Lincoln (2012) - Parents Guide Movie Rating

MPA: PG-13 BBFC: 12A Maturity Rating 13+
MPAA Reason
Rated PG-13 for an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage and brief strong language.

BBFC Reason
Contains infrequent moderate war violence, gore and strong language

BBFC Ratings info
LINCOLN is a drama set in 1865 during the final months of the American Civil War, about Abraham Lincoln's struggle to end slavery in the face of intense political opposition. It is rated 12 for infrequent moderate war violence, gore and strong language. The film contains images of violence in the context of battle, including a stabbing to the chest, repeated blows to a soldier with the butt of a rifle, bayoneting of soldiers, and a brief scene of a soldier's face being pushed into muddy water by another soldier's foot, in an attempt to drown him. The shot ends before the soldier is seen to die. These images are brief and the battle scene itself is not prolonged. In another scene the President rides through a battlefield and witnesses the results of the violence, with several dead soldiers seen. One of the bodies has a stomach wound, but there is otherwise little focus on injury. During a visit to an army hospital there are shots of the bandaged stumps of wounded soldiers as they sit in their beds. Blood is seen on cobblestones outside the hospital, followed by the sight of amputated limbs being tipped from a wheelbarrow into a hole in the ground. It is a brief startling image illustrating the horror of warfare. Towards the end of the film, Lincoln is seen, dead, in his bead with his pillow soaked in blood. It is a brief moment and not particularly focused upon. There are two uses of strong language. In a brief confrontation between two men, one says 'f**k you, you son of a bitch' before running off. The second use occurs as a reaction to the President's unexpected visit, when a man says, 'well, I'll be f***ed'. The film also contains racist language and references. These include use of 'nigger' and 'coon', and references such as '...hates niggers, hates God for making niggers' and 'voted yes for nigger freedom'. The language and references occur in a historical context, during an intense debate within American politics, and they illustrate the strength of feelings. However, the focus of the film is on the fight for equality and on those who fought to abolish slavery, LINCOLN also contains a use of 'bitch' and other milder terms, including uses of 'shit', 'crap' and 'son of a bitch', 'goddamn', 'damn', 'hell' and a use of 'Jesus'. No-one younger than 12 may see a 12A film in a cinema unless accompanied by an adult. No-one younger than 12 may rent or buy a 12 rated video or DVD.

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Sex & Nudity


A husband and wife begin to undress in their bedroom, but they are interrupted and nothing intimate is shown. A man and woman go to bed together and kiss. The scene ends. Just a kiss

Violence & Gore


As Lincoln passes through Petersburg we see men with missing limbs, bloody wounds, and horrified expressions stained permanently on their faces. The most graphic part is when Lincoln passes by a gored up and disemboweled soldier. (Very Graphic, Camera lingers close-up-ish) The opening scene sees men shooting, beating, drowning in the mud either being shoved by hands or boots to the face, and most violently being impaled by bayonets. Some of it being bloody. All of it is very disturbing and realistic. When Lincoln visits wounded war vets, we see a person pushing a cart filled with severed arms and legs that drip blood. Lincoln visits a battlefield, where dead bodies are strewn about. When Robert and his father get into an argument, Lincoln slaps him across the face. A man is shot in the foot. Lots of Civil War violence throughout. Much of it is very intense. Lincoln is shown on his deathbed, with a bloodstain on the pillow beneath his head.



'Jesus' is said as an exclamation 'Godd*mn' is said several times. 'F*ck' is said twice. 'Sh*t' is said a few times. 'Nigger' and 'negro' are said. 'B*tch' is said.

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking


Several characters are shown drinking (wine, beer and other presumably alcoholic beverages) and smoking (mostly cigars). Preston Blair's wife instructs a servant to get him drunk during a long journey so he'll be able to sleep.

Frightening & Intense Scenes


Lincoln's death is very sad. The early scene of a battle is frightening. Some emotionally intense moments related to race and slavery. A husband and wife have an argument, where they raise their voice and the woman starts crying.