The Butler (2013)

The Butler (2013)

The Butler (2013)

Forest Whitaker is Cecil Gaines - a White House butler who served eight American presidents over three decades - in this chronicle of the American civil rights movements from director Lee Daniels (Precious). Features an all-star cast including Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson and Oprah Winfrey as Gaines' wife.

Based on the life of Eugene Allen, the story follows him from youth working on cotton farms to the top rank of butlers at the White House. During his tenure, Gaines witnesses the dramatic changes that swept American society from the civil rights movement to Vietnam.

2013Rating: M, Violence and offensive language132 minsUSA
DramaTrue Story & BiographyHistorical
92%
want to see

Reviews & comments

Flicks, Adam Fresco

Flicks, Adam Fresco

flicks

When first interviewed for the butler’s job, Cecil Gaines is informed: “We have no tolerance for politics at the White House.” Yes, it’s easy for cynics to sneer, but with every main character afforded some complexity, what could have been Civil Rights 101 from the daytime TV-movie school is nowhere near as black and white.

4.0
0

Superb

Forest Whitaker's with held performance here compared with his barn storming one in The Last King of Scotland shows the amazing range he has as a performer. An engaging true story that should not be missed.

4.0
0

A Must Watch!!

This film is incredible... Thats all I need to say... Watch It!!! Forest Whittaker delivers on a silver platter...

5.0
0

amazing from start to finish

The details of wardrobe and make up blew me away. The chemestry was there and the acting superb. Best movie I saw this year and miss 13 said the same.

5.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

Whitaker digs in deep and gives a marvelous under-the-skin performance; he seems to catch the very essence of a man who has spent his whole life trying not to be seen.

0
Time Out

Time Out

press

Look beyond the film's dewy-eyed, seemingly Wikipedia-sourced trappings and you'll see Daniels hasn't gone Oscar-bait-crazy.

3.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

A brilliantly truthful film on a subject that is usually shrouded in wishful thinking, mythmongering and outright denial.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

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.

2.0
0
The Dissolve

The Dissolve

press

In its bid to sum up the black experience in America, loses sight of the man at the film's core.

2.0
0
The Age

The Age

press

A self-conscious, would-be historical drama that's too distracted by star cameos and domestic strife to be truly effective.

3.0
0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Even with all contrivances and obvious point-making and familiar historical signposting, [it's] always engaging, often entertaining and certainly never dull.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

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

3.0
0
Flicks, Adam Fresco

Flicks, Adam Fresco

flicks

When first interviewed for the butler’s job, Cecil Gaines is informed: “We have no tolerance for politics at the White House.” Yes, it’s easy for cynics to sneer, but with every main character afforded some complexity, what could have been Civil Rights 101 from the daytime TV-movie school is nowhere near as black and white.

4.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

Whitaker digs in deep and gives a marvelous under-the-skin performance; he seems to catch the very essence of a man who has spent his whole life trying not to be seen.

0
Time Out

Time Out

press

Look beyond the film's dewy-eyed, seemingly Wikipedia-sourced trappings and you'll see Daniels hasn't gone Oscar-bait-crazy.

3.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

A brilliantly truthful film on a subject that is usually shrouded in wishful thinking, mythmongering and outright denial.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

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.

2.0
0
The Dissolve

The Dissolve

press

In its bid to sum up the black experience in America, loses sight of the man at the film's core.

2.0
0
The Age

The Age

press

A self-conscious, would-be historical drama that's too distracted by star cameos and domestic strife to be truly effective.

3.0
0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Even with all contrivances and obvious point-making and familiar historical signposting, [it's] always engaging, often entertaining and certainly never dull.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

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

3.0
0

Superb

Forest Whitaker's with held performance here compared with his barn storming one in The Last King of Scotland shows the amazing range he has as a performer. An engaging true story that should not be missed.

4.0
0

A Must Watch!!

This film is incredible... Thats all I need to say... Watch It!!! Forest Whittaker delivers on a silver platter...

5.0
0

amazing from start to finish

The details of wardrobe and make up blew me away. The chemestry was there and the acting superb. Best movie I saw this year and miss 13 said the same.

5.0
0