Lincoln is not a great film; it has its flaws and, as far as Spielberg movies goes, it's not one of his best. My main problem is the script. As many stated before me, it is long, extremely long, even for 2h and a half. I would give an Oscar to DDL just for the amount of lines, funny stories and speeches he had to memorize and say. I appreciate the discussions of such important topics as slavery and human rights, but it just went on and on, with few interesting scenes (my favorites came towards the end, with Stevens celebrating at home with his special guest and the very end, the fact that they didn't actually show a crucial point of history, but instead showed it from a different perspective). It was very well written, don't get wrong, but a bit boring and long.
When it comes to technical or filmmaking aspects, I have nothing bad or good to say. It looked good, the sets and costumes, especially Abraham's appearance, were realistically done, but I wasn't impressed or attracted by the direction, like in other films.
My highlights of Lincoln were definitely the performances. I realized half way through that this was, indeed, Daniel Day Lewis, not Lincoln. Absolutely fantastic performance, one of the best I have seen- It is a hard part and he nailed it; I respect him just for the number of lines and speeches he had to memorize and do, all completed by the right mannerisms and professionalism. Another standout was David Strathairn as the secretary of state, who was equally calm, honest and gracious, as he was passionate. I can't not mention Sally Fields (terrific in some scenes, like the fight with her husband over Robert and Willie or the reception meeting with Stevens), and Tommy Lee Jones, as the old grumpy man who eventually comes through. Are these last two worthy of Oscars? Not really, but I would be fine with it. Besides that, to top off the superb casting, the rest of the actors involved were top notch, and just by looking at the IMDb list, you know you can expect a well acted film.
In the end, is Lincoln a great film? not really. Does it have amazing performances? Most definitely. Is it worth seeing it just for them? Hmmm.....maybe, plus it is nominated for many awards, so I suggested you watch it for yourself and decides if it's worth the buzz.