• PG-13, 2 hr. 12 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Lee Daniels
    In Theaters:
    Aug 16, 2013 Wide
    On DVD:
    Jan 14, 2014
  • The Weinstein Company


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Lee Daniels' The Butler Reviews

Page 1 of 9
Jason Best
Movie Talk

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.

Full Review Source: Movie Talk

March 22, 2014
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher

A deeply moving melodrama about a subtly subversive black butler at the heart of the White House. You will need Kleenex.

Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher

March 10, 2014
David Edwards
Daily Record [UK]

It's a heart-warming tale simply told.

Full Review Source: Daily Record [UK] | Original Score: 3/5

February 7, 2014
Fr. Chris Carpenter
Movie Dearest

The best film of 2013 (paired with "12 Years a Slave").

Full Review Source: Movie Dearest | Original Score: A-

January 7, 2014
Mark Kermode
Observer [UK]

It's a veritable star-spangled jamboree. And through it all, Whitaker keeps his powder admirably dry ...

Full Review Source: Observer [UK] | Original Score: 3/5

November 17, 2013
Charlotte O'Sullivan
This is London

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 Source: This is London | Original Score: 4/5

November 15, 2013
Graham Young
Birmingham Post

As the beating heart of this story about "a crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice", Whitaker is back on form.

Full Review Source: Birmingham Post | Original Score: 3/5

November 15, 2013
Ben Rawson-Jones
Digital Spy

The Butler provides a well-paced look at the fluctuating and often shocking socio-political landscape of the 20th Century...

Full Review Source: Digital Spy | Original Score: 3/5

November 15, 2013
Tara Brady
Irish Times

Has all the bells and whistles one could want from a big, fat Oscar-baiting picture.

Full Review Source: Irish Times | Original Score: 4/5

November 15, 2013
Brian Viner
Daily Mail [UK]

What makes this film worth seeing, above all else, is the remarkable, grade A cast-list.

Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK] | Original Score: 3/5

November 14, 2013
Henry Fitzherbert
Daily Express

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 Source: Daily Express | Original Score: 4/5

November 14, 2013
Rich Cline

This is an strangely slushy movie from Lee Daniels, whose last two films bristled with unexpected life. By contrast, this star-packed drama uses a true story to trace the Civil Rights struggle from the 1950s to the present day.

Full Review Source: Contactmusic.com | Original Score: 3/5

November 14, 2013
Ashley Clark
Little White Lies

Lee Daniels comes good with this rich and politically subversive tale of a long-serving White House butler.

Full Review Source: Little White Lies | Original Score: 4/5

November 14, 2013
Matthew Turner

Engaging and enjoyable run-through of Civil Rights history, enlivened by a superb central performance from Forest Whitaker, a strong supporting cast and a parade of entertaining (if occasionally distracting) cameos as the various presidents.

Full Review Source: ViewLondon | Original Score: 3/5

November 14, 2013
John Nugent
Sky Movies

Daniels' depiction of this era is well-balanced, gripping, and often electrifying. Occasional snippets of real-life media solidify the significance of the movement.

Full Review Source: Sky Movies | Original Score: 3/5

November 14, 2013
Eddie Harrison
The List

Long, ponderous, but undeniably entertaining, The Butler is a ritzy crash-course in US political change.

Full Review Source: The List | Original Score: 3/5

November 13, 2013
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Butler proves a decent, significant, but slightly stodgy affair. Its dignified restraint stifles its anger.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 3/5

November 12, 2013
Simon Braund
Empire Magazine

Manipulative and preachy, The Butler is redeemed by a sensitive performance from Forest Whitaker and the undeniable power of the events it depicts.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 3/5

November 11, 2013

If you've ever wanted to know what Oscar bait designed with a slide rules looks like, The Butler is it. Think of The Butler as The Help Goes to the White House. That's not a slam, by the way [but] it is a big story spread thinly over two episodic hours.

Full Review Source: 3AW | Original Score: 2.5/5

November 8, 2013
Tony Horkins
Total Film

It may skip so quickly through historic events that it can feel rushed and flimsy, but excellent performances elevate it to serious Oscar contender.

Full Review Source: Total Film | Original Score: 3/5

November 8, 2013
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