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Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

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6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , ,
  • Summary: A tale of competition at its most cut-throat, "Butter" surveys the raw ambition of Laura Pickler, the wife of Bob Pickler, Iowa's long-reigning champion butter carver. For 15 years, Laura has relished her high-profile role as the beautiful, loyal helpmate to her affable, artistically giftedA tale of competition at its most cut-throat, "Butter" surveys the raw ambition of Laura Pickler, the wife of Bob Pickler, Iowa's long-reigning champion butter carver. For 15 years, Laura has relished her high-profile role as the beautiful, loyal helpmate to her affable, artistically gifted husband. But when Bob is pressured to retire and allow someone else a chance at glory, an indignant Laura decides to enter the competition herself. She is first in line on sign-up day, only to see her odds of victory fall below 100% with the arrival of an unlikely yet formidable contender: 10-year-old Destiny, the African-American foster child of local couple Julie and Ethan. And that's not all. Bob's would-be mistress, bad-girl stripper Brooke also declares her candidacy, as does his #1 fan, Carol-Ann. Facing three opponents, mocked by her stepdaughter Kaitlen and furious with her husband, Laura resolves to do whatever it takes to win. And if that means resorting to sabotage – and recruiting her dim-witted former boyfriend Boyd as a co-conspirator – then so be it. (Radius-TWC) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 23
  2. Negative: 8 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Oct 5, 2012
    70
    Butter might have been a dark comedy; here, the humor is twisted but the world is bright as can be. Conservatives and liberals alike take a licking, and yet the art of butter carving emerges unscathed.
  2. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Oct 3, 2012
    70
    With a razor-sharp script and Jennifer Garner winning laughs in a nice change-of-pace role, this cynically funny and pointedly pertinent not-so-subtle spin on the national battle between right and left wing politics scores lots of comic bullseyes.
  3. Reviewed by: Catherine Shoard
    Sep 19, 2012
    60
    There's something about this film's churn of goo and grit that lingers ambivalently, difficult to digest.
  4. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Oct 3, 2012
    50
    Garner hasn't come across as amusing as she is here in quite some time. Despite many funny bits, Butter also, at times, seems to excoriate the blinkered Midwesterners in the flyover states.
  5. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Oct 4, 2012
    40
    Appropriately enough for a movie built on two-dimensional cartoons of amoral adults and innocent children, Shahidi is the only actor who emerges with her dignity fully intact.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    Oct 7, 2012
    38
    It's been a long time since a movie wasted this much talent.
  7. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Oct 5, 2012
    20
    Butter essentially eats its own premise, then proceeds to bludgeon us with unfunny, unoriginal political satire.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 6
  2. Negative: 2 out of 6
  1. Dec 25, 2013
    9
    This movie is simply hilarious. From the reviews I have read, people took it far too seriously. A movie about Ty Burrell as a master butterThis movie is simply hilarious. From the reviews I have read, people took it far too seriously. A movie about Ty Burrell as a master butter art sculptor is in no way meant to be taken seriously. This film pokes into the satirical style a few times, but overall stays as one of those over-the-top, ridiculous-yet-hilarious-characters type of films. It is hilarious and is really a movie that uses a silly plot to provide a setting for great comedy--in a good way. This movie is filled with jokes, and the plot is insignificant. If you came into this expecting to care about a butter sculpting competition, then I am not sure what movie is for you. Watch this movie expecting a lot of great scenes that could stand alone in any movie as comedy gold. Expand
  2. Jan 16, 2014
    7
    Honestly, this one was pretty good. It was pretty funny and it had a lot of heart. I'm surprised to say I enjoyed a movie about carvingHonestly, this one was pretty good. It was pretty funny and it had a lot of heart. I'm surprised to say I enjoyed a movie about carving butter, but I did. It never took itself too seriously, which is one of the biggest appeals, plus any movie with Olivia Wilde as a stripper is ok in my book. Expand
  3. Sep 2, 2014
    7
    A dark comedy to its very core, Butter is a unique look at both competition and competitiveness. If you don't think you'll be entertained byA dark comedy to its very core, Butter is a unique look at both competition and competitiveness. If you don't think you'll be entertained by competitive butter carving, you are sorely mistaken. Expand
  4. Dec 14, 2012
    5
    What starts as a mildly assuming farce, devolves into a pedestrian trudge to the long awaited finish line. The bar for comedy is often setWhat starts as a mildly assuming farce, devolves into a pedestrian trudge to the long awaited finish line. The bar for comedy is often set awfully low. In the case of this film, they barely cleared the bar. Expand
  5. Oct 8, 2012
    3
    One of the many amazing things about movies is that it can take you from a rainy, no beach, Columbus holiday to a butter sculpture contest atOne of the many amazing things about movies is that it can take you from a rainy, no beach, Columbus holiday to a butter sculpture contest at the Iowa State Fair. tA wife, Laura Pickler (Jennifer Garner), of the ma, Bob Pickler (Ty Burrell), who won it for 15 years in a row and has been sort of pushed not to enter this year, finds herself in a Expand
  6. Jan 26, 2013
    1
    Just another excuse for Hollywood to mock middle class white people in flyover country. The only wise and profound person was an 11-year-oldJust another excuse for Hollywood to mock middle class white people in flyover country. The only wise and profound person was an 11-year-old token black child. They even managed to rope in Hugh Jackman to mock God and praying. Collapse

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