7.2/10
105,892
358 user 309 critic

Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)

The Butler (original title)
PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 16 August 2013 (USA)
Trailer
2:02 | Trailer
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:

Lee Daniels

Writers:

Danny Strong, Wil Haygood (article)
Reviews
Popularity
1,650 ( 2,416)
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 17 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Forest Whitaker ... Cecil Gaines
David Banner ... Earl Gaines
Michael Rainey Jr. ... Cecil Gaines (8)
LaJessie Smith ... Abraham
Mariah Carey ... Hattie Pearl
Alex Pettyfer ... Thomas Westfall
Vanessa Redgrave ... Annabeth Westfall
Aml Ameen ... Cecil Gaines (15)
Clarence Williams III ... Maynard
John P. Fertitta ... Mr. Jenkins (as John Fertitta)
Jim Gleason ... R.D. Warner
Oprah Winfrey ... Gloria Gaines
Isaac White ... Charlie Gaines (10)
David Oyelowo ... Louis Gaines
Joe Chrest ... White Usher
Learn more

More Like This 

Selma I (2014)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

Director: Ava DuVernay
Stars: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth
Documentary | Short | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of The Butler (2013).

Stars: Charles Allen, Mariah Carey, John Cusack
Philomena (2013)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Based on the events of the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's regime as seen by his personal physician during the 1970s.

Director: Kevin Macdonald
Stars: James McAvoy, Forest Whitaker, Gillian Anderson
Patch Adams (1998)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The true story of a heroic man, Hunter "Patch" Adams, determined to become a medical doctor because he enjoys helping people. He ventured where no doctor had ventured before, using humour and pathos.

Director: Tom Shadyac
Stars: Robin Williams, Daniel London, Monica Potter
Invictus (2009)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Nelson Mandela, in his first term as President of South Africa, initiates a unique venture to unite the Apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 1965, an unorthodox and irreverent DJ named Adrian Cronauer begins to shake up things when he is assigned to the U.S. Armed Services radio station in Vietnam.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, Tom. T. Tran
The Butler (2018)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The film tells the story of the Prussian family von Krauss living in the Puck area, as well as the love between the Kashubian boy Mateusz and the German aristocrat Marita and is set between... See full summary »

Director: Filip Bajon
Stars: Janusz Gajos, Anna Radwan, Sebastian Fabijanski
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All-American football player and first-round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.

Director: John Lee Hancock
Stars: Quinton Aaron, Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw
Jack (1996)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Because of an unusual disorder that has aged him four times faster than a typical human being, a boy looks like a 40-year-old man as he starts fifth grade at public school after being homeschooled.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Robin Williams, Diane Lane, Brian Kerwin
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Victoria is a thirty-something lawyer who's looking for stability and true love in her life struggling with her past. Her search is not evident but finally, she realizes the fact that love should not be always searched.

Director: Justine Triet
Stars: Virginie Efira, Vincent Lacoste, Melvil Poupaud
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.

Director: John Wells
Stars: Meryl Streep, Dermot Mulroney, Julia Roberts
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 | Plot 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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Laura Ziskin's final film. She died of breast cancer on June 12, 2011 before it was completed. 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 side. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Overrated Movies (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
If you have the guts
22 August 2013 | by nancygoldsenSee all my reviews

Go see this movie..It shook me to my core..As a white person I've never been more ashamed in my life..And saddened.. We are in the midst of racial struggle for equal rights right now..I sat in a packed theater with all white old people and you could've heard a pin drop.. It felt like a Forest Gump movie but with the racial history of our country as the topic.. and it was NOT a pretty picture. Thank you for doing this movie Lee, it is something we all need to see as Americans and we all have to face that we still have MAJOR racial bigotry. It must NOT be tolerated! I am white, 63 yrs old, born in Miami Fl and living in LA. Please go see this and then go about being an agent of change..we need to move on to better things and stamp out racism in America..it has NO place here..and we should all be ashamed of it's existence and allowing it to persist.. The cameos were priceless and OPRAH, (tho I am not a fan) was incredible!


127 of 213 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 358 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 August 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lee Daniels' The Butler See more »

Filming Locations:

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,637,312, 18 August 2013

Gross USA:

$116,632,095

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$177,313,795
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed