Parents' Guide to

Lincoln

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Outstanding drama about revered leader's political genius.

Movie PG-13 2012 150 minutes
Lincoln Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 21 parent reviews

age 12+

Good to watch as a family--values and civics lessons

Watched this last night (my husband and I had seen it when it first released), as my 14-year old prepares to take an 8th grade trip to DC and our 6th grade son has been steeped in American history, the constitution, and is almost 12 years old. The most disturbing scenes are of battlefields strewn with corpses, and severed limbs being disposed of outside a hospital. The main crux of the film focuses on the passage of the 13th amendment, and the compromises made along the way to ensure the incredibly close vote. The troubled relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln (and their suffering over the loss of their son Willy, and bouts with mental illness) is also featured. So there is much to discuss across civics lessons, personal values, family relationships (also oldest son feels strongly that he wants to enlist but his parents have resisted as they fear losing another son), struggles, compromises, etc....so much!! Excellent film, and though I write 12 and up it's possible for some mature 5th graders/11-year olds as well (despite battle scenes).
age 14+

if it weren't for the blasphemy the movie would be a 5 star.

I loved the movie, the blasphemy in the movie was unnecessary that is the only thing that ruined it. But the movie is very well made very accurate the actors did a really good Job., the cinematography is perfect! this movie is educational and very well made.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (21 ):
Kids say (51 ):

There's no better film to watch to pay witness to how even our country's greatest historical leaders still had to make quid pro quo overtures across party lines to move forward. Based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's award-winning book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln is more about the political intrigue of Lincoln's final months than a "biopic" about his personal life. Day-Lewis' performance is a brilliant character study of a legendary man. Unlike the over-the-top characters Day-Lewis played in Gangs of New York and There Will Be Blood, his President Lincoln is an introspective man who tells stories that sound like parables and who exudes a powerful dignity, even in silence. As Mary Todd Lincoln, Field makes a passionate case for the First Lady's instability, stemming from the overwhelming grief of losing son Willie.

But one of the most startling performances in the film, which is so eloquently scripted by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, is courtesy of Tommy Lee Jones as Stevens. The uncompromising abolitionist congressman wants complete racial equality -- not just the legal extinction of slavery -- but even he knows that change sometimes comes in baby steps, not revolution.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate