Friday Flicks: Will Bond or Lincoln Win the Post-Election Weekend?

TIME breaks down which films to see and which to avoid this weekend.

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How deep into Lincoln did Daniel Day-Lewis go? As TIME’s masterful profile revealed, the famously intense actor got into his role as the legendary American president by even texting as if he were Abraham Lincoln. “He’d sign it, ‘Yours, A.’,” noted costar Sally Field.

Day-Lewis may indeed be up for his third Best Actor Oscar nod in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, which covers the 16th president’s final months in office. Considering that America was roiled by war and the possibility of change – so what else is new? – Spielberg focuses on whether his leading light can bring about an end to the conflict, unite the people and abolish slavery for good.

And the word “good” is merely a jumping off point when it comes to reviewers summing up Lincoln. “Though historians will surely find room to quibble, every choice Day-Lewis makes lends dignity and gravitas to America’s most revered figure,” reckons Variety. “Lincoln is a very polished production with a welcome lack of flash. In this era of outlandish campaigning, it’s nice to cut through the hype and get real substance and insight into a politician,” concludes Box Office magazine. And the Hollywood Reporter comments that “it’s a conscientious piece of work very much in the service of the material, in the manner of the good old Hollywood pros, without frills or grandiosity.”

VIDEO: Daniel Day-Lewis and Steven Spielberg Q & A

NewsFeed’s Flicks Pick: Skyfall will do better box office but Lincoln has more gravitas. But because it’s difficult to be surprised that Spielberg and Day-Lewis have combined to such effect, Bond wins out — because few saw yet another return to form coming.

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