Lincoln was wonderful. The actors were amazing, the story was well crafted, and even though you know how it ends (assuming you know a little bit of US History) you don't really know how it GOES, and that's the important thing.
For me, the illusion was complete. I recognized most of the actors with principal roles, but I'm not familiar with Daniel Day-Lewis, so to my eyes all of these actors I knew were on the screen alongside the real Abraham Lincoln. And, because they were acting opposite such an amazing man, they each strove to turn in the performance of their lives, especially Sally Fields and Tommy Lee Jones, who have each been called upon to turn in such performances several times now.
The film has much of the flavor of an art piece, with many shots clearly composed as portraits, as studies in lighting, line, and color. The camera does far more than simply showcase fine acting. In one of the opening scenes, for instance, I was halfway through it before I realized we were being shown a live-action Lincoln Memorial. In another, Lincoln was silhouetted in front of a window, while Mary Todd Lincoln shone in reflected light, and the yin-yang symbolism was present without the usual wheel, affording us a new perspective on what it was they discussed.
Above all, the film was powerful. It was funny, exciting, poignant, and deeply dramatic.
How much did I enjoy myself in the theater? Lincoln displaces Argo for the #6 slot, but that number doesn't begin to convey how wonderful, and how significant, this piece is. I encourage you to see it.