Lincoln 4-Disc Blu-ray Combo review

  • Actors: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Writers: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Tony Kushner
  • Producers: Adam Somner, Daniel Lupi, Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King, Kathleen Kennedy
  • Format: AC-3, Box set, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS-HD High Res Audio), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish, English
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Dreamworks
  • Release Date: March 26, 2013
  • Run Time: 150 minutes



                There are very few surprises within the biopic of Lincoln. When the announcement of Spielberg’s decision to make an Abraham Lincoln biopic was made, I basically was able to imagine what that would be like. The end result is not far from what I imagined, with the same visual style that filmmaker Steven Spielberg has clung to for the last decade or so. Just as predictable is the ease with which Daniel Day Lewis is able to mesmerize us with another flawless performance. There are also a number of praiseworthy supporting cast members, including a joyful scene-stealer in James Spader.


    With all there is to praise, however, I felt myself feeling rather emotionally detached from the entire endeavor, mostly due to the areas of political maneuvering that the film tends to focus on. We know little about the man, aside from his tendency to tell long-winded stories, but we see a great deal in his ability to use the democratic system to create change. There is a lesson in this which is timeless, especially as correlations between the abolishment of slavery and current fights for civil equality are sure to be made.


    Lincoln does not waste time with the usual trappings of biopics, including no back-story or scenes of a childhood event which would shape later decisions. Instead, the film takes places entirely during the struggle to pass the 13th Amendment during his final four months in office. The Civil War has already been going on for over four years at the beginning of the film, but it is still a struggle to convince even the most liberal politicians to pass a law that will abolish slavery in the United States. Much of the film focuses on the political maneuvering that Lincoln was forced to use in order to make the law seem tied to the end of the war, rather than having anything to do with racial equality.


    Moments in the film are more entertaining than others, like expertly sprinkled confection to hide the more nutritional aspects of the film’s screenplay. Much of this is due to the performances in the film. All actors seem appropriately compelling without too much melodrama being played, but it is impossible to review Lincoln without singing the praises of Daniel Day Lewis. I will be brief, because I don’t think there is much left to be said. He is one of the most impressively dedicated actors working today, and the natural way he seems to embody the 16th President is so effortless that it would have been easy to overlook the performance. This is a well deserved third win for the actor.


    The 4-Disc Combo pack includes a DVD and digital copy of the film, as well as the Blu-ray version. The fourth disc is a Blu-ray with all of the many additional features. On the first Blu-ray disc and the DVD, there is a making-of featurette. The Blu-ray also has a featurette about the choice to shoot in Richmond, Virginia. The second Blu-ray disc has four additional making-of featurettes, each dealing specific aspects of this particular production. They cover the casting, the technical aspects of the era, sound design and more.


    Entertainment Value: 6/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 9/10

    Historical Significance: 9/10

    Disc Features: 8.5/10

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