- 2 hr 29 min
Lincoln is a 2012 historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The movie is set during the American Civil War and focuses on Lincoln's efforts to abolish slavery and end the war. Released in November 2012, the film won two Academy Awards and received widespread critical acclaim for its performances, direction, and attention to historical detail. The film begins in January 1865, two years into the Civil War. President Lincoln is searching for a way to end the war, which has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians. He is also determined to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, which would abolish slavery and end the practice of owning human beings in the United States forever. Looking to secure enough votes in Congress to pass the amendment, Lincoln and his Secretary of State William Seward (played by David Strathairn) work tirelessly to sway undecided representatives to their side. Meanwhile, Lincoln's wife Mary Todd (played by Sally Field) is struggling with her own personal demons, including the death of their son Willie. As the film progresses, viewers see Lincoln navigating the complicated political landscape of the time, often employing underhanded tactics to get the votes he needs. He also grapples with his own morality, struggling to justify his willingness to sacrifice so many lives in the pursuit of a cause he believes to be just. The performances in this film are outstanding, with Day-Lewis delivering a masterful portrayal of Lincoln as a complex and multifaceted leader who is praised for his intelligence and integrity, but who is also plagued by doubts and fears. Field's portrayal of Mary Todd Lincoln is equally impressive, as she brings depth and nuance to a character who is often overlooked in historical accounts. The supporting cast is also noteworthy, with Strathairn giving an understated but powerful performance as Seward, and Tommy Lee Jones stealing scenes as the radical Republican leader Thaddeus Stevens, who is committed to ending slavery but is not above using dubious tactics to achieve his goals. From a technical standpoint, the film is equally impressive. Spielberg's direction is masterful, seamlessly blending historical accuracy with compelling storytelling. The cinematography is stunning, capturing the mood and atmosphere of the time with striking visuals and immersive sound design. Overall, Lincoln is an exemplary historical drama that is both intellectually stimulating and emotionally resonant. It is a film that honors the memory of one of America's greatest leaders while acknowledging the complex and often difficult decisions he faced. For those who appreciate historical dramas and biopics, this film is a must-see.