Lee Daniels' The Butler - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lee Daniels' The Butler Reviews

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J. Olson
Cinemixtape
April 15, 2016
The breadth of the subject matter tirelessly works against director Lee Daniels and company, leading to some inevitably goofy casting choices and unfortunate make-up work.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Sean Burns
Philadelphia Weekly
April 28, 2015
The excitement comes from watching the director's rude energy chafe up against the constraints of a traditional Oscar-bait biopic.
Graham Young
Birmingham Mail
October 10, 2014
The Butler is often impressively acted, beautifully shot and clearly designed to try to pick up a heartfelt award or two. But, as a film, it's too fragmented to carry its own weight on its shoulders and is over- burdened by a starry cast.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
September 18, 2014
The Butler tells an obviously important and inspiring story, but the actual movie is laughable.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Richard Knight
Windy City Times
June 27, 2014
A large-scale, middle-of-the-road work that is entertaining and moving in the way that many other movies about the struggle for race equality have been.
Jason Best
Movie Talk
March 22, 2014
The Butler is as worthy and earnest as its hero... but some scenes have a gut-wrenching impact that makes the struggle to overcome bigotry and oppression heartrendingly real.
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher
March 10, 2014
A deeply moving melodrama about a subtly subversive black butler at the heart of the White House. You will need Kleenex.
David Edwards
Daily Record (UK)
February 7, 2014
It's a heart-warming tale simply told.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Fr. Chris Carpenter
Movie Dearest
January 7, 2014
The best film of 2013 (paired with "12 Years a Slave").
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Grantland
January 3, 2014
It's not an interpretation of actual history as much as it is a reduced revision of movie history.
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
December 27, 2013
A more grandiose version of The Help, The Butler stands at the ready, eager to offer an after-dinner mint of simplified, sweetened history to make us--especially white Americans--feel good about how that whole racism thing turned out in the end.
Cynthia Fuchs
PopMatters
December 17, 2013
That Gloria expresses her own pain and her own desires makes the film's most important point, that history is not a trot through dates and period details, presidents and incidents.
Mark Kermode
Observer (UK)
November 17, 2013
It's a veritable star-spangled jamboree. And through it all, Whitaker keeps his powder admirably dry ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Charlotte O'Sullivan
This is London
November 15, 2013
Think of it as a Trojan horse. Apparently harmless, it takes key myths about the land of the free and inflicts an impressive amount of damage.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Graham Young
Birmingham Post
November 15, 2013
As the beating heart of this story about "a crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice", Whitaker is back on form.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Ben Rawson-Jones
Digital Spy
November 15, 2013
The Butler provides a well-paced look at the fluctuating and often shocking socio-political landscape of the 20th Century...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Guy Lodge
Film4
November 15, 2013
It's effectively Forrest Gump Goes To The White House, with all the patronising political reductionism that implies.
Tara Brady
Irish Times
November 15, 2013
Has all the bells and whistles one could want from a big, fat Oscar-baiting picture.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Brian Viner
Daily Mail (UK)
November 14, 2013
What makes this film worth seeing, above all else, is the remarkable, grade A cast-list.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Henry Fitzherbert
Daily Express
November 14, 2013
It may be a tad schematic but it's never less than absorbing and beautifully acted by a strong cast, including Oprah Winfrey as Cecil's troubled, lonely wife.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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