Lee Daniels' The Butler
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Lee Daniels' The Butler
LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER tells the story of a White House butler who served eight American presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man's life and family. Forest Whitaker stars as the butler with Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, and many more. Academy Award (R) nominated Lee Daniels (PRECIOUS)… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The Butler proves a decent, significant, but slightly stodgy affair. Its dignified restraint stifles its anger."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"Winfrey is good, though, demonstrating yet again that she's an actress and not just a celebrity playing an actress."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"The Butler is as worthy and earnest as its hero... but some scenes have a gut-wrenching impact that makes the struggle to overcome bigotry and oppression heartrendingly real."
‑ Jason Best, Movie Talk
"The best film of 2013 (paired with "12 Years a Slave")."
‑ Fr. Chris Carpenter, Movie Dearest
"That Gloria expresses her own pain and her own desires makes the film's most important point, that history is not a trot through dates and period details, presidents and incidents."
‑ Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters
"A high-minded, didactic, but irresistible entertainment ..."
‑ David Denby, New Yorker
"A history lesson in violence and endurance. A sentimental journey. A tribute. Director Daniels and the dedicated cast of The Butler deliver all that."
‑ Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post
"A deeply moving melodrama about a subtly subversive black butler at the heart of the White House. You will need Kleenex."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
"It's not an interpretation of actual history as much as it is a reduced revision of movie history."
‑ Wesley Morris, Grantland
"It's a veritable star-spangled jamboree. And through it all, Whitaker keeps his powder admirably dry ..."
‑ Mark Kermode, Observer [UK]
"Forest Whitaker imbues his part with immense dignity and the old-age makeup is effective showcasing Cecil during his later years."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"The Butler may be a sanctimonious cartoon, but it points to events in the civil rights struggle that were as grotesque and extraordinary as any fiction can invent."
‑ Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
"It's a heart-warming tale simply told."
‑ David Edwards, Daily Record [UK]
"A more grandiose version of The Help, The Butler stands at the ready, eager to offer an after-dinner mint of simplified, sweetened history to make us--especially white Americans--feel good about how that whole racism thing turned out in the end."
‑ Brian Gibson, Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
"Think of it as a Trojan horse. Apparently harmless, it takes key myths about the land of the free and inflicts an impressive amount of damage."
‑ Charlotte O'Sullivan, This is London
More reviews for Lee Daniels' The Butler on Rotten Tomatoes