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Lincoln: Movie Review

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Saving Private Ryan. Schindler’s List. E.T. These are the masterful films that have made director Steven Spielberg a household name. The Oscar-winning filmmaker now can add another movie title to the top of his impressive list of credits.

Lincoln, starring the incomparable Daniel Day-Lewis as our country’s 16th president, will be a classic. Cinephiles will no doubt regard this as one of the best biographical films made during our lifetime.


Political intrigue isn’t a 20th century invention. President Abraham Lincoln himself employed such tactics to achieve his political agenda during the 1860s. Passing a Constitutional amendment in the United States Senate to abolish slavery was the end game. With Democrats fighting against its ratification and the South relentlessly waging war to part from the Union, Lincoln and his allies in Washington, D.C., must do what is necessary to pass the bill for the betterment of the country.


If you’re expecting Lincoln to be a Civil War movie, you will be pleasantly surprised to find it’s much more than that. It’s an exploration of the legislative theater during Lincoln’s time in office, as well as, the family drama had within the White House. Though the tragedy of war is shown, it is mostly a backdrop for the more immediate and intimate struggles Lincoln faces in the District.

Actor Daniel Day-Lewis is no stranger to the Oscars, having won Best Actor twice (for There Will Be Blood and My Left Foot). And his name is likely to be called again when this year’s Academy Award nominees are revealed. In a stellar performance, he embodies the historic figure so well that you are fully engaged as you watch the critical years of Lincoln’s life unfold on screen. There’s a strength and also a vulnerability to his performance that is utterly captivating.

His supporting cast adds to the movie experience, with Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive) as Republican Senator Thaddeus Stevens, and other familiar faces, including James Spader (Boston Legal), David Strathairn (The Bourne Ultimatum), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception), Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies) and Hal Holbrook—who also played Lincoln in the TV series, North and South.

Rated PG-13 for an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage and brief strong language, Lincoln is gritty and unsuitable for children. Let their lesson on Lincoln be from history books, for now.


Lincoln clocks in at 2 and ½ hours, but hang in there. It’s well worth the time. With moments of levity juxtaposed with real tragedy, Lincoln is a history movie lover’s dream.

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About The Author


Hannah Goodwyn served as a Senior Producer for, managing and writing for the award-winning website. After her undergraduate studies at Christopher Newport University, Hannah went on to study Journalism at the graduate level. In 2005, she graduated summa cum laude with her Master's from Regent University and was honored with an Outstanding Student Award. From there, Hannah began work as a content producer for For ten years, she acted as the managing producer for the website's Family and Entertainment sections. A movie buff, Hannah felt right at home working as's