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Spinning Into Butter

Spinning Into Butter (2009)



Average Rating: 3.6/10
Reviews Counted: 33
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 28

Both leaden and stilted, Spinning into Butter is an unsubtle drama with stagy direction and lackluster dialogue.


Average Rating: 3/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 15

Both leaden and stilted, Spinning into Butter is an unsubtle drama with stagy direction and lackluster dialogue.



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Average Rating: 2.7/5
User Ratings: 354

My Rating

Movie Info

Sarah Jessica Parker produces and stars in stage director Mark Brokaw's adaptation the Rebecca Gilman play concerning a newly hired dean of students at an elite New England college who finds her life consumed by chaos following a vicious series of hate crimes. Sarah Daniels (Parker) was just settling into her new position when she was placed in charge of the investigation into a series of racially motivated campus crimes. Having previously worked at an inner-city school, Sarah makes the decision



Doug Atchison, Rebecca Gilman

Jun 9, 2009

Screen Media Films

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All Critics (36) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (28) | DVD (1)

The biggest lesson from Spinning Into Butter has nothing to do with the ethics of race and more with realizing that every hit play doesn't need to be turned into a movie.

April 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It feels like an after school special.

March 30, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This movie would've been bad in 1983, but at least it would've been original.

March 30, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The staging by theater director Mark Brokaw, in his first feature, is, well, stagy. I don't mind a movie where people spend a lot of time jawboning, but what they say had better be interesting.

March 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The foils have no compunction about hurling ugly truths at each other, most of the time much too literally to work on screen.

March 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The material is crying out for a satiric wit or at least a stronger point of view. Instead, it's a mishmash in which everyone gets to say his piece, but all of it has been said before.

March 27, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Spinning Into Butter is the perfect example of a movie taking an interesting premise and, through incompetence of acting, writing and directing, turning it into an unwatchable mess.

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Washington Times
Washington Times

if you're not interested in a sermon, you'll want to skip this one

June 15, 2009 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

Butter makes a disastrous transition to film, aiming to salvage pertinent points on the witch's brew of racism through a filmmaking undertaking perhaps best described as "total clown shoes."

May 5, 2009 Full Review Source:

Painfully earnest and unrelievedly stilted and cliched, the movie is less a drama than a well-meaning but rather ridiculous diatribe.

April 17, 2009 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Initially compelling, but spins into a hodgepodge of contrived scenes, uneven drama and poorly developed, yet provocative issues that simmer for too long without actually coming to a boil.

March 31, 2009 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

Crash was a master class in subtlety compared to Spinning Into Butter.

March 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Washington City Paper
Washington City Paper

Betraying its theatrical origins, Brokaw's feature debut is a vastly disappointing message movie in which Sarah Jessica Parker (also credited as producer) is miscast, to say the least.

March 27, 2009 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

The best of intentions and a welcome willingness to engage on the touchiest issues is not enough to keep this movie from feeling more like a seminar than a story.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Beliefnet

Credit goes to playwright Gilman and company for addressing an ugly situation head on. Unfortunately, it's a scenario that lends itself to hot air and that's what the movie blows.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for Spinning Into Butter

I was happy to see Brooklyn College (the college that I attended) in this film, as the college where most of the action takes place. On the positive, the acting is really good. On the negative, the film feels too much like an after school special or a Lifetime TV film of the week. I figured out right away which character is doing the hate crime.
January 23, 2010
Sol C

Super Reviewer

I saw this film for my Theater in Film class.

While the film is undeniably well intentioned, that only goes so far for a film. It does what it sets out to do, but it doesn't do it incredibly well.

Acting/Characters: In terms of characters, there is nothing here that hasn't been seen before a million times. The characters here ask the same questions about racism that films such as Crash, Do the Right Thing, and To Kill A Mockingbird do. They just don't do it as well. The characters aren't as well done as they could be. The acting overall of the film is pretty laughable. But like with most bad acting films (not all by any means) that is the fault of the screenwriter. They want to do well with their performances I know they do, they just can't. 3/10

Plot: Like I said before, there's nothing in here that isn't done better in films like Crash or Do the Right Thing. Its pretty predictable overall. Even the ending. It tries very hard to ask the right questions and for all intents and purposes it does. I don't think that they tried as hard as they could to answer them. To me, they just point out the problems. Maybe they do because there is no real solution. Racism is a pins and needles issue with no definitive answer. So, I guess I can't bash them too much for not answering the questions they ask. It's a thoroughly predictable plot that we've seen many times before. It has great intentions, but little merit beyond that. 3.5/10

Screenplay: yeah, this was the worst part of the film. I mean, the screenplay was written by the writer of the original stage play so I should have expected that it would be better than it was. My theater in film teacher said that there are differences between the script of the movie and the script of the play. Maybe the script for the play was better. If so why didn't you stick to it!? *sigh* 1.5/10

Likableness: I didn't particularly enjoy this film. It was mildly interesting and was well intentioned, but it had no real merits outside of that. This isn't a movie I would suggest to anyone. If oyu want to watch a movie like this, watch Do The Right Thing. That movie was excellent. 2.5/10

Final Score: 10.5/40 26% (S)

I couldn't find any TRIVIA TIME stuff for this movie. That makes it even worse.
March 24, 2011
Lord Naseby
Lord Naseby

Super Reviewer

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