[Screen It]
    

 

"LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER"
(2013) (Forest Whitaker, David Oyelowo) (PG-13)


At-A-Glace Content Summary

Alcohol/Drugs Extreme
Blood/Gross Stuff Moderate
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Extreme
Frightening/Tense Scenes Heavy
Gun/Weapons Heavy
Imitative Behavior Heavy
Jump Scenes None
Music (Scary/Tense) Mild
Music (Inappropriate) Minor
Profanity Heavy
Sex/Nudity Heavy
Smoking Heavy
Tense Family Scenes Extreme
Topics to Talk About Extreme
Violence Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A black man serves as a butler in the White through eight presidential administrations, all while becoming further estranged from his Civil Rights activist son.
PLOT:
Having grown up in the 1920s in the deep South where his father was murdered by a white man who raped his mother, Cecil Gaines (FOREST WHITAKER) has long-lived the life of a black servant. The fact that he can do his job well and yet not react to anything non-service related -- such as racist comments from white people -- has landed him a job at a nice hotel in 1957 Washington, D.C. That position eventually gets him noticed and he's called to work at the White House as a butler.

Under the watchful eye of maitre d' Freddie Fallows (COLMAN DOMINGO) and head butler Carter Wilson (CUBA GOODING JR.), Cecil begins working alongside other black butlers such as James Holloway (LENNY KRAVITZ) serving President Dwight D. Eisenhower (ROBIN WILLIAMS). Over the years and through subsequent elections, that presidential list includes the likes of John F. Kennedy (JAMES MARSDEN), Lyndon B. Johnson (LIEV SCHREIBER), Richard Nixon (JOHN CUSACK) and Ronald Reagan (ALAN RICKMAN), whose wife, Nancy (JANE FONDA), takes a liking to Cecil as do most of the Presidents.

But his dedication to work puts a strain on his marriage to Gloria (OPRAH WINFREY) who progressively turns to the bottle and company of her neighbor, Howard (TERRENCE HOWARD). At the same time, his Civil Rights activist son, Louis (DAVID OYELOWO), doesn't like him being a black servant serving white people, something not lost on Cecil who can't get his white boss, R.D. Warner (JIM GLEASON), to agree to equal pay and benefits for black employees like him.

While Cecil and Gloria's younger son, Charlie (ISAAC WHITE), doesn't have those same issues and willingly heads off to Vietnam, Louis gets deeper into the movement and its protests with his college classmate and girlfriend, Carol Hammie (YAYA ALAFIA). As his arrests mount and the years pass, Cecil never speaks up unless asked at the White House about such matters, all as he watches the various presidential administrations come and go.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Those curious about the Civil Rights movement and/or who might be fans of anyone in the cast could be interested. Beyond that, it's highly unlikely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some violence and disturbing images, language, sexual material, thematic elements and smoking.


That's just the introduction of this review. We invite you to sign up for a FREE 3-day Pass into our Membership Site to our site so that you can finish reading the review (and the complete listings of all the Sex, Nudity, Profanity, Violence and more), as well as take a look at the thousands of other reviews on our site.

No credit card is needed and there's no obligation to continue after the 3 days (although we hope you'll like what you see and then join us as full members).

[Get Your FREE 3-Day Trial Membership]

I have subscribed to ScreenIt for more than a decade. I check in every week to take advantage of their amazing services. Not only does their site provide a glimpse of exactly what content a movie offers, I've found the “Our Take” reviews and ratings for each movie to be right on the money every single time. I've referred dozens of friends to this service because my #1 resource for deciding whether or not to show a movie to my kids, or to see one myself, is ScreenIt.com!

Josh Nisbet
Director, State of CA Public Sector

I signed up to get Screen It weekly reviews a long time ago, when my kids were young and I wanted to know more about movies before we went to a theater or rented. Now one child is in law school, other in undergraduate, and I still read the weekly Screen Its! It helps me know what my husband and I want to see or rent, and what to have waiting at home that we all will enjoy when my "kids" come home. I depend on Screen It reviews. They usually just present the facts and let me decide if the movie is appropriate or of interest for my family and me. Thank you for providing that service, Screen It!

Patti Petree
Winston Salem, NC

I have 4 children who are now in college. I signed up for Screen It when my children were pre-teenagers. Often my children would ask to see a movie with a friend and I wished I could preview the movie prior to giving permission. A friend told me about ScreenIt.com and I found it to be the next best thing to previewing a movie. The amount of violence, sexual content, or language were always concerns for me and my husband as we raised innocent kids with morals. We constantly fought the peer pressure our kids received to see films that in our opinion were questionable. With the evidence we received at Screen It, our kids couldn't even fight us when we felt a film may have been inappropriate for them to watch. Thank you, Screen It. Continue to make this helpful service available to everyone, but especially the young parents.

Christine Doherty
Machesney Park, IL

Screenit.com is an amazing resource for parents, educators, church groups or anyone who wants to make an informed decision whether a movie is suitable for their viewing. The reviews and content descriptions are so detailed I am mystified how the reviewers can put them together.

Scott Heathe
Vancouver, BC

I love screen It! I don't know what I would do without it. It is well worth the membership. Before we take our son to the movies we check it out on screen it first. Thank you SO much for making it. Keep up the good work & keep 'em coming!!!

Patrina Streety
Moreno Valley California

Other new reviews available this week include:

[Captain America: The Winter Soldier] [Draft Day] [Oculus] [Rio 2]

Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

All Rights Reserved,
©1996-2014 Screen It, Inc.