(I) (2013)

Critic Reviews

66

Metascore

Based on 47 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
88
Slant Magazine
With the film, Lee Daniels quietly pushes his talent for hashing out visceral, violent emotions into unexpected dramatic terrain.
83
As Cecil, Whitaker is mesmerizing. The actor seems to shrink into his imposing frame, summoning a performance of quiet, bottled-up force.
75
The Butler carries an authenticity that sustains it through its cloying stretches.
70
There’s no denying, though, that Daniels knows how to push an audience’s buttons, and as crudely obvious as The Butler can be...it’s also genuinely rousing. By the end, it’s hard not to feel moved, if also more than a bit manhandled.
70
Crudely ­powerful. You can object to the thuggish direction and the script that’s a series of signposts, but not the central idea, which is genuinely illuminating.
64
Full of truth that's ultimately diluted by a lack of focus.
60
The Hollywood Reporter
Inspiring if not inspired, Lee Daniels' The Butler is a sort of Readers' Digest overview of the 20th century American civil rights movement centered on an ordinary individual with an extraordinary perspective.
60
Viewers familiar with Daniels’s idiosyncratically vulgar work might be disappointed that there’s little here that compares to Nicole Kidman loosing a yellow stream on Zac Efron’s jellyfish stings in "The Paperboy" (2012).
58
Lee Daniels’ The Butler could be an important film that comes at a time where race is still a challenging topic for America, but it succeeds less as a film than as a history lesson.
40
The Guardian
A great film about the American civil rights movement is way overdue. The Butler, overwhelmed by flash and good intentions, doesn't even come close.

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