Not only is the story, based on the book by Upton Sinclair, incredible (I was in a state of paralyzed awe for more than two hours), Daniel Day-Lewis has an amazing presence. Just his face tells so much without giving any of the good stuff away. There is no dialogue for the first 30 minutes of the film. The beginning is eerily silent, allowing sound effects and the original soundtrack (written by Radiohead guitarist Johnny Greenwood) to come through, making you wonder what dark road this film takes.
And the ending sequence. Phew! That's worth the trouble it takes to find two seats together.