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: 72% 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.

Alexandra MacAaron
Women's Voices for Change

The film paints a disturbing and expansive portrait of the civil rights movement-from Jim Crow's "separate but equal" charade and demonstrations, to forced desegregation and the eventual victory of an African American in the White House.

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David Denby
New Yorker

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

Josh Terry
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

The Butler has some wonderful moments that are powerful and moving, but its scope will ultimately (and unfortunately) polarize its audience.

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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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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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Francesca Rudkin
New Zealand Herald

Daniels does a good job of portraying the period in a warm, moving and righteous manner.

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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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Michael Sragow
Orange County Register

[A] turbulent, emotionally overpowering movie.

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Candice Frederick
Reel Talk Online

While the film fictionalizes many aspects of Allen's true story (even changing his name to Cecil Gaines) for dramatic effect, it stays true its sentiment.

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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