Lee Daniels' The Butler Synopsis
A White House butler (Forest Whitaker) serves seven administrations in three decades of history.
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings


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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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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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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New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
A singularly full-hearted and moving film.
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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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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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By Eric Kohn
The Butler carries an authenticity that sustains it through its cloying stretches.
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USA Today

By Claudia Puig
Authentic emotion competes with manufactured sentiment for the heart of Lee Daniels' The Butler.
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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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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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As factual as Forrest Gump

By coopasaki1
"The following movie is FICTION and so loosely based on a true story that we invite the audience to see if they can spot the hidden facts." At least this is what the movie's warning should have...

More Fiction than Fact...Still Amazing

By MedRed
PSA: Bring a tissue! The Butler is enthralling. Lee Daniel brings this story to life with an exceptional touch. The visuals, acting, and screenwriting are all amazing. After all of these years,...

Political Statement

By BellyoftheBeast
I enjoyed most of the movie. Then they did a hatchet job on Ronald Reagan. I researched the topic and found out this movie was created by Liberals who have an agenda. I was so disappointed that...

Lee Daniels' The Butler

By Jewllee
The movies was very touching and hearting breaken! This was a great movies that had so many meaning in it. Telling the true about what our partents had to go through in order to making better for use...

Leaves a meaningful impression

By QB1023
Took mom to see #LeeDanielsTheButler today. This film is touching and as predicted, I cried and got Goosebumps throughout it. We sat next to another mother and daughter duo at our ForknScreen...

The Butler

By nancysdaka
I thought that it was a phenomenal movie. Great story line and well acted. My emotions ran from angry, sad, happy, crying. The entire audience clapped when it was over. It's a must see. I would...


By pastortucker
Finally someone has done a movie that has summarized the most relevant highlights of the Black American experience over the last 60 years! It's a must see for the current and next generation!...

The Butler

By sherry suttles
Took me back! to the days of presidencies and civil rights struggle in a beautiful, sentimental, warm and familiar, yet revealing way. All my favorite actors and actresses did bang up...

Lee Daniels 'The Butler

By judithartist
Everyone should see this movie. Children should see this in their history classes and the 30-80 crowd needs this movie to put the Civil Rights Movement in this country into perspective. Whittaker...


By derry62
I really wanted to like this movie... it is left wing propaganda. Sadly judging from the previews shown beforehand; there is a lot more on the way. Must be gearing up for mid-terms. Wake up America!!...

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 Well-acted civil rights tale is moving but too formulaic.
Read the Common Sense Media Review