I knew The Butler would be a heavy movie, made for the Academy Awards and such. It's the historical perspective of a black man serving in the White House through several presidential terms plus what his sons go through. It's a meaningful and significant film with a sympathetic character at the helm that keeps the narrative interesting.
As I didn't check the cast list too closely, I had a lot of fun seeing and identifying the presidents as they pass, most having only a couple of scenes. There are a few more surprises with the cast as well; I didn't recognize Mariah Carey. What is of note would be the name Danny Strong as he was a minor character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and now he's one of the major players behind the scenes, as well as having a cameo on the bus.
Bits of the the film that wrinkle my forehead would be the sudden jump from single life to being married with two children. How did that happen? He even owns his own decent house. Another is something I can't complain about if it really is true to life, that the main character broke into a home and was rewarded for it. It might be off, they they were trying to go for a moral there.
The Butler is two hours through the life of a man who's folks are oppressed. There are bit of shocking human behavior but it's not terribly depressing throughout. Plus the butler's role has him holding himself aloof over the politics going on. It's a worthy film, with touching moments and an honorable message.