"Lincoln" reviews: Critics gush over new Steven Spielberg film

Daniel Day-Lewis portrays Abraham Lincoln in the film, "Lincoln."
AP Photo/DreamWorks/Twentieth Century Fox

Most critics are gushing over Steven Spielberg new drama, "Lincoln," starring Daniel Day-Lewis as President Abraham Lincoln.

DreamWorks' latest chronicles the 16th president's tumultuous final months in office as he tries to end a war and abolish slavery. Also starring Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, James Spader and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, "Lincoln" is already garnering early Oscar buzz. Reviewers are praising Day-Lewis' performance, calling it "breathtaking" and "brilliant."

The film, based in part on Doris Kearns Goodwin's 2005 book "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," has a 93 percent rating on film aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. And with 2012 presidential election now behind us, the movie's debut, out in limited release Friday, is pretty timely.

Check out some review excerpts:

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone: "The phenomenal Daniel Day-Lewis plays Lincoln with immersive, indelible power in Spielberg's brilliant, brawling epic."

Rex Reed of The New York Observer: "In all, there's too much material, too little revelation and almost nothing of Spielberg's reliable cinematic flair."

Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal: "The portrait of Lincoln transcends conventional judgments; it's a complete creation, perfect on its own terms."

Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times: "The hallmark of the man, performed so powerfully by Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln," is calm self-confidence, patience and a willingness to play politics in a realistic way."

Kenneth Turan of The Los Angeles Times: "There is nothing bravura or overly emotional about Spielberg's direction here, but the impeccable filmmaking is no less impressive for being quiet and to the point."

A.O. Scott of The New York Times: "To say that this is among the finest films ever made about American politics may be to congratulate it for clearing a fairly low bar."