MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 176 this week

Lee Daniels' The Butler (I) (2013)
"The Butler" (original title)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  16 August 2013 (USA)
7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 65,576 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 297 user | 277 critic | 47 from Metacritic.com

As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man's life, family, and American society.

Director:

Writers:

, (article)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $4.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 28 Nov 2012
 
a list of 46 titles
created 17 Jan 2013
 
a list of 28 titles
created 30 Jan 2013
 
a list of 45 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 47 titles
created 10 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)

Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Lee Daniels' The Butler.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 13 wins & 45 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
LaJessie Smith ...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Mr. Jenkins (as John Fertitta)
...
...
...
...
...
White Usher
Edit

Storyline

Cecil Gaines was a sharecropper's son who grew up in the 1920s as a domestic servant for the white family who casually destroyed his. Eventually striking out on his own, Cecil becomes a hotel valet of such efficiency and discreteness in the 1950s that he becomes a butler in the White House itself. There, Cecil would serve numerous US Presidents over the decades as a passive witness of history with the American Civil Rights Movement gaining momentum even as his family has troubles of its own. As his wife, Gloria, struggles with her addictions and his defiant eldest son, Louis, strives for a just world, Cecil must decide whether he should take action in his own way. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One quiet voice can ignite a revolution

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and disturbing images, language, sexual material, thematic elements and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 August 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lee Daniels' The Butler  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$24,637,312 (USA) (16 August 2013)

Gross:

$116,631,310 (USA) (7 February 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Warner Brothers Pictures, owners of a 1916 silent short film called The Butler (1916), filed a claim with the MPAA to rename this film. The MPAA allowed the Weinstein Company to add Lee Daniels' name in front of the title, under the condition that his name was "75% the size of The Butler". On July 23, 2013, the distributor unveiled a revised film poster, with the title "Lee Daniels' The Butler". See more »

Goofs

Gloria is using a Pyrex bowl with the Spring Blossom pattern (white with green flowers) when she is peeling potatoes in a scene set around 1959. The pattern was not actually released until the '70s. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cecil Gaines: The only thing I ever knew was cotton. It was hard work.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chelsea Lately: Episode #7.34 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Function At The Junction
Written by Eddie Holland and Frederick Long
Performed by Shorty Long
Courtesy of Motown Records Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
It could have been much better
19 August 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Although the movie is based on a true story, a story that is very interesting, the producers couldn't leave it alone. Instead, they tampered with it so much that they made such an interesting story, uninteresting.

The only bright spot in the movie is Forest Whitaker. Given what he had to work with, he did a superb job of playing Eugene Allen. Allen was a humble man and Whitaker captures that humility. Originally, Denzel Washington was selected to play the part but it is unlikely that Washington, as good an actor as he is, could portray a humble man.

One of he big weaknesses in the film was the supporting cast. Oprah Winfrey was miscast as the butlers wife. That really distracted from Goines. Oprah came across as much too strong a personality as if the film was centered around her instead of Goines and her acting was mediocre. In real life, the story was about Allen, and not about his wife, but Oprah made the film as much about her as Allen. There are two explanations for writing the story to include Oprah. Either, the producers wanted her star power, or more likely, they needed her money to produce the film and had to cast her in the movie to get it.

Other than the strong performance by Whitaker, about the redeeming thing about the movie is that at least viewers are aware of the basic theme of the story, as fictionalized as it is, is that there was a butler of color that served eight presidents, was invited by one president to an official dinner, and got to see a man of color elected president. But we all could have learned that if it had been made a TV documentary rather than a crappy movie.


67 of 116 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What was with the random Obama propganda? starcraftbw88
Who else found the casting too distracting ? Dubdub1974
I almost stopped watching soon as... airborne_trooper
How was Warner able to supress the Black staff's salaries for so long? angus052394
Editing of Scenes- Crude Joke tieuellegacy
My take on why this film was ignored by the Oscars Figaro14
Discuss Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?