The Butler is a paint by numbers, generic drama that does a disservice to the history that it is portraying. Not even Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey's dynamic performances could have saved this film from mediocrity. Oh and John Cusack's Richard Nixon is unbelievable bad! It's almost worth watching the movie just to see Cusack try act like Nixon! The Butler is in many ways a poor man's Forest Gump.
Another one of those preachy Oscar films we see too many of every year that would rather tell a story old people would like to hear as opposed to contributing to and expanding the medium. That said, it was kinda funny to see people badly play different presidents.
A wooden (even cartoonish) yet well intentioned and in some regards well acted (esp. Oprah and Whitaker) film. Unfortunately Daniels botches it by turning Cecil into a Black Forest Gump who just happens to be in the midst of several pivotal historical moments. It's unfortunate because the central conflict between father and son, different generations of Black men, is a moving one.
A very mixed-bag historical drama that goes by way too fast and isn't very risky filmmaking since it offers nothing new and doesn't take many chances. But the great performances (especially Whitaker & Winfrey) and small but effective moment of humor help make sure that it's a slightly entertaining film to watch.
Good acting, good story. Does a sharp job of differentiating between how social change works when young men & women are fighting at home in their own interests, and how it utterly fails when you send young men off to die in war. Sadly, after using Obama's election as a victory, the director fails to inform us that Obama merely continues the same war-mongering policy that all those dead white men had before him.
Heavy handed at times, I can see the Forrest Gump comparisons, but Forrest is top notch, and so is Oprah. Also shout out to Mariah Carey? what a nice little surprise. I don't know how seriously this can be taken as a reflection of the civil rights movement though, but I have a soft spot for Lee Daniels.