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

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  16 August 2013 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 77,758 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 310 user | 289 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.

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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 16 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Mr. Jenkins (as John Fertitta)
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White Usher
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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:

 »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Columbia Pictures put the film in turnaround in 2008. The Weinstein Company acquired the distribution rights in 2012. See more »

Goofs

When his fellow butler clears Cecil's empty plate at the state dinner, he clears it from Cecil's left. Proper etiquette calls for dishes to be cleared from the diner's right. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.214 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Out Of Sight
Written and Performed by James Brown
Courtesy of Universal Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Bait and Switch
19 August 2013 | by (Arizona) – See all my reviews

Springs the ambush about three quarters in when Jane Fonda shows up as Nancy Reagan. It was all so well disguised till that point (even Oprah was reasonable), I thought at first maybe Fonda had finally mellowed. But the over-the-top propaganda started building then to a crescendo--including Alan Rickman portraying Reagan as a slow-speaking, dim-witted, racist simpleton. As bad as the Obama pandering was, the most unforgivable part was portraying Johnson as a joke instead of the worst President in our history, including Obama--provided he doesn't double down on Johnson in the next three years.

Those who accuse libertarians of over emphasizing or manufacturing the political aspects film, an accusation which has something of a basis in Truth, albeit not with the judgmentally negative tone, have no reasonable claim that this review is digging for sewage here. It's the worst I've seen since "Bulworth", and worse even than the 2004 redo of "The Manchurian Candidate", turning as it did the original on its head. These make Al Gore and Michael Moore look like pikers.

This would have been a much better review if they'd cut that last half-hour off or at least cleaned it up.


37 of 68 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why cast Oprah? AndroYoussef
The first time a white man ever stuck his neck out for us? bbb984
Who else found the casting too distracting ? Dubdub1974
Why did the director put his own name in the title? Effervesce
What was with the random Obama propganda? starcraftbw88
How was Warner able to supress the Black staff's salaries for so long? angus052394
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