credits

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


Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.37 (2012) See more »


Quintet No. 1 in B-Flat Major, K. 174, III. Menuetto Ma Allegretto
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

History written by Steven Spielberg
9 February 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Steven Spielberg visuals are excellent in movies and this one is no exception. He does a wonderful job recreating the time period that Lincoln was a part of. The difficulty I have is in believing some of the dialogue and the revisionist history that takes place in this movie. The opening scene is a bloody battle and it appears realistic. Unfortunately the following scene has two black soldiers chatting with Lincoln outside in a makeshift camp. He's sitting at a table while they discuss their observations with him. Listening to them you'd think they all grew up on the same block together. One soldier lectures Lincoln and interrupts him during their conversation, while the other is Lincolns best buddy. A soldier wouldn't ever talk to a president in 2012 in this manner. In 1865 if two black soldiers acted this way they would have been immediately been put in irons. Blacks had to be extremely deferential interacting with whites during that century because the law looked the other way when they were murdered by whites. The scene is ridiculous.

Throughout the movie Spielberg emphasizes slavery as Lincolns motivation for engaging with the South. Fact check: Lincoln goal was to preserve the union. He did not remotely believe in equality of the races. Like most whites at that time, he considered blacks inferior. He stated that he would free some of the slaves, or all of the slaves, or none of the slaves if it would preserve the union. The movie is sort of a Disney version of Lincoln and loose on the facts.

This movie is over rated (probably because Spielberg is so powerful in Hollywood) and if you know any civil war history you will be disappointed. Lincoln, like all presidents, was a mixed bag. He believed in that it was acceptable to pay $300 to buy your way out of the war (the Irish didn't like that idea). Lincoln seriously considered deporting blacks to central America or Africa after the war. There was a great deal of corruption during his administration. Like most elites he believed the war should be fought by others(he wouldn't allow his son to put on a uniform until the war was over). Spielberg paints Lincoln as a saint and it would have been better (and far more realistic) if he had been portrayed a man with faults. The movie is a disappointment, if you want real history, read a book. This movie is a fable for children.

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