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Review: 'Lee Daniels' The Butler' significant but often contrived
"Lee Daniels' The Butler" is neither as good as it might have been nor as bad as survivors of "The Paperboy" may have feared. An ambitious and overdue attempt to create a Hollywood-style epic around the experience of black Americans in general and the civil rights movement in particular, it undercuts itself by hitting its points squarely on the nose with a 9-pound hammer.
By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
August 15, 2013