This story follows the life of Cecil Gaines who serves eight presidents as a butler at the White House. We see how the civil rights movement, Vietnam and other major events affect this man’s life, family and American society. Be forewarned that it is rated PG-13 for some violence and disturbing images, language, sexual material, thematic elements and smoking. Starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, this movie hit a home run with KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 11-year-old Anthony A who says, “Cecil inspired me to speak more intelligently without saying the wrong things.” See Anthony’s full review below.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler

By Anthony A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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This movie is really cool because its shows history in a way that will make you interested in it. This movie also shows how hard it was to survive in the not-so-far-off past.

This movie is all about a person named Cecil who is black and the movie is set in a time before everyone was treated equally and had the same rights. Cecil’s father is killed by a white man, who didn’t get arrested; he is not even talked to by the police. Cecil goes to work for a lady as her butler but eventually runs away. Eventually, when he is older, he becomes the President’s butler. He serves for them and meets people. However, his son keeps getting arrested over and over again because he is standing up with Martin Luther King Jr. in the Civil Rights Movement and that takes his focus away from his work.

The main characters in this movie are Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), Earl Gaines (David Banner), Gloria Gaines (Oprah Winfrey), and Louis Gaines (David Oyelowo). My favorite character is Cecil because he works so hard and just wants things to change. He says that a black man has never been promoted in the 21 years he has worked for the Presidents and he doesn’t think this is fair.

My favorite part in this movie is every time Cecil speaks to the Presidents. He is so truthful and so nice to them. He inspired me to speak more intelligently without saying the wrong things. He did work for seven presidents so he had a lot of practice.

I recommend this movie for ages 10 and up because this movie has a lot of adult language. The movie talks a lot about the struggle for equal rights for all men which is something that I remember from watching Lincoln. There is historical violence and a lot of terms that I didn’t fully understand.

KIDSFIRST! Coming Attractions is a weekly radio show hosted by eighteen KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, ages 7 to 16. These critics win a spot as a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic through a national competition held annually. They review new films and DVDs, attend Red Carpet events and premieres and interview talent on and off the Red Carpet. KIDS FIRST!, a program of the 22-year-old Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, is the country’s most valued source for reviews of children’s media. As a national, nonprofit organization, KIDS FIRST! teaches children critical viewing skills and engages them as jurors to evaluate, rate and review films, DVDs, TV shows, music, games and apps.  – Read more at Dear Dumb Diary Movie Review By Kids First! Coming Attractions.