Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

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Parents' Guide to


By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Quirky comedy pushes boundaries in the name of laughs.

Movie R 2012 90 minutes
Butter Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (6 ):

Make no mistake -- BUTTER is an acquired taste. Its jokes are irreverent, its social comedy biting. An African-American child calls the Caucasian parents who are fostering her "crackers," for instance; a woman accuses the child of playing "the race card" when she decides to include Harriet Tubman in her display; and a teenager hooks up with an adult woman to spite her parents. The film teeters gingerly on a narrow tightrope. Lean one way, and it's crass; another, and it's self-conscious. Still, the movie stays upright the entire time, and that's a feat.

Garner continues to shed her good-girl image with her bracing turn as Laura, who's reminiscent of her equally prickly character in Arthur. At times she seems to have dialed up her performance to maximum volume when a more nuanced portrayal is called for, but all in all, she's hilarious. Wilde succeeds but less so; her Brooke is one note, but she delivers her lines with punch, so they land deftly. Ultimately, it's Shahidi who's the star here; Destiny is lovable but spunky, and not in an earnest way. Sometimes Butter feels like it's trying too hard, and there are so many characters to track that we're left with the feeling that key players -- Burrell, for instance, and Hugh Jackman -- were ignored. Still, Butter is worth sampling for sure.

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