MOVIEmeter
Top 500
Down 24 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 50,280 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 267 user | 267 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...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 24 titles
created 05 Jan 2013
 
a list of 38 titles
created 07 Apr 2013
 
a list of 36 titles
created 2 months ago
 
dvd
a list of 26 titles
created 2 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 1 month ago
 

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 8 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Help (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

Director: Tate Taylor
Stars: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

Director: Steve McQueen
Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael K. Williams, Michael Fassbender
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.

Director: Paul Greengrass
Stars: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Author P.L. Travers reflects on her childhood after reluctantly meeting with Walt Disney, who seeks to adapt her Mary Poppins books for the big screen.

Director: John Lee Hancock
Stars: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Annie Rose Buckley
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is himself diagnosed with the disease.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto
Flight I (2012)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Denzel Washington, Nadine Velazquez, Don Cheadle
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A defense attorney has a crisis of conscience when he represents a wealthy client who has a foolproof plan to beat the system.

Director: Brad Furman
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe
Philomena (2013)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A world-weary political journalist picks up the story of a woman's search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.

Director: Stephen Chbosky
Stars: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller
Philadelphia (1993)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When a man with AIDS is fired by his law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.

Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Roberta Maxwell
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Will Hunting, a janitor at MIT, has a gift for mathematics but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Midwestern war veteran finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor.

Director: Baz Luhrmann
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Earl Gaines
...
...
Abraham
...
...
...
...
...
...
Mr. Jenkins (as John Fertitta)
...
R.D. Warner
...
...
Charlie Gaines (10)
...
...
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

Oprah Winfrey's first on-screen film role since Beloved (1998) in which she does not play herself. See more »

Goofs

During the first shot of the White House and titled as 1957, a bronze 1959 Chevrolet drives by. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.198 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Middle of the Night
Written by Keith McMasters, Fantasia Barrino, Kassim VonRico Washington, and Abel Terry
Performed by Fantasia Barrino
Produced by Keith "Mack" McMasters
For Lil' Mack Productions, LLC
Fantasia performs Courtesy of 19 Recordings / RCA Records
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.


56 of 99 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I almost stopped watching soon as... lloyda3
What was with the random Obama propganda? starcraftbw88
Who else found the casting too distracting ? Dubdub1974
Editing of Scenes- Crude Joke tieuellegacy
How was Warner able to supress the Black staff's salaries for so long? angus052394
Why isn't there a death toll of American slavery like the Holocaust? blazetariq
Discuss Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?