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Still shot from the movie: Lee Daniels’ The Butler.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler

If you where a fly on the wall in the White House, what interesting things might you see?  As a butler at the esteemed residence, Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) witnesses plenty during his years of service from 1952 until 1986. Inspired by a true story, this movie presents a unique historical perspective. Get the movie review and more. »


Overall: B+
Violence: C-
Sexual Content: C+
Language: D+
Drugs/Alcohol: C-
Run Time: 132
Theater Release: 16 Aug 2013
Video Release: 14 Jan 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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How We Determine Our Grades

After watching a movie with your children or students, we encourage parents and teachers to look for education opportunities to teach with movies. Here are a few discussion topics that can help with lesson plans or teaching in the home.

This movie is actually based on the experiences of Eugene Allen. Learn more about his life.

Although Cecil’s son despises the work his father does, how does this quiet butler influence the white people he works for? Are rebellions and riots the only ways to influence social changes?

What racial challenges did the South continue to experience even after the end of the Civil War? Why is it so difficult to change ideology and long-held beliefs? What racial, economic and social problems are still around today?

After working for famous people, some employees resort to tell-all books detailing the weakness and personal lives of their former employers. Is Lee Daniels’ The Butler a negative exposé on the White House or does it give viewers a more personal look at the daily lives of the people who reside there? Is this movie too sanitized?

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About the Reviewer: Kerry Bennett

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