Local critics have decidedly different takes Steven Spielberg's historical epic "Lincoln," but are united in their lack of enthusiasm for the final film in the "Twilight" saga, "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" -- two of the new films opening in theaters this weekend.
Starring Daniel Day-Lewis as President Abraham Lincoln, "Lincoln" follows 16th president's tumultuous final months in office as he tries to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery with the passage of the 13th amendment.
Chris Hewitt of the Pioneer Press holds Day-Lewis' performance in high regard, saying he brings "wit, soul and humanity to the 16th president." Apart from that, he said, the film "isn't horrible, but much of it's not good."
The Star Tribune's review Colin Covert calls "Lincoln" one of those rare projects where "a great director, a great actor and a great writer (Tony Kushner) amplify one another's gifts."
Covert also singles out Spielberg, saying his direction "runs parallel to his restrained, mature best in "Schindler's List."
Although not as overwhelming positive in his City Pages review, Chris Packham also sings high praises of the film, saying this film portrayal of Lincoln "is stunningly portrayed by Spielberg and Day-Lewis, is real and relatable and so, so cool. "
Here's my interview with Sally Field, who also stars as Mary Todd Lincoln.
See the trailer for "Lincoln" below.
Lincoln is facing off this weekend against the fifth and final "Twilight" film, "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," the vampire romance saga starring Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart
Hewitt has no problem criticizing the film for its "blank acting of practically everyone" and its "pedestrian storytelling," but does remark that the film's special effects are "swell."
In praise, Hewitt offers that the climax of the film -- a confrontation between rival vampire factions -- is "easily the best sequence in any of the 'Twilight' movies."
Covert calls the second "Breaking Dawn" a "weird amalgam of hard action and soft romance," and like Hewitt, praises the conclusion of the film -- saying director Bill Condon "stages the frenetic battle royal with frenetic energy and no small amount of humor."
WCCO.com's review by Eric Henderson revels in the end of the saga, saying it's a win-win proposition: "On one hand, it ends the series on a clear high note. On the other hand, it ends the series."
See the trailer for "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" below:
Bring Me The News news curator Tim Lammers is also a nationally-syndicated movie journalist whose work appears on more than 50 TV affiliate web sites in the U.S. Tim has interviewed more than 1,000 major actors and filmmakers throughout his career, and locally, he reviews films on "KARE 11 Today" and WCCO Radio. Tim's work is also featured on his website, StrictlyCinema.com.