Lee Daniels' The Butler
Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: August 16, 2013
DVD Release Date: January 14, 2014
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Critic Score: 71% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Gut-wrenching and emotionally affecting, Lee Daniels' The Butler overcomes an uneven narrative thanks to strong performances from an all-star cast.

Wesley Morris

It's not an interpretation of actual history as much as it is a reduced revision of movie history.

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David Denby
New Yorker

A high-minded, didactic, but irresistible entertainment ...

Nick Newman
The Film Stage

The Butler's final notes have too strongly followed through on traditional, slightly staid dramatics to have it both ways.

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Trevor Johnston
Time Out

The Butler proves a decent, significant, but slightly stodgy affair. Its dignified restraint stifles its anger.

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James Berardinelli

Forest Whitaker imbues his part with immense dignity and the old-age makeup is effective showcasing Cecil during his later years.

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Edward Lawrenson
The Big Issue

Is anyone else in America making films like Lee Daniels? For my money, he deserves his name above the title.

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Mara Reinstein
Us Weekly

Amusing stunt casting aside, it's riveting to observe how civil rights evolved from inside the Oval Office

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Michael Sragow
Orange County Register

[A] turbulent, emotionally overpowering movie.

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J. Olson

The breadth of the subject matter tirelessly works against director Lee Daniels and company, leading to some inevitably goofy casting choices and unfortunate make-up work.

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More reviews for Lee Daniels' The Butler

Flixster Audience Score: 78% Flixster User Reviews
Christian C
A somewhat moving film done with grace and dignity, but lacking the emotional heft to be profound. Although Whitaker and Winfrey deliver, the performances of… More
Clintus Maximus
It's a heartwarming and important story to tell, but the gross historical inaccuracies and liberal brow-beating kept me from enjoying it. The cast is… More
Spencer S.
This film tries to accomplish several tasks without doing so, and doesn't quite meet expectations at every turn. The premise follows butler Cecil Gaines… More
Manu Gino
One quiet voice can ignite a revolution. Great Film! The Butler looks at the civil-rights movement from the point of view of ordinary African-American people.… More
Bathsheba Monk
I'm really glad I saw this movie if just for the fact that I am ignorant of the Civil Rights movement and what it meant to real live people and in fact, I… More
Everett Johnson
"Lee Daniel's The Butler" tells the story of a White House Butler who served under 8 presidents over 3 decades. He has a unique perspective… More