Sunday Night Trailer Review: Lincoln

I love trailers. So much in fact, they're my favorite part of going to the movies. Well, aside from the movie itself. It's the idea of what a trailer is selling; what the movie can be about. it's the reason why I do my most anticipated list. In my mind, Terminator Salvation and Transformers 2 were some of the greatest movies ever, according to their trailers. I almost had to change underwear when the six minute long trailer for Cloud Atlas went online. These people really know how to sell a movie (well, maybe not this movie)! Some trailers are just plain awesome and others can be so generic, fill-in-the-blanks moments that you can tell someone was being lazy cobbling together the trailer. And so without further ado, we dive into the Spielberg-directed Lincoln:


I don't think you can get much more Spielbergian than this trailer. Note the West Wing-esque music, the emotional tug of Saving Private Ryan-patriotism. It's all done very nicely. But to me, this trailer rings hollow. And I'll tell you why: it looks like a by-the-books generic biopic movie based on a middle-school biography of Mr. Lincoln. I can understand Spielberg trying to make a larger-than-life portrait of a man that's more mythic than realistic. But I'd almost rather see a movie that takes a more intimate look into the private life of Lincoln and his family. It seems like this is more a Civil War movie than a Lincoln movie.

And my other big problem with this trailer - every single character they introduced in the trailer, save for Lincoln himself, I immediately was snapped into seeing Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field and that guy from Into the Wild and that other dude who played Edward Murrow. Rather than seeing them as characters. Seriously, the wig on Tommy Lee Jones looked pretty awful and I couldn't help but be reminded, "Oh yeah, that's Agent K!" Daniel Day-Lewis can transform himself into any role and I was completely convinced he was Lincoln. But aside from that, I feel like Spielberg called in a lot of favors for all these big-time actors to get on board. I don't expect to be completely absorbed in this movie, but seeing all of these big-name stars jolts me out of being transported to another place and time.

There's a reason I didn't put Lincoln on my most anticipated list and this trailer just confirms it. I want the fun Spielberg back - he's been too busy making serious or dull films (Tintin was pretty lame, and War Horse was just way too serious and stupid; I think we can all agree on that). I can only hope we'll see Mr. Speilberg back directing fun and memorable movies again someday. So would I see the movie based on this trailer? A resounding no!

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