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Saturday, March 9, 2013




Last week Mrs. Cranky and I went to see “Lincoln.”  The acting was very good, the costumes authentic (I guess) and the story was just fascinating and enlightening.

Oh crap, I can’t do it.  “Lincoln” is one of those movies that you are just supposed to love.  It is a movie you are expected to rave about.  Everyone raves about these certain movies, but I am sorry, I have to say, “The emperor had no clothes!”  That’s right, I did not like this movie and I am betting if truth be told most people also did not like it but are afraid to say so. 

This movie is long…too long.  It has no action.  No action at all!  Yes it is historical, but I didn’t understand half of the political crap that was going on.  It would take another viewing to figure it all out.  Another viewing?  No friggin way; I already wasted 140 minutes of my life, I don’t intend to do it again.  For a movie that is so universally acclaimed I doubt very many people will ever see it twice.  Hell, I’ve seen “The Green Mile” 178 times and would see it again.  Lincoln?  Once is too much.

Part of my problem with “Lincoln” is I have my doubts about the historical accuracy of the portrayed events but I am too lazy and apathetic to do the research (Frog?*).

The other issue I have with this movie besides it being a giant snore fest is my own controversial, politically incorrect position on the Civil War.  In my cranky opinion, the Civil War was the worst, most stupid war we have ever fought.  It was as bad and as useless as the Viet Nam, Iraq, and Afghanistan Wars combined. 

Seven-hundred and fifty thousand Americans were killed, probably an equal number were maimed and this from a population of under 30 million.  Imagine, over 10% of the men in the country killed or maimed (that would be 15 million in today’s numbers) and much of the south burned and destroyed.  There was one dead or maimed soldier for every male slave over the age of 15 that was freed.  I know, I know, the war freed the slaves and preserved the Union…God bless America.


People of color in this country were not really set free for over 100 years after the War.  In the South, especially, (the north was not much better) Blacks had no vote, had inferior educations, had no equal rights, and most were forced into jobs which allowed them to live lives barely above subsistence level;  any real equality Black people earned after the Civil War came from their own insistence, protests and sacrifice.

If we had not fought the War would the South still have slavery today?  Certainly not.  It may have lasted another ten years, but if the repeal of slavery came out of peoples own sense of enlightenment and what is right, rather than being dictated to them from the North I believe the de-facto slavery of the next 100 years would have not been so severe and integration and equal rights would have come faster and at less expense.

Did the War preserve the Union?  I guess, but at such a cost? If we had not fought the war would we have two separate countries today?  I doubt it and if we did they would be so closely aligned that the separation would be mostly in name only.

I give “Lincoln” one out of five cranks.

Oh, and not to give it away, but in the end Lincoln gets shot.

*Frog is a lifelong friend and an expert in all things historical


That is my cranky opinion for this fine Saturday.  If this does not elicit some scathing comments then I am just not doing my job!


The preceding opinions are from a Cranky Old Man, and not necessarily those of management…Mrs. Cranky.


  1. "Well, except for that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the theatre?"

    The no action part would have had me out the door in a hour, max. Plus I heard (I haven't actually seen it) that there was a grave historical inaccuracy: In the movie Lincoln spent much time trying to convince two Connecticut legislatores to vote to end slavery, when in fact they were on board all along. At least that's what current CT pols say, and they feel they were besmearched. (True?)

    I'll probably pass on this one. Thanks for the review.


  2. Not my kinda movie either. I haven't seen it and definitely wont bother.

  3. I do like it when somebody has the gall to contradict the professional critics. Well done!

  4. What do professional critics know?
    They know if the watch movies they will get paid.

    I will take a respected amateur's opinion over a pro's any time.

    I wasn't gonna see it anyway because I took history classes in college.

  5. I'm going to have to agree with you on this one. I love historical drama and all the costumes, settings and such that go with it, but I did find it moved along laboriously slow, would be impossible to follow if you didn't know history well, and left me questioning the accuracy of what was portrayed, just as you do. It was dark, and heavy, and I would have liked it to be so much more (in a much shorter time frame)!

  6. I wait to see in on Television and let you know what I think then! My mother, who is a great history buff for years said she didn't like reading about the American Civil War, 'because it's still not over'... As for me I've often wondered if the fight was worth the trouble. I don't really know the answer to that, but I am certain that the repeal of slavery was a good thing to be incorporated into the Constitution.

  7. Excellent review Joe. I like Daniel Day Lewis's acting which was pretty much the sole reason I wanted to go see this movie. I have NOT gone to see it and WILL NOT go now after reading your review. Again Hollywood plays fast and loose with the facts? Not a surprise there. Your observation that blacks only gained their true freedom long after the war is spot on. And mostly they gained it through their own efforts. A brilliant review Joe and very insightful. No crankiness here, just cold, hard facts.

    Thank You for saving me some money.

  8. How many minutes into the movie do I have to wait until Lincoln kills his first vampire?

  9. Kills his first vampire....that made me laugh!
    I didn't have much interest in this movie and was going to wait until it came out on Netflix. I loved The Patriot for its historical fiction and the action was good, and other movies like that. But even the previews of Lincoln seemed boring. If they can't make interesting trailers, then that's a clue that the movie will follow suit.

  10. Dammit--you just HAD to spoil the ending, didn't you?

  11. By have led me to think in a different direction. I never once questioned the need for the Civil War, but you make good points. However, I think I do believe that some confrontation was needed to "officially" abolish slavery, no matter that the way it was done was a disaster.

    As for the movie....I am sure you are right about it. I will watch 'The Green Mile' instead for the 749th of my favorite movies ever.

  12. I suspected as much. Thanks for saving 140 minutes of my life plus the price of tickets and maybe even some super over priced popcorn. I owe you big time.

  13. I absolutely loved this movie and thought it was the best I had seen in an age. All the people that walked out of the theater with me shared that opinion. I guess that is why we need to read more than one review huh? Leenie you may regret missing this one!