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Lincoln (2012)

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As the American 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.

Director:

Steven Spielberg

Writers:

Tony Kushner (screenplay by), Doris Kearns Goodwin (based in part on the book "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by)
Reviews
Popularity
990 ( 54)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 108 wins & 245 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Day-Lewis ... Abraham Lincoln
Sally Field ... Mary Todd Lincoln
David Strathairn ... William Seward
Joseph Gordon-Levitt ... Robert Lincoln
James Spader ... W.N. Bilbo
Hal Holbrook ... Preston Blair
Tommy Lee Jones ... Thaddeus Stevens
John Hawkes ... Robert Latham
Jackie Earle Haley ... Alexander Stephens
Bruce McGill ... Edwin Stanton
Tim Blake Nelson ... Richard Schell
Joseph Cross ... John Hay
Jared Harris ... Ulysses S. Grant
Lee Pace ... Fernando Wood
Peter McRobbie ... George Pendleton
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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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | India

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 November 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Steven Spielberg/Abraham Lincoln Project See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$944,308, 9 November 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$182,207,973

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$275,293,450
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Liam Neeson, who was attached to play Abraham Lincoln since the project began development, decided to drop out. According to Neeson, he felt he was too old to play the part after waiting so many years for the project to get the go-ahead. Incidentally, Daniel Day-Lewis is only five years Neeson's junior, though still closest in age to Lincoln, who was 55 and 56 years of age at the time portrayed in the film. See more »

Goofs

In Lincoln's death scene, he is shown lying somewhat on his side, on top of the covers on a bed at the Petersen House (across from Ford's Theatre). In reality, Abraham Lincoln lingered nearly ten hours and had been put into bed under the covers to keep him warm, and diagonally, because he was so tall he wouldn't have fit otherwise. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Private Harold Green: [speaking to Lincoln on the battlefield] Some of us was in the Second Kansas Colored. We fought the Rebs at Jenkins' Ferry last April just after they killed every Negro soldier they captured at Poison Springs. So at Jenkins' Ferry, we decided warn't takin' no Reb prisoners. And we didn't leave a one of 'em alive. The ones of us that didn't die that day, we joined up with the 116th US Colored, sir, from Camp Nelson, Kentucky.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

For international releases, an additional prologue about the Civil War was added prior to the start of the film. It mostly shows archive photos with the prologue text included in it. This was decided by the studio's marketing department in its research which realized that while many non-American audiences know of the titular character, most of them are not familiar with the war itself. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.32 (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

tough call
28 November 2012 | by mktasSee all my reviews

The consensus on performance is "spot on"--there is not a bad performance in "Lincoln." In fact, they are stellar. DD Lewis can, on occasion, come off as a bit too studied and slightly transparent, but not often enough for it to matter. All the other roles are just spectacularly played.

However, and it is a big however, this film is often dull, insipid, and overly florid. I have several advanced degrees and can handle didactic films, however, Lincoln stalls quite often with verbosity that fails to entertain and drama that seems, well, a bit stagy. That is my take--there is a lot of room for disagreement here. But I think the bandwagon effect is propelling this film toward awards which from the vantage of performance are probably justified, but from the vantage of all other technical areas, is hardly justifiable at all. Journeyman work,yes, but inspired? Not at all. Despite my reservations, this is still a movie that most people will enjoy. It is very far from Spielberg's best("ET" or "Raiders of the Lost Ark")--fortunately, it is also very farfrom his worst ("Hook" or "1941").


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