Lee Daniels' The Butler - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lee Daniels' The Butler Reviews

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March 5, 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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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
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.
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.
November 29, 2017
The Butler has some wonderful moments that are powerful and moving, but its scope will ultimately (and unfortunately) polarize its audience.
August 12, 2013
Lee Daniels' The Butler is the type of film that will likely please viewers who feel that they're doing their civic duty by learning about history and experiencing the trauma of the civil rights movement.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
August 16, 2013
At times maudlin and at other times just smug, dabbed with just enough humour to keep from being insufferable, it's like a victory lap that serves to dull and distress the hard-earned footsteps that came before it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 17, 2013
Lee Daniels' The Butler is part lackluster biopic, part ham-fisted (and somewhat misguided) historical allegory - despite noble intentions of the cast and filmmakers.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
November 15, 2013
It's effectively Forrest Gump Goes To The White House, with all the patronising political reductionism that implies.
August 9, 2013
Forces the square legacy of Cecil into the round 'Forrest Gump' hole.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
August 15, 2013
The movie's a mess, but a unique and provocative one.
November 11, 2013
Apparently the film is based on real White House butler Eugene Allen: you can't help feeling he should have been served better.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
November 3, 2013
With so many actors and so many subplots, it felt like I was watching a rushed chronology of civil rights events than an engaging, character-driven story.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
August 16, 2013
The film is, in the conventional and lamentable 21st-century Hollywood mode, so overt and obvious that at times it feels like a parody of historical drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 83/100
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
August 8, 2013
Squeezing a miniseries' worth of drama into a feature-length film, this impassioned story simply doesn't have the time to really delve into the epochal periods it chronicles.
November 14, 2013
Feels so dehydrogenated and polyunsaturated that an apter title might have been Lee Daniels' I Can't Believe It's Not Butler.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
August 9, 2013
A great film about the American civil rights movement is way overdue. The Butler, overwhelmed by flash and good intentions, doesn't even come close.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
August 15, 2013
What The Butler tries to accomplish is so noble and ambitious that it almost doesn't matter how clumsily maudlin it ends up being, how over-earnest and sanctimonious it can be.
August 15, 2013
A well-meaning, but overly long history lesson that largely finds its captivating hook whenever the attention is focused off its title character.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
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