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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sentimental but powerfull film
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...
Published 3 months ago by Mr. R. W. Graham

versus
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ambivalent
Real ambivalence watching this film, on the one hand a good review of Civil Rights and the country's march onwards. On the other hand, real dramatization of funerals, and the civil Rights Marches. There must be an in-between, but what we are offered is the extremes.

Forrest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, play a married couple, Clarence and Gloria Gaines. Clarence...
Published 3 months ago by prisrob


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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sentimental but powerfull film, 8 Jan 2014
By 
Mr. R. W. Graham (Lincoln, U.K.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Butler [DVD] (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply moving and ultimately uplifting, 23 Mar 2014
By 
markr - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Butler [DVD] (DVD)
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 16 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Butler [DVD] (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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ambivalent, 17 Jan 2014
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Butler [DVD] (DVD)
Real ambivalence watching this film, on the one hand a good review of Civil Rights and the country's march onwards. On the other hand, real dramatization of funerals, and the civil Rights Marches. There must be an in-between, but what we are offered is the extremes.

Forrest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, play a married couple, Clarence and Gloria Gaines. Clarence witnessed the death of his father being shot by a white man, who had just raped his mother in the cotton fields. Clarence worked his way up from the cotton fields to the Butler at the White House. He and Gloria had good times and bad, Clarence spent most of his time at the White House, leaving Gloria to bring up their two sons. One son became estranged after he decided protest was his way of life, and the other son went to Vietnam.

What we are presented with is the life of the Butler in the White House, the Presidents he served from Eisenhower to Reagan. The Civil Rights of Afro Americans were discussed in front of him, as if he was not there. That was his life. All in all, both Clarence, Gloria and their sons did their own thing. The fault Dear Ceasar, is the director, who gave us reality with a reality show. The two do not mix.

Wonderful performances by Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, but not Academy Award material. Lots of music that swelled and gave us moments of sadness, of course, I was all above that as I was weeping.

Recommended. 01-16-14
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'SOME STORIES JUST HAVE TO BE TOLD', 13 Mar 2014
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Butler [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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.
Today we have a 'Black' President in the 'White House' I suspect even the
civil rights activists of the 60's could never have envisaged this (having watched
this film I'm so glad that the Butler who had served so many down the years
lived to see it.
A moving and powerful film, often sad, occasionally heart warming, a well
portrayed drama with an outstanding performance from 'Forest Whitaker'
Because the film is often a little slow my first thoughts were to award 4/5 however
the film is better than that, in fact it is a story that had to be told.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good watch, 14 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Butler [DVD] (DVD)
I wanted to highly rate this movie, but I was just below 'love level'. I would have liked to have seen easier transitions between the decades, like the belching girlfriend's shocking afro turning up out of nowhere. Saying that, the seventies were a real shock.
The whole Oprah thing wasn't so easy on the eye. I mean she's a talk show host to me now, despite her being a very good actress. And in real life, wasn't she a bit old for Forest? She still looks good though.
A smart performance by forest Whitaker, he seemed to age without us noticing the difference until he retired. Good casting with the African Americans, but the presidents....all yuk. I think the producers were just going for A-list casting rather than lookalikes. Nancy Reagan was amazing, played from the ever young Jane Fonder, but Ronny...I forgot how silly that man was! Nixon and Kennedy looked too young.
I'm wondering now if this should have been a series, since it seemed as if the film makers were trying to pack everything in within a decent time run. That would have served the story well, I think.
To sum up, I liked it, not 'loved it' and I think I'll put it down as a good educational film for my kids.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Just OK, 18 April 2014
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This review is from: The Butler [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Sorry to say I was very disappointed with this film, it has some memorable moments but overall it gets a bit too boring
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5.0 out of 5 stars amazing film!! accurately depicts the horrific treatment of blacks in the U.S. in the 1960's!!, 18 April 2014
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without a doubt the best film of 2013!! amazing film, showing how one butler in the White House can serve so many U.S. Presidents.
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5.0 out of 5 stars EVERYONE should see this film!, 18 April 2014
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This review is from: The Butler [DVD] (DVD)
I truly believe EVERYONE should see this film as it's base on a huge amount of truth and people should know that this went on, maybe then they would understand some of the frictions in the world - the film itself has an AMAZING cast, is brilliantly acted and stirs up all emotions, especially when you know the era is very true, cruel, and true. I found it hard to believe people were treated so badly, just on the basis of their colour~! Unbelievable! - to sum up tho.... a MUST SEE film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 17 April 2014
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This review is from: The Butler [DVD] (DVD)
The Butler is an excellent film which was made clear how difficult for black people of that era was. It was well acted by everybody and is a must to see.
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