Family Movie Review: Lee Daniels’ The Butler (PG-13)

LeeDanielsTheButler ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReview

LeeDanielsTheButler ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): half-popcorn-kernal

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 132 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 15+. The film documents the racist South and the civil rights movement, so there is some cursing, prevalent use of the n-word, and a lot of violence, from an execution-style murder to lynchings to Ku Klux Klan threats, bombings, and burning crosses. There is also some sexual material, including an off-screen rape, a wife cheating on her husband, a poster of a naked woman, and many casual discussions about sex. And finally, there is lots of smoking and drinking, with one character essentially being a functional alcoholic.

Shockingly simplistic and jarringly obvious, ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler’ is one of the most frustrating, off-putting films of 2013 so far.

By Roxana Hadadi

How could no one involved in making “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” realize how exploitative and reductive this film is? It is supposed to be an examination of a man’s devotion to his country and its ideals of freedom, justice, and equality, but it revels in stereotypes and superficiality. It’s awash in ignorance and underdevelopment. It’s the kind of movie that is trying so hard to be important that it forgets to be realistic, and without that needed realism, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” loses its entire purpose.