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Lee Daniels' The Butler Review

Movies.com Critics

3.0

Dave White Profile

Not a sequel to The Help. At all. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    66

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    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.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    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.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    The Butler tells a lot of different stories, some more effectively than others.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Variety Scott Foundas

    There’s no denying, though, that Daniels knows how to push an audience’s buttons, and as crudely obvious as The Butler can be...it’s also genuinely rousing. By the end, it’s hard not to feel moved, if also more than a bit manhandled.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

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

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  • 80

    out of 100

    Village Voice Stephanie Zacharek

    Daniels is that rare contemporary filmmaker who's not afraid of melodrama. The Butler is so old-school it feels modern: Stylistically, it could have been made 30 years ago, but its time is now.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    As Cecil, Whitaker is mesmerizing. The actor seems to shrink into his imposing frame, summoning a performance of quiet, bottled-up force.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Richard Roeper

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

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  • See all Lee Daniels' The Butler reviews at Metacritic.com

Fan Reviews provided by

3

Butler gets mixed reviews by scribonz
Forest Whitaker is great and plays a very credible role as the leading actor in the film. I did find the movie to be overly melodramatic at times and quite frankly uncomfortable to watch in other scenes. The movie tries to provide a sweeping story line intertwined with the history of the civil rights movement. Similar to other epic sagas that try to fit too much history in to the plot and the story becomes predictable, hokey, and full of stereotypes.

5

by scottontapps

5

by nigelsclan

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