The Butler

Lee Daniels' The Butler is based on a real African American man who worked at the White House for eight presidential terms, played by (genius) Forest Whitaker. The opening is a brutal series of crimes that happen to the future butler and his parents in a Southern cotton field, where they're still functionally enslaved decades after abolition. Act two lionizes the civil rights era, the era of black folks rising up to help themselves. The butler's son is a Freedom Rider/Black Panther played by (genius) David Oyelowo. The Butler is a pretty good Hollywood movie. Oprah Winfrey is great. It's probably worth seeing, even though as the credits are about to roll, an epigraph dedicates the movie to those who "fought" for equal rights. Not fight: fought. (JEN GRAVES)
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Lee Daniels
John Cusack, Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey