The story is amazing, the historical figure is fascinating, and Daniel Day-Lewis is emanating his usual awesomeness, but it just comes out as a bit bland in the end. It's like eating a stake in a center of a European capital - it's quite expensive, and for the most part made competently, but lacks any extra oomph that would make you think about it twice.
More about a specific moment in history than the actual life of Lincoln himself. It really does boil down to a court room of men just shouting at each other and recollections of stories being told. While Spielberg doesn't keep his audience bored because the acting from everyone is great it also feels uninspired, no great look into the idividuals who are effected by the civil war or slavery. Watch in two sessions.
A slightly guiltily capitulating to the neoliberal agenda 3.7 stars. At times came far too close to being an illustrated political diorama with hefty info-dumping. However as a non-American with a very partial knowledge of American history, I found the slow illustration of basic mechanics of the American political system really enlightening! However I could almost hear Spike Lee shouting in my ear from behind me!
Overall a bit boring: I might have fallen asleep from time to time. This is history, and my attention sometimes struggles with it. I think all characters did enough talking in dark claustrophobic rooms. Sure thing Daniel Day-Lewis is impeccable in this demanding, powerful role.
I don't know if Lincoln's motivations for the 13th amendment were as altruistic as this film presents. As in, I don't actually know. But - SO WHAT. As a film, there is a certain inevitability that we're gearing towards the Spielberg ending and there are some shots of Day-Lewis/Lincoln that could have been shot by Leni Riefenstahl, but it's a pretty smart film. It doesn't really speak down and Sally Fields is welcome.
What a load of boring, dreary, long-winded, wordy, dragged-out tripe. The wonder is that Day-Lewis managed to stay awake long enough to ham his way through the film. And it's accompanied by one of John Williams' most plagiaristic and sloppy scores ever. The only redeeming features were the photography and the hilarious stove-pipe hats - the only interesting bit would have been watching Lincoln getting (cont...)