The Butler 2013

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(231) IMDb 7.1/10
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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.

Starring:
John Cusack, Forest Whitaker
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 12 minutes
Starring John Cusack, Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey
Director Lee Daniels
Genres Drama
Studio ENTERTAINMENT IN VIDEO
Rental release 10 March 2014
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English
Original title Lee Daniels' The Butler
Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 12 minutes
Starring John Cusack, Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey
Director Lee Daniels
Genres Drama
Studio ENTERTAINMENT IN VIDEO
Rental release 10 March 2014
Main languages English
Subtitles English
Original title Lee Daniels' The Butler

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. W. Graham VINE VOICE on 8 Jan 2014
Format: DVD
The Butler tells the true story of Cecil Gaines, a young man who runs away from a slave plantation in the 1920's and after a string of odd jobs ends up as a butler in the White House where he serves several American Presidents and witnesses several historic moments while his son gets caught up in the growing civil rights movement. Some superb performances here noteably from Forrest Whittaker giving one of his best performances as The Butler himself and Operah Winfrey giving her best performance ever as his loyal wife with excellent support from Terrance Howard and John Cusack, Robin Williams, James Marsden and Alan Rickman give good cameo appearances as presidents Nixon, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Reagan respectively with Jane Fonda also appearing as Nancy Reagan. Yes it gets very sentimental but this is ultimately a powerfull piece of filmmaking from Lee Daniels the director of Precious.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Aug 2014
Format: DVD
Typical exuberant American biopic based (very very loosely) on the life of Eugene Allen; you have a hard life in the cotton fields, the move north, the skills and rules of butlering, a son in the Freedom Riders and the Panthers another in Vietnam. It is a clever and effective moulding of a lot of the black experience in those years. A great opportunity for guest "presidents" and some real drama and tragedy. All lifting to the election of Obama. All the more effective for Forest Whitaker's skilful playing.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By markr TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Mar 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I loved this movie, which brilliantly depicts the history of civil rights in the United States from the 1950s to the election of President Obama, through the eyes of a White House butler, played here superbly by Forest Whitaker, and his family. Oprah Winfrey is magnificent here as his wife

Mixing history with a moving family story this is a highly emotional movie, which charts the progress of the last 60-70 years alongside the life experience, triumphs and tragedies and the aging of the central characters.

Deeply moving, and utlimately uplifting, this is a great movie which I am sure I will watch again
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By rbmusicman TOP 100 REVIEWER on 13 Mar 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The film is adapted from 'Will Haywood's' 2008 Washington Post article,
a 'Butler' well served by this election.
Telling the real-life story of former 'White House' butler 'Eugene Allen'
In this film the butler is called 'Cecil Gaines' (Forest Whitaker)
It tells of his start in life working with his parents in the 'Cotton Fields'
At a, still young age he sets off to find his own way in life, finding it to be
as it was in the fields......he remains a second class citizen....he gradually
works his way up in life becoming a 'butler' eventually being offered a
position in the 'White House' as a butler, in all serving seven presidents.
Down the years he has learned to block out the prejudices that follow him
and his family down the years.
He brings up his family in 'Washington' with his wife 'Gloria' (Oprah Winfrey)
'Cecil' serves in the White-House at a time when...
The assassination of JFK a President who had spoke of change, and later the
killing of 'Martin Luther King' (civil-rights spokesman)
We see the violence of organisations such as the 'Klu Klux Klan' his son
joining civil rights movements whilst another son signs up to join the army
serving in 'Vietnam'
The rise of the 'Black Panther' movement in which his son becomes involved
in the late sixties.
The film had mixed reviews when released as it does with reviews on this site,
The story deals with race relations a subject that has never quite gone away
down the years, though progress has been made as the film portrays.
Read more ›
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Glennon on 16 Feb 2014
Format: DVD
Fantastically acted and directed, it's moving and a perfect history lesson. Seriously powerful stuff. Would happily see again. Loved it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Glyn Davies on 26 Sep 2014
Format: DVD
This is a film for the easily pleased. Not since Crash have I seen a film trying to attempt to tell a story about Race that was so poorly executed. Not only is it incredibly preachy, but it has to be the most cheesiest film of the last decade.
The film boasts great President cameos by such great actors as Robin Williams and Alan Rickman but these are very short. If the film would have portrayed the presidents in history for more than 8 minutes at a time then the film would have been better drawn out had dramatic depth in the events it was trying to depict during the presidential adminstrations.
This is also a film were Oprah Winfrey thinks she can act and tries to steal the film from better actors. If you listen to Mark Kermode who said in his review 'I cried in this film' then you may find enjoyment in this drivel but for me if you really want to watch a film about racial tension with raw power then watch the brilliant American History X.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. MALTBY on 5 July 2014
Format: DVD
I am not an expert on the intricacies of Northern American history, native or its subsequent annexation. So I won't dream of critiquing this film on the historical front. I just didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I might. That might be because certain elements didn't feel like they rang true, or that truth is less appealing than a dramatisation, or just that expectation is the ruin of art as a medium. Judge it for yourselves.
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