88

Slant Magazine

By Chris Cabin
With the film, Lee Daniels quietly pushes his talent for hashing out visceral, violent emotions into unexpected dramatic terrain.
Full Review
88

Chicago Sun-Times

By Richard Roeper
This is an important film presented as mainstream entertainment. It’s a great American story.
Full Review
83

Entertainment Weekly

As Cecil, Whitaker is mesmerizing. The actor seems to shrink into his imposing frame, summoning a performance of quiet, bottled-up force.
Full Review
80

New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
A singularly full-hearted and moving film.
Full Review
80

Village Voice

By 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.
Full Review
75

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
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.
Full Review
75

indieWIRE

By Eric Kohn
The Butler carries an authenticity that sustains it through its cloying stretches.
Full Review
75

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
Authentic emotion competes with manufactured sentiment for the heart of Lee Daniels' The Butler.
Full Review
75

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Joe Williams
With Whitaker, Daniels and screenwriter Danny Strong pulling the strings, The Butler can take a bow.
Full Review
70

Variety

By 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.
Full Review
66 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.