Lee Daniels' The Butler Reviews

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August 22, 2019
A formidably cast epic that eclipses over seventy years of a man's life in a landsape of evolving racism, Daniels lets his material speak for itself, while history calls the shots.
August 6, 2019
Though The Butler's tidy sentiments can be cloying, it's hard to remain unmoved-and unimpressed by the stubbornly authentic performances by Whitaker and Oprah, which will likely be remembered at Oscar time.
July 30, 2019
There are missed opportunities and weak moments in the script to be sure, but not enough to discount it, and the stellar acting by Forest Whitaker is what will make this movie memorable longterm.
June 8, 2019
It's an odd, uneven film, but there is a lot to like here.
April 15, 2019
It's a shame that the excellent central storyline gets so obstructed and mucked up by all the noise, spectacle, and pageantry.
April 9, 2019
Well done, and definitely worth seeing, but it falls short of the next-level greatness that it tries to achieve.
March 6, 2019
Daniels' lack of self-awareness actually works in his favour here, letting the director's emotions run and resulting in a work that has fire in its belly beneath the shiny surface.
September 5, 2018
It's a pedestrian script, with tons of exposition, tons of signalling, and jarring vernacular oddities... The Butler does not serve its own subject matter well.
August 30, 2018
It's a course correction for the over-the-top Daniels, but history and The Butler may have been better served by the passion of his extreme tendencies.
August 26, 2018
This is a tough line to walk, being both upfront with your message and managing subtle critiques, but luckily for viewers Daniels manages to find the right balance and deliver a winning movie.
August 21, 2018
What's impressive and effective is a look at a recent history through the eyes of a humble man just happy to provide for his family.
March 6, 2018
The overwhelming feeling is that Allen's story was not good enough for the makers of this shiny, overproduced biopic, so they have Forrest Gumpified everything beyond belief.
January 26, 2018
With Oscar winner Forest Whitaker fully embracing the project and an impressive ensemble cast that brings to life America's dark racist past, Lee Daniels' The Butler is significant.
December 3, 2017
The film paints a disturbing and expansive portrait of the civil rights movement-from Jim Crow's "separate but equal" charade and demonstrations, to forced desegregation and the eventual victory of an African American in the White House.
November 29, 2017
The Butler has some wonderful moments that are powerful and moving, but its scope will ultimately (and unfortunately) polarize its audience.
September 8, 2017
Daniels does a good job of portraying the period in a warm, moving and righteous manner.
September 6, 2017
While the film fictionalizes many aspects of Allen's true story (even changing his name to Cecil Gaines) for dramatic effect, it stays true its sentiment.
June 28, 2017
The movie may be celebrity overload, but we're willing to deal -- because the message is just that powerful.
March 21, 2017
Brilliant. Historic. Compelling.
June 29, 2016
The Butler's final notes have too strongly followed through on traditional, slightly staid dramatics to have it both ways.
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