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Lee Daniels' The Butler

HD   PG-13 Closed Captioning

Lee Daniels

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About the Movie

Inspired by a true story, Academy Award® winner Forest Whitaker stars as Cecil Gaines, the devoted husband, father and White House butler who served seven presidents during some of the most tumultuous and defining moments of the 20th century. Oprah Winfrey co-stars with a stellar supporting cast that includes John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard, Lenny Kravitz, James Marsden, David Oyelowo, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber and Robin Williams in this powerful drama from the Oscar® nominated director of Precious (2009).

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 175
  • Fresh: 125
  • Rotten: 50
  • Average Rating: 6.6/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: A high-minded, didactic, but irresistible entertainment ... – David Denby, New Yorker, Sep 2, 2013

Fresh: Forest Whitaker imbues his part with immense dignity and the old-age makeup is effective showcasing Cecil during his later years. – James Berardinelli, ReelViews, Aug 18, 2013

Fresh: A history lesson in violence and endurance. A sentimental journey. A tribute. Director Daniels and the dedicated cast of The Butler deliver all that. – Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post, Aug 16, 2013

Rotten: It's not an interpretation of actual history as much as it is a reduced revision of movie history. – Wesley Morris, Grantland, Jan 3, 2014

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

My favorite movie of all time

I've seen this movie 3 times already, it's a must buy I love the story it portrays, it is something I'll have my children watch!


Lame, shallow and pandering. Disservice to many, including the title character. Would have been better as a Lifetime movie, frankly. The Obama-worship at the end was embarrassing (but revealing). Save your money and download something good.

A joke in every way

This movie is utter garbage, I see conservatives on here mad about it being liberal, its just bad. They destroy the legacies of democratic presidets and republicans alike. The cliched focus on Kenneedy who did nothing for african americans, but LBJ who passed BOTH civil rights acts, Eisenhower is a cartoon. This is a terrible movie in terms of its portrayl of real people and a functioning movie. Its tantamant to a 3 page pamphlent of 12 years a slave. If you want good story, characters, plot, meaning look elsewhere, OFFENSIVE TO BOTH RACES