“Most brave and, for the audience, most demanding picture in the 40 years...” In a towering performance, Day-Lewis encompasses the great statesman who shaped history, the intimate man of the people and the mysterious, charismatic figure who so fascinated Picasso that he collected thousands of pictures of him...
The Arts Desk
“It feels like a perfect film for the times...” Spielberg is no stranger to the subject, of course, having made The Colour Purple and Amistad. This is far superior to both of those films, founded as it is upon an exceptional screenplay, and another phenomenal performance by Daniel Day Lewis...
“It’s a dirty job, we should be thankful when someone good agrees to do it” Lincoln seems unlikely to stand the test of time but it’s handsome, humorous and Day-Lewis’s bookish, weary-looking pioneer is haunting...
“He’s never directed a more sensational star turn. ” We might have feared something clattering and bloated, one of those vague whistle-stop tours from cradle to grave. It’s long, but it’s also focused and robust, with one crucial battle on its mind, rather than the whole war of its hero’s life...
“It's one of the talkiest movies ever made...” Spielberg's film will mean much to a nation that maintains a near-childlike reverence for the office of President, and it may well become one of their classroom standards. I don't think it will be embraced quite so gratefully by the rest...
Time Out film
“Finds a happy balance between the sober and the stirring...” Day Lewis's Lincoln is complex and endearing, never fully likeable but always hugely admirable, and because of these happy contradictions ‘Lincoln’ works as a snapshot of a great man without ever slipping into a portrait of sainthood...
“Spielberg’s worshipful treatment slows down its pulse...” I can imagine political parties booking office trips to see Lincoln, the same way hen nights gathered for Mamma Mia, but even they might weary of the gauzy decorousness that suffuses Lincoln.
“Of anything, you catch a scent of the Coen brothers...” As unexpected as it is intelligent, thanks to virtuoso work from Spielberg and Kushner, Lincoln is landmark filmmaking, while Day-Lewis is so authentic he pulls off that stovepipe...
“So personal, yet so momentous...” Creatively it’s a three-way split, where Kushner’s chewy oratory-packed screenplay and Day Lewis’ mesmerisingly conflicted Lincoln are just as key as Spielberg’s abilty to marshal the elements...
“A behemoth of a film...” Lincoln isn't as sentimental as you might expect from Spielberg, and though it never digs deep enough into Lincoln as a man, it's unafraid to show him as a canny politician willing to bend the law and make enormous compromises...