MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 210 this week

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

PG-13  |   |  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 73,252 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 303 user | 285 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 $9.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON TV

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 33 titles
created 16 Aug 2012
 
otw
a list of 34 titles
created 19 Jun 2013
 
a list of 27 images
created 17 Jan 2014
 
a list of 21 titles
created 27 Mar 2014
 
a list of 30 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 15 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
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

The film has 41 credited producers. See more »

Goofs

During the Barack Obama campaign scenes on the porch, Cecil wears an "Organizing for America" T-shirt. "Organizing for America" was the post-inauguration Obama organization, started in 2009. During the 2008 campaign it was "Obama for America." 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 #7.119 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Rondo No. 2 In C Major for Violin and Orchestra, K.373 Allegretto Grazioso
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Royal Festival Orchestra, Conducted by William Bowles
Courtesy of Hindsight Records
By arrangement with The Orchard
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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.


69 of 124 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What was with the random Obama propganda? starcraftbw88
Why did the director put his own name in the title? Effervesce
I almost stopped watching soon as... airborne_trooper
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
Discuss Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?