Lee Daniels' The Butler

Lee Daniels' The Butler Image
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics What's this?

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6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 178 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Aug 15, 2013
    100
    A brilliantly truthful film on a subject that is usually shrouded in wishful thinking, mythmongering and outright denial.
  2. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Aug 7, 2013
    83
    As Cecil, Whitaker is mesmerizing. The actor seems to shrink into his imposing frame, summoning a performance of quiet, bottled-up force.
  3. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Aug 19, 2013
    75
    With The Butler, director Lee Daniels has managed to "Gump" the Civil Rights movement. That's not necessarily a bad thing but there are times when so many famous cameos threaten to become a distraction, especially since they're only tangentially germane to the main story.
  4. Reviewed by: Laremy Legel
    Aug 13, 2013
    64
    Full of truth that's ultimately diluted by a lack of focus.
  5. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Aug 14, 2013
    63
    Although director Lee Daniels dials things down a bit here, subtlety is not what he does. That strategy worked for “Precious’’ but turned his more recent “The Paperboy’’ into a feature-length howler.
  6. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Aug 19, 2013
    60
    The Butler is a lightweight, didactic movie, a kind of well-produced high-school entertainment.
  7. Reviewed by: Katy Rich
    Aug 9, 2013
    40
    A great film about the American civil rights movement is way overdue. The Butler, overwhelmed by flash and good intentions, doesn't even come close.

See all 47 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 57
  2. Negative: 5 out of 57
  1. Aug 30, 2013
    10
    What a great movie! Great acting, writing and directing. I haven't seen a movie that I couldn't take my eyes off in a long time. This movie isWhat a great movie! Great acting, writing and directing. I haven't seen a movie that I couldn't take my eyes off in a long time. This movie is worth an Oscar. Cecil is a great actor. He is a great storyteller. I appreciate great work he put in the movie. It made me cry to learn what these people went through and it made me feel grateful for the way it is now. It shows you that America is becoming the best country now. Let's be grateful that all the people in this past made this change happen. All hate and segregation.. The people in the past changed that and made America into one. Overall, it is a masterpiece movie that I will always remember in my heart. Expand
  2. Mar 6, 2014
    10
    i love forest whitaker in this great movie . it tells compasion and sort of like 12 years of slave . and it is very great to learn abouti love forest whitaker in this great movie . it tells compasion and sort of like 12 years of slave . and it is very great to learn about what its like and see and feels what its like how someone who live in south had to deal with the way they where treating with . Expand
  3. Dec 22, 2015
    9
    A deeply moving melodrama about a subtly subversive black butler at the heart of the White House. You will need Kleenex.

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    A deeply moving melodrama about a subtly subversive black butler at the heart of the White House. You will need Kleenex.

    Watch this movie here for free http://www.watchfree.to/watch-2052db-The-Butler-movie-online-free-putlocker.html
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  4. Aug 18, 2013
    8
    “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” is the supposedly true story of Cecil Gaines, a White House butler who served under Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy,“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” is the supposedly true story of Cecil Gaines, a White House butler who served under Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Nixon, Ford and Reagan. With a screenplay by Danny Strong based on an article by Wil Haygood, the film stars Forest Whitaker in the title role with Oprah Winfrey and a number of leading actors who, with obvious and sometimes annoying make-up nose jobs, playing the respective Presidents The film, directed by Lee Daniels, is 2 hours and 15 minutes long and I guess has to be in order to cover so much history.. Sometimes, though, in an attempt to do the subject justice, the length of the film becomes a problem. Many scenes are drawn out and beg for better editing.. Mr. Whitaker plays the role with finesse and skill and he is totally believable (Academy take note) and others with whom he works do proper portrayals as well. The problem with the film is that, in many instances, there really is no proper seque from one “chapter” or administraton to the next. Titles are used to tell us what era we are in because the script fails to do adequately. Nevertheless, the film attempts to depict life as a black person living (and dying) in the major portion of the 20th Century and, to that end, it succeeds admirably. The indignities and abuses hurled upon our fellow countrymen because of their color is shameful and hits home as the butler works by day in a white White House and goes home at night to his black environment and black reality.. The movie, for these reasons, digs deep and is worthy of our viewing time. I give the film an 8 because few films I have seen have left me with such a feeling of understanding and compassion for a race of people that deserved so much more and have, unfortunately, received so much less. In addition, it affords the viewer a sort of "fly on the wall" look at the inside the White House and of those who occupy it. Expand
  5. Sep 24, 2013
    6
    The film tries to connect the history of race relations and the story of a family. It fails to do so. It trivializes and vulgarizesThe film tries to connect the history of race relations and the story of a family. It fails to do so. It trivializes and vulgarizes everything it touches. The cameo appearances backfire badly--Robin Williams and Alan Rickman are spectacularly miscast. Forest Whitaker is extraordinary, and his work redeems the family story but cannot do much for the political history. One critic has called The Butler more of a history lesson than a film. It utterly fails to do justice to our common and very different histories. Expand
  6. Sep 2, 2013
    5
    Somewhat enjoyable film. Just Oprah needs to get the facts straight. If Hollywood could come up with a historical movie and actually get allSomewhat enjoyable film. Just Oprah needs to get the facts straight. If Hollywood could come up with a historical movie and actually get all the facts right I would give that movie a 10 even if it were not the most entertaining movie ever made. This revisionist history lesson is one step over Forrest Gump in accuracy. Of course it has to end with Oprah's little baby she helped create called Obama. I am surprised he did not make a cameo with all the free press. That with the butler having retired during the Reagan years. Oh and of course lets knock Reagan too in the movie because all white people in the film are reduced to a level of the Jefferson's neighbor in a 70's sitcom. Collapse
  7. Jun 26, 2015
    0
    I'm giving this movie the lowest rating because of JANE FONDA... What she did in Vietnam makes her a traitor in my opinion, consequentlyI'm giving this movie the lowest rating because of JANE FONDA... What she did in Vietnam makes her a traitor in my opinion, consequently anything she is associated with, is not on my list of things to do... i. e. watch this movie... I 'm the movie is great, but you made a poor choice in one of your actors in my opinion. Expand

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