Lee Daniels' The Butler - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lee Daniels' The Butler Reviews

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February 9, 2016
A real gud watch, Brilliant acting & a fab cast !!
February 6, 2016
It begs for nominations yet does little to nothing that is deserving of any.
½ January 29, 2016
I did not know what to expect before watching this film, but I was pleasantly surprised by it! Such an amazing story that went very deep in the events of the civil rights movement. It was upsetting, but I enjoyed it overall! Perfect casting choices as well.
January 28, 2016
The Butler is the kind of movie you would be shown in a high school history class when a sub has been called in for the day. It's not a terrible film by any means, but all the morality and characters are so simplistic it's hard to really cling to anything. While at times its overt earnestness would almost beat me into submission, its overreaching goals, lack of focus, and HORRENDOUS makeup work make it nothing more than a less skillful and less entertaining Forrest Gump.
January 21, 2016
I expected The Butler to be about mainly just a life spent serving presidents, but the film is much more than that. Packed with an amazing cast, a compelling nature and a strong story, The Butler is an amazingly well done film that captures civil rights history.
The Butler tells the true story of Cecil Gaines, a top White House butler who served Presidents Eisenhower through Reagan. Gaines also tries to adjust to a changing America during the 1960s civil rights movement, where he builds a damaged relationship with his son, a strong civil rights activist.
The Butler is impressive. Time and history is a common theme and it stays through the film and after. Characters evolve and time evolves. The film displays a compelling nature that focuses on both presidencies but more on the civil rights movement. Whitaker does such a realistic job at his character that really drawed me in. As the character grows older, I felt more and more interested in him and had more respect in his actions. Gaines has such a well made story and it is displayed excellently on screen. Even Oprah displays an impressive performance that makes you forget that it's Oprah, a realistic performance that goes hand in hand with Whitaker. The character of Louis stays true as a stepping stone and made me both love and hate him. He means well but there are times when the character, much like the film's common theme, evolves. The Butler isn't just the story of a presidential butler, or even a biopic. It's history. It displays a misleading message with its poster themes of a presidential setup but the film focuses deeply and passionately on the evolution of the 1960s civil rights movement that ends the film on the inauguration of Barack Obama. You either love The Butler or you immediately find it to be sappy and a bit exaggerated. I find that the film does an exceptional job at shooting directly for the viewers' newfound respect for certain characters. It knows how to get bigger and better as it goes on. The characters and sensational performances make The Butler a great film and a modern day must see.
January 20, 2016
I watched this movie with my family which was a treat in itself. We all loved it and cried and smiled together. Perhaps, the choice of actors to play the politicians was a little off or the actual events were not quite accurate. However, the story is so powerful because slavery and the civil rights movement did happen and this movie brings it all home by highlighting the story of one man. This story is about resilience, hope and forgiveness. Even though, Cecil Gaines suffered terrible trauma and abuse in his childhood, he managed to rise above falling in love, getting married, fathering two children from the same woman and working hard at his job. This is a testament to the human spirit. I admire his resilience, I am in awe. His strong character was transferred to his sons. His older son fought for equal rights through passivity. Even though, conditions were so bad for black people, Charlie did not want to hurt anyone. I admire his restraint, his discipline and his ability to form loving relationships amidst such hardship. There are some very tough scenes to watch and these moments have stuck with me for days. I can't believe how white people abused their power and justified their hatred. It is so scary when people are judged by a color or race.
This is a remarkable story.Forest Whittaker and Oprah played their parts flawlessly. I feel privileged to have been able to watch this movie knowing that we still have a long way to go to eradicate racism, but we have entered the race and are on our way.
½ January 9, 2016
No esta mal, pero tampoco aporta mucho. En cualquier caso me sigue sorprendiendo que las cosas que cuenta hayan pasado en realidad
January 2, 2016
very interesting film that shows the changing of American society during the civil rights movement and also the generational differences in culture
½ December 31, 2015
Nicely paced historical drama based on the true story of a White House butler who lives through 7 Presidents during the civil rights era. Forrest Whitaker is super in the role. Oprah plays his wife, Gloria, and is also magnificent. Son Louis is played by David Owelowo, who matches with MLK, a role he later masters in Selma. Lots of cameos for big named actors. Great movie.
December 30, 2015
I love Forrest Whittaker and he does a fine job. The story has a Forrest Gump quality that intrudes periodically.
December 24, 2015
Though the cast is obviously hand-picked for star power they prove dynamic in their roles headed by an accomplished Forest Whitaker, but Lee Daniels's heavy-handed direction has it's message become too obvious at the risk of accuracy and overall impact.
December 13, 2015
The Butler is a powerful, important film to watch. It shows the flaws in America's past, gives us a human glimpse of our history and our presidents and is an effective family drama as well. I expected The Butler to play it safe, but it is a daring and gritty movie.
½ December 10, 2015
Gripping representation of American 20th Century black civil rights history through the eyes of Cecil Gaines, butler at the White House for more than 20 years. Sometimes a bit too tear-jerky, but overall ... A nice touch is that all American presidents are played by well known actors. Look out for professor Snape as Ronald Reagan :-)
½ December 4, 2015
Good movie great acting, although I couldn't stand the obama crap at the end every time i hear or see anything obama related it disgusts me so much I get sick to my stomach so that kinda ruined the movie for me.
Super Reviewer
½ November 30, 2015
I have never seen a more pretentious film. This is an incredibly clumsy and disjointed movie but it thinks it's the shit. A lot of that comes from Daniels, who is about as subtle as a freight train. Don't watch this, it's a waste of time.
November 9, 2015
I have wanted to see this movie since it was broadcasted in Japan. At last I could see it.

The butler (Lee Daniels' The Butler) is a American historical movie which was broadcasted in 2013 and produced by Lee Daniels and written by Danny Strong. This movie is based on a true-life story of Eugene Allen. The leading man is Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines.

The main character is a butler of White House whose name is Cecil Gaines.The story is not about inside of White House but the changing of the United States. The beginning of the story is Cecil's childhood. In 1926, he and his family were black peoples and slave of white farmer in Macon, the United States. His father was killed by a white man. A old woman who lives in the farm made him to be 'House Nigger.' This experience as House Nigger helped him to live later. He became an adult and left the farm. He managed to get his job and was taught how to behave in front of his customers by a man who was also black person and work with him. The man recommend to him that he should work in a Washington D.C. hotel. He met his wife Gloria there. They had two children, Louis and Charlie. One day, he was hired as a butler of White House. After then he served successive seven presidents, Eisenhower to Reagan for 34 years. He had various experiences through his job as the butler with bewildering changes in the United States. While he worked for the president, his son, Louis joined the group that fought for black discrimination. He took part in a lot of campaigns and arrested many times. Cecil against him. Charlie became army and was dead in the Vietnam War. In the Reagan administration, Cecil changed the rules of the black butler's allowance. After that, he and his wife invited to a party as a guests. He was served by his colleagues and his thought changed. He felt empty to do his job as a butler and resigned from his post. The end of the story is that he invited to White House after Barack Obama was elected as the first African-American president in the United States.

I learned and understood a lot about racism in the United States of the time from this movie. I assumed that I could be crying because the Japanese title is "Tears of The president 's Butler." It sounds like a plenty of tears, isn't it?(only me?) But I didn't cry. Of course I moved, especially the part of Cecil and his wife visits his hometown, and they make sure their love each other. As I expected this movie didn't make me bored and it was good to see such a great movie.
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November 5, 2015
Disliked much of it. Very unfair. Unfair to RMN, and Ike. And made the Butler out to be an uncle Tom but his radical son joining the Black Power group was glorified. A big disappointment.
November 4, 2015
I have wanted to see this movie since it broadcasted in Japan. At last I could see it. The main character is a butler of White House whose name is Cecil Gaines. The story is not about inside of White House but the changing of the United States. I learned and understood a lot about racism in the United States of the time from this movie. I assumed that I could be crying because the Japanese title is "Tears of The president 's Butler." It sounds like a plenty of tears, isn't it?(only me?) But I didn't cry. Of course I moved, especially the part of Cecil and his wife visits his hometown, and they make sure their love each other. As I expected this movie didn't make me bored and it was good to see such a great movie.
November 4, 2015
It was good but sometimes all these kind of movies are all the same and historical inaccuracies. Most times they change things in these kind of movies but all in all it was good to a point
November 4, 2015
A broadly stroked encapsulation of the Civil Rights movement is ultimately a commendable attempt to place black ppl back at the center of their own story, yet it is also a finely etched family drama with stand out work from Whitaker and Oprah. The result is an affecting crowd-pleaser
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