Opens: Nov. 16

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

In a nation divided by war, our 16th President pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery in his tumultuous final months in office. This is the stage for the film Lincoln. This movie is more than just an exploration of pro-America propaganda; instead, this film reaches beyond the known stereotypes of Abraham Lincoln and delivers a complete view of this slice of American history.

Daniel Day-Lewis. DANIEL Day-Lewis. Daniel DAY-LEWIS. DANIEL DAY-LEWIS! Honestly, I could end this review with that much said, and I say that with ZERO sarcasm. Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest actor of our time (and possibly ever) has blessed us with yet another transformative and spellbinding performance in Lincoln. The genius of Day-Lewis brings the legend, the history and most importantly, the humanity to an American icon. Through this performance, Day-Lewis will likely win his third Academy Award for Best Actor. From the first moment that Day-Lewis appears on screen as Lincoln, it’s like going back in time. His performance is absolutely uncanny: it’s as if Lincoln himself is on the screen in front of you. It’s that good.

An all-star supporting cast including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, James Spader, David Strathairn and Hal Holbrook make Lincoln a who’s who of actors. Not simply filling space, these performers were almost necessary to balance the genius of Day-Lewis. Anything less than quality, professional actors would seem out of place in comparison.

Steven Spielberg’s straightforward and surprisingly non-frilly directing allows the story to be told without distraction from strange camera angles and special effects. With long, sweeping shots, soft-focus, and a wonderful usage of lighting, Spielberg does not rely on his old tricks in Lincoln. With a blueprint on war footage shots, he could have relied on the Saving Private Ryan playbook, but refrains from using his standard tools, instead showing his wisdom and experience with the art of storytelling.

Riveting from beginning to end, Lincoln is a fantastic film sure to not only be a new stable in American history classes across the country, but also be revisited during Oscar nomination time early next year.

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