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Killing Lincoln

Score: 86%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Fox Home Entertainment
Region: A
Media: Blu-ray/1
Running Time: 96 Mins.
Genre: Documentary
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French


  • Audio Commentary Featuring Executive Producer and Screenwriter Erik Jendresen
  • An Interview with Co-Author Bill O'Reilly
  • Uncovering the Truth: The Making of Killing Lincoln
  • Promotional Features
    • Becoming Booth
    • Becoming Lincoln
    • Playing Mary Todd
    • Directing a New Lincoln Story
    • Killing Lincoln Preview

Killing Lincoln is a documentary narrated and hosted by Tom Hanks based upon the book written by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. Hanks, himself, has a vested interest in the subject matter, being a direct descendant of Abraham Lincoln, so it was interesting to hear him speak about his ancestor. Instead of the basic documentary, you get narrations by Hanks interspersed with scenes that re-enact these events. Billy Campbell (The 4400 and The Killing) stars as Abraham Lincoln and although he is a handsome man and Lincoln himself was not, the makeup department did an admirable job making Campbell resemble the notable President. Meanwhile, Campbell did his part playing the role and was quite believable and stately. Jesse Johnson as John Wilkes Booth was fantastic and he truly made the man come to life. Booth as the actor, the rebel and the human – not simply the monster we learned about in history.

I enjoyed Killing Lincoln as a nice counterpart to the recently released Lincoln starring Daniel Day-Lewis, although the production value of this television documentary was much lower, naturally. Even so, historical accuracy was very important, but I also enjoyed it when the filmmakers took liberties in guessing what may have been on someone’s mind or in their plans based on the facts and accountings that were left behind.

Special features include audio commentary by Erik Jendresen (Executive Producer/Screenwriter), an Interview with Bill O’Reilly, a making-of featurette and short featurettes that covered directing the film and what the actors went through to become Lincoln, Booth and Mary Todd Lincoln. Killing Lincoln on Blu-ray looks crisp and sounds fantastic, but this isn’t a film that relies on special effects. It leans on Tom Hanks’ delivery of the facts and the terrific actors portraying the real events that took place. I especially enjoyed each narration ending with, "Abraham Lincoln now has ____ days (or hours) to live." It has a punch to it that resonates, since we all know how the story ends.

While Killing Lincoln isn’t a grand cinematic production and it can be a bit dry at times, I learned information I never knew about Lincoln, Booth and the fateful day that forever changed history. If you are a history buff, you will enjoy Killing Lincoln. If you aren’t interested in the subject matter, then Killing Lincoln won’t change your mind.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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