Lincoln movie review (in one word – EPIC!)

When I was in school I loved my Social Studies class. It was great to learn about different cultures and countries. The one thing that I didn’t like about the class was learning about history. Some historical stuff was cool, like the Ancient Romans and the start of civilization. When it came to other historical things like the Civil War, Word War I and II and more “modern” history, I had no interest in it whatsoever.

When I was out in LA in September we had the opportunity to see the movie Lincoln, which is in select theaters now and will be in theaters across the country on Friday.

To be honest with you, when I learned we were going to see the film my first thought was “How am I going to stay awake for two hours?”. I was actually thinking of ways NOT to doze off. I think that would make me a horrible blogger if I started to snore during a movie screening. 🙂

Lincoln stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln and Sally Field as his wife Mary. The film also stars Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, David Strathairn and Hal Holbrook.

Since I slept my way through most of my history classes (shhh… don’t tell my kids that), all I could tell you is that Lincoln helped to pass the amendment to free slaves and to end slavery. I also know he was shot by James Wilkes Booth and he was the 16th president of the United States. HOW he got the amendment passed was a mystery to me. I just figured he was the president and people did what he said to do. I never realized just how much opposition there was to the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution that would free the slaves.

Even though I dreaded having to watch the film, I sat there with an open mind. Within minutes I was hooked. That’s right – HOOKED!

I was mesmerized by Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln. It was as if someone went back in time, grabbed Abraham Lincoln and dragged him back to the 21st Century. I’ve been a fan of Daniel Day-Lewis ever since I saw him in Last of the Mohican’s. Even though I was familiar with him from that movie, and as an actor, all I saw before me on the screen was President Lincoln.

I like to watch the Academy Awards. I also don’t pay too much mind to who wins an Oscar (unless it’s a favorite movie or actor of mine). This is the first time EVER that I have seen a performance in a film that stood out to me so much that I felt that the person deserved to win an Oscar. If Daniel Day-Lewis does not win an Oscar for his portrayal of Lincoln, then the people who cast the votes know nothing about acting. Never have I felt so strongly about a performance. Daniel Day-Lewis was nothing short of amazing.

There was a lot in this film that I never knew about President Lincoln. He did things he felt were necessary to pass the Thirteenth Amendment and abolish slavery including trading political favors and allowing is aides to deal in vote brokering in order to pass the amendment. Let’s just say he broke a lot of rules.

Lincoln also didn’t have the greatest relationship with his wife Mary. The press labeled her as a “lunatic” but she was simply grieving the loss of her son who passed away at a young age. At the time the amendment was passed the Lincoln’s had two living sons – a college age son name Robert and a young son name Tad.

Lincoln was a doting father and clearly loved his children very much, even though his oldest son, Robert, tried to break free from his father in order to be his own person. He did not want to walk down the path that his father had planned for him.

There was so much going on in this film. Sometimes films have a few slow spots where no much is happening. That is not the case in this film. There was a lot going on including Lincoln’s quest to get the amendment passed and to end slavery, his rocky relationship with Mary, his tense relationship with his son Robert, trying to end the war and dealing with top political figures who would do anything to stop him.

I thought maybe some of the elements of this film were made up but I learned that the film is 100% factual. The screenplay is based upon a book written by Doris Kearns Goodwin Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. She used a team of historians to make sure everything was as factual as humanly possible. The film writers took zero creative liberties with this film.

Yes, this is a historical film and you will learn a lot about Abraham Lincoln, the man, the husband, the father and most importantly the Presidents of the United States. But this film is so much more than that.

At the beginning of my review I told you how much I dreaded the idea of sitting through this film. I now humbly “eat my words”. This film is amazing, absorbing, exceptional and undeniably outstanding. From the phenomenal portrayal of Lincoln by Daniel Day-Lewis to the superb cinematography – this film is captivating.

Lincoln is directed by movie legend Steven Spielberg so you know it’s going to be epic. He also directed War Horse, Schindler’s List and E.T., so you can only imagine how he worked his movie magic with this film too.

This is not a film for young children. I have teenagers. I think it might be too much for my 13 year old. I think this film is more suited for older students in high school. In the film they speak what I can only assume is “Old English” (someone please correct me if I’m wrong). They use a lot of words we don’t use anymore like “nay” and “thou”. Even I got lost a few times with some of the conversations.

You DO NOT have to love history to appreciate this film. I certainly don’t love, or even like history, yet I am totally enamoured with this film. Out of all the films I have seen so far this year I think Lincoln hands down deserves an Oscar.

Lincoln is currently showing in select theaters. Look for Lincoln in a theater near you this Friday, November 16, 2012.

Here is the trailer for you conveniece. You can also find the trailer here, http://bit.ly/R1d4NV.


You can follow the movie on it’s official website, www.TheLincolnMovie.com. You can also “like” the film on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/LincolnMovie) and on Twitter (@LincolnMovie). You can also follow the conversation on Twitter with the hastag #LincolnMovie.

Have you seen the movie yet? If so I would LOVE to hear your thoughts about it. I always love to hear from my readers.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, are you planning on seeing it?

I won’t be surprised if this film is shown is high school and college classrooms across the country in the near future.


*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way.

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About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and "mini zoo" consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher's assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.


  1. I love Social Studies and I have a mad love of History. WW I and WW II were fascinating to me. This film was partly shot in my hometown. The people who were minor players and extras got a sneak peek and said it was great. I may have to wait for the dvd but I will see it at some point.

  2. Oh I have to see this I didn’t like history class but I did enjoy social studies in middle school I did really well, we actually went on a field trip to Springfield Illinois and went to his home, it was the best field trip we ever went on.

  3. Thank you for posting this. I had seen it, but didn’t really think to go watch it because I also hated History. However, it’s my 12 year old who came in begging me the other day to please take him to watch this. He’s seen the previews and he’s kind of weird in that he actually likes history and is always telling me things I should know but don’t……..cuz I didn’t pay attention in class. You mentioned thought that it was more for older kids, so would it not be a good idea to take my 12 year old you think?

  4. It’s sad that so many people hated history. No wonder we keep making the same mistakes over and over again.We can’t learn from history if we don’t know history. I think just like math and science history is often not taught in a way that engages the student