Like he did for the complexities of evil in TWBB, Daniel-Day Lewis brings a richness and grace to the complexities of benevolence here; something upon reflection I feel may be the greater of the two accomplishments. This is a film like the ones Griffith once pulled off, where goodness is made beautiful and poetic and inspiring, not trite and sentimental.
Really not as bad as many below are giving it credit for. If you don't like history, you may find this film boring. ITony Kushner's script is pretty great, quasi-Shakespearean in its ability to plumb the depths and scale the heights of the American vernacular. The acting is also superb, especially from Lewis and Jones. It's Masterpiece Theater quality (at its best) , fairly substantive mIddlebrow entertainment,
Spielberg again hones his craft: bringing historical narratives straight from U.S. high school textbooks to the big screen with all the sentimentality of your grandpa who fought in the war. Particularly offensive is one of the closing scenes, wherein an African-American woman exorbitantly praises her Great White Lover for delivering her, even if his compromises would lead to another century (and more) of pain.
Lincoln alternately broods and pleads in smoky, impeccably lit rooms, ably supported by a fine cast and script. Way too much of the stock-in-trade stoic music from John Williams -as if those finely portrayed inner struggles need brash external flourishes- but even that can't wreck an intelligent rumination on the exigencies of power, delegation and, above all, the keeping of one's integrity in spite of everything.