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Based on 47 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 116 )
  • 63
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    It's watching Cecil open his eyes, in Whitaker's reflective, powerfully understated performance, that fills this flawed film with potency and purpose. Striving really does bring its own glory. show more

  • 50
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle

    A nice idea for a movie, but has a mostly silly script and some of the craziest and most laughable casting imaginable. But the movie's main challenge is a simple one: It is very difficult, next to impossible, to build a movie around an inert, inactive character. show more

  • 75
    Claudia Puig USA Today

    Authentic emotion competes with manufactured sentiment for the heart of Lee Daniels' The Butler. show more

  • 60
    Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal

    The butler, Cecil Gaines, is a fictional creation, an African-American Forrest Gump who bears special witness to the civil-rights movement while serving on the White House staff under seven presidents. The contrivance is stretched to its breaking point over a running time of 132 minutes; some of the episodes cross a different line from almost plausible to downright silly. That's not the whole story, though. show more

  • 75
    Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer

    For all its faults - and there are many, from shameless compression of events to milk the drama for all it's worth, to the gimmicky miscasting of several commanders-in-chief (Robin Williams as Eisenhower is especially egregious) - The Butler is an inspiring and important summation of the black struggle. show more

  • 80
    Joe Neumaier New York Daily News

    A singularly full-hearted and moving film. show more

  • 60
    Todd McCarthy The Hollywood Reporter

    Inspiring if not inspired, Lee Daniels' The Butler is a sort of Readers' Digest overview of the 20th century American civil rights movement centered on an ordinary individual with an extraordinary perspective. show more

  • 55
    Mark Jenkins NPR

    Many of the White House scenes are jarringly motley, as Whitaker maintains Gaines' dignity against a series of performances that range from bland (James Marsden's JFK) to cartoonish (Liev Schreiber's LBJ). It comes as a relief when Daniels reduces Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford to TV clips — though that strategy makes the film even more of a stylistic jumble. show more

  • 64
    Laremy Legel

    Full of truth that's ultimately diluted by a lack of focus. show more

  • 88
    Richard Roeper Chicago Sun-Times

    This is an important film presented as mainstream entertainment. It’s a great American story. show more

  • January 07, 2014 gm00000000176701
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  • October 20, 2013 avivagi
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    Good movie but not original since there were so many movies about slavery and their emancipation. Very interesting though because it was based on a true story. Unfortunately politicians suck. ALL people should be treated equally.

  • October 12, 2013 npeter4814
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    Great movie- brought back memories that help shaped America.

  • October 10, 2013 cdyson3242
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    A sorry movie. It was advertised as being about events in the white house but actually it was a history of the Civil Right m9ovement in hte last 60 or so years. Just anotaher crappy efforat to stir up racial haatred again. Sorry I wasted time on ita.

  • September 30, 2013 Youngs
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    Excellent movie! Super star studded, impacting and inspiring!!!

  • September 28, 2013 m072344
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    very boring and very long............

  • September 23, 2013 Renee
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    Very Good Movie, a must see movie!

  • September 21, 2013 Blake
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    Great movie!

  • September 21, 2013 tranlinh
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    Excellent movie. We loved loved loved it. Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey were so good in this movie.

  • September 12, 2013 missykat2000
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    Saw this movie today and it was an excellent movie. It is a true story and I remember when all these things actually happened. I cried at the end and it was an heartfelt movie. There are not to many movies I can say this about but this is a \'must see\'.


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