While a two-and-a-half-hour political movie could be painfully slow, director Steven Spielberg and writer Tony Kushner recreate Abraham Lincoln’s final term as US president in a surprisingly engaging way. As Lincoln fights to pass the 14th Amendment, in order to give black Americans equality before the law, in a civil war-torn country, he encounters numerous roadblocks before his success—and while this history is well known, the process by which the Amendment was passed, Spielberg’s take on the events make them even more interesting. Kushner, a master of dialogue, doesn’t disappoint, imbuing even the most procedural conversations with wit—of course, Daniel Day-Lewis, as the stoic Lincoln and Tommy Lee Jones, as the rowdy, sharp-tongued Republican politician Thaddeus Stevens, help this cause. -Molly Segal



  • Steven Spielberg


  • Daniel Day-Lewis
  • Sally Field
  • Jackie Earle Haley
  • Tommy Lee Jones
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • Jared Harris
  • James Spader
  • Lee Pace
  • David Strathairn
  • John Hawkes


  • Tony Kushnerr
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin


  • Kathleen Kennedy
  • Steven Spielberg

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