Thursday, November 22, 2012

91% Lincoln

All Critics (163) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (148) | Rotten (15)

It's the most remarkable movie Steven Spielberg has made in quite a spell, and one of the things that makes it remarkable is how it fulfills those expectations by simultaneously ignoring and transcending them.

Lincoln paints a powerful and compelling portrait of the man who has become an icon. We don't need to see more of his life to understand how rare a figure he was - this window is more than sufficient.

Lincoln offers proof of what magic can happen when an actor falls in love with his character. Because as great as Day-Lewis has been in his many parts, he has never seemed quite so smitten.

The film masterfully captures the dual dilemmas facing the president in the final months of his life: how to bring the war between the states to an end, and how to eradicate slavery, once and for all.

Lincoln is a stirring reminder that politics can be noble. Might there be a lesson here for today's shrill D.C. discourse? 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

Day-Lewis' voice is thin and reedy, which jibes with historical accounts but subverts our expectations. His attitude makes listeners lean in, and so do we, magnetized by his kindly reserve.

The weight of history is certainly present in every scene, but so are the undeniable correlations between past and present that make it feel so immediate and pertinent.

The very talented cast of this film is put to good use, thanks to Spielberg's sure direction and a strong script, written by Tony Kushner ('Munich').

Perhaps the most restrained and grown-up movie of [Spielberg's] career.

Daniel Day-Lewis is picture-perfect as 'Lincoln.'

Spielberg respects his audience's intelligence enough to tell the complex story and maintain a great deal of historical accuracy.

Why don't we give the best actor Oscar to Daniel Day-Lewis right now and save everyone a lot of trouble?

A poignant portrait of Lincoln's last days, time spent as a marked man making his appointed rounds en route to his rendezvous with destiny.

The best aspect of Lincoln is the stellar performance by Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln. Day-Lewis always is devoted to finding the authenticity.

Lincoln's cast gets high marks for making the film more entertaining than it has any right to be.

Superlative and spellbinding, this surprisingly relevant observation on the essence of leadership is, undoubtedly, one of the best pictures of the year.

Figuratively, at its visual core, 'Lincoln' is a collection of Mathew Brady photos come to life. Daniel Day-Lewis dominates. His Oscar worthy performance encompasses greatness...(He) IS Lincoln.

For all its good intentions and spurts of innovation, it never really comes alive as living, breathing history. Instead, it too often plays like an audio reading of the Congressional Record, with some unwieldy domestic scenes tossed in for good measure.

What I wanted to say to Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field: for God's sake, just stop and take your're breaking my heart and you're killing me.

Too long, too many side stories but great work from Daniel Day-Lewis. Director Steven Spielberg often shoots him in poses that make him look like Lincoln's famous penny.

No matter what, Lincoln is a sharp and patient movie that compares well to other contemplative films seen in recent years. Like The Social Network or Moneyball, we step inside the process and explore it in vivid detail.

A lively, intelligent, and even fun examination of how one man inspired America to change forever.

Lincoln lives, vividly, in Daniel Day-Lewis' performance.


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