7.3/10
235,993
780 user 562 critic

Lincoln (2012)

Trailer
2:28 | Trailer
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
1,539 ( 91)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 107 wins & 249 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1862, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father's killer.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis
My Left Foot (1989)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb - his left foot.

Director: Jim Sheridan
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Alison Whelan
War Horse (2011)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Young Albert enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and to the front lines as the war rages on.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis
Munich (2005)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Based on the true story of the Black September aftermath, about the five men chosen to eliminate the ones responsible for that fateful day.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Marie-Josée Croze
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A story of family, religion, hatred, oil and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciarán Hinds
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Three trappers protect the daughters of a British Colonel in the midst of the French and Indian War.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Set in 1950s London, Reynolds Woodcock is a renowned dressmaker whose fastidious life is disrupted by a young, strong-willed woman, Alma, who becomes his muse and lover.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Vicky Krieps, Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville
Drama | History | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker's daughter. The decision changes their lives forever.

Director: Tom Hooper
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway
Argo (2012)
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1979.

Director: Ben Affleck
Stars: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman
The Post (2017)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country's first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between the press and the government.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson

Photos

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The baton used by the conductor (Mark Ian Holt) in the Faust Opera scene with Abraham Lincoln and Mrs. Lincoln was owned by William Kushner (screenwriter Tony Kushner 's father), who was a clarinetist, and for forty years, the conductor of the Lake Charles (Louisiana) Symphony Orchestra. It is an authentic 19th century baton, ebony with an ivory handle, that Tony asked to be used to honor his dad, who died in March 2012. See more »

Goofs

Mary Lincoln worries that Robert will be killed by a sniper. The term sniper was not used in the US until well after the Civil War. The equivalent term was sharp shooter. 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 Tosh.0: The Oscars Spoiler Alerts (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Quintet No. 1 in B-Flat Major, K. 174, I. Allegro Moderto
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

User Reviews

The political process tangles with "Honest" Abe.
15 November 2012 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"He contained multitudes." Walt Whitman

A story about Abraham Lincoln's 13th Amendment fight could be a snoozer in the hands of anyone else except director Steven Spielberg and actor Daniel Day-Lewis. Together they bring alive the passage of one of the nineteenth century's greatest pieces of legislation, freeing slaves for all time.

While the Civil War was coming to a close after 4 bloody years in 1865, Lincoln politicked for the amendment's passage, knowing full well that if peace were obtained, the impetus for the amendment would vanish. So politics and war are inextricably tied together, and arguably the most noble American president bartered and lied his way to passage.

Spielberg makes clear that sequestering the South's negotiating team until passage was crucial, if not impeachable. The drama as votes are bought or cajoled is an apt companion to the catastrophic war that cost over a half million lives. Less rewarding as drama is Lincoln's relationship with his wife, Mary (Sally Field), whose depression over the loss of her first child stalks here her lifetime and makes for some less than sweet moments on screen.

But this film belongs to Lincoln, who, as memorably portrayed by Day-Lewis, is a leader of strong will peppered by a sense of humor and a relentless penchant for tales: The story of George Washington's portrait in a British water closet is a hoot. Tommy Lee Jones' Thaddeus Stevens is essential Jones: gruff, blunt, ugly, and charismatic with a dollop of kindness no better exemplified than in his final scene in his bedroom.

Although this is occasionally a heavy-handed history lesson, it is my preferred way to learn. I know now what the 13th Amendment is, and I am aware in our own time of the severity of politics-- that great leaders must also be great politicians, with all the pejorative connotations our recent presidential election can conjure. Steven Spielberg brilliantly shows us that the process can be for the people and by the people and may not perish.


19 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 780 user reviews »

Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

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 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$944,308, 11 November 2012

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 »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed