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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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993 ( 90)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 105 wins & 221 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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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In February 2013, numerous reports stated that this movie led to the final, official 50-state ratification of the 13th Amendment, nearly 150 years after it was approved by three-fourths of the states. In November 2012, Dr Ranjan Batra, a (non-historian) academician at the University of Mississippi, saw Lincoln (2012), then did an Internet search to find out more about the Amendment. He and his colleague Ken Sullivan discovered that although Mississippi voted to ratify the amendment in 1995, a clerical oversight caused that vote to remain officially unacknowledged, since the Mississippi Secretary of State had never sent the vote's result to the U. S. Office of the Federal Register. After Sullivan also saw the movie, both men urged the office of the Mississippi Secretary of State to file that paperwork, which they did on January 30, 2013; on February 7, 2013, the director of the Federal Register confirmed its receipt along with the fact that Mississippi had finally ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. 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: What violates natural law? Slavery and you! Pendleton, you insult God. You unnatural noise.
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Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

Quintet No. 1 in B-Flat Major, K. 174, I. Allegro Moderto
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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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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Dull, dull, dull, dull, dull craig-717
Hilarious liberal reaction to this film kingbingo
Why did it have to be so long? elixpoe
This movie should have been titled 'The Thirteenth Amendment.' timmarkell
I thought he hunted vampires? dirkhoekstra
Here's what I don't get objviewer
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