The-Butler*”Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” doesn’t hit theaters until this coming Friday, Aug 16, but critics are free to release their reviews on the film now.

Here’s a smattering:

“Daniels knows how to push an audience’s buttons, and as crudely obvious as ‘The Butler’ can be — whether juxtaposing a Woolworth’s lunch-counter protest with a formal White House dinner, or showing a character keeling over at the breakfast table with oxygen tank attached — it’s also genuinely rousing,” Variety critic Scott Foundas wrote about the production. “By the end, it’s hard not to feel moved, if also more than a bit manhandled.”

This marks Daniels’ fourth feature as a director. He received a Best Director nomination for “Precious,” and if  Alonso Duralde (theWrap)  is right, “The Butler” will garner the same attention:

“The cuckoo-rococo side of Daniels, that boundaries-free showman behind such loony spectacles as ‘The Paperboy’ and ‘Shadowboxer,’ is nowhere to be found here; instead, he’s operating very much in awards-bait mode, juggling historical grandeur, family turmoil and a changing societal landscape.” For Duralde, who also gave “The Butler” positive marks, it worked: He wrote that Daniels’ film is “head and shoulders above feel-good kitsch like ‘The Help,'” an Oscar nominee for Best Picture at the 2012 Academy Awards.

But not every critic was as moved regarding the film.One example would be Tim Grierson at ScreenDaily6.

“‘The Butler’ plays less like a personal epic and more like a glossed-over highlight reel of African-Americans’ long, difficult march to equality.”

For more reviews on the film go to the Huffington Post.