• Released
  • August 16, 2013
  • PG-13 , 2 hr 12 min
  • Drama
  • 9,934 Fan Ratings
Synopsis: A White House butler (Forest Whitaker) serves seven administrations in three decades of history.

Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings

66
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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.
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88

Chicago Sun-Times

By Richard Roeper
This is an important film presented as mainstream entertainment. It’s a great American story.
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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.
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80

New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
A singularly full-hearted and moving film.
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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...
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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...
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75

indieWIRE

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

USA Today

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

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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

More Info

Rated PG-13 | For Thematic Elements, Sexual Material, Language, Disturbing Images, Smoking and Some Violence
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says OK for kids 13+ Well-acted civil rights tale is moving but too formulaic.
Read the Common Sense Media Review
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