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3.7 out of 5 stars 221 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In Iowa, butter carving is as cut-throat as a Presidential election, plagued with scandal, greed, blackmail, and sex -- except with butter! When long-reigning champion butter sculptor, Bob Pickler (Ty Burrell), is forced to step down, his zealous wife, Laura (Jennifer Garner) enters the competition herself, to fight for their status as butter royalty. A win seems virtually guaranteed for the poised and studied candidate when a formidable contender emerges: the fresh-faced, effortlessly charismatic 10-year-old Destiny (Yara Shahidi), an African-American foster child of local couple, Jill and Ethan (Alicia Silverstone and Rob Corddry). Suddenly, it's anybody's game and Laura will do anything to win -- even if it means resorting to sabotage and seducing her foolish ex-boyfriend Boyd (Hugh Jackman) as a co-conspirator.

Butter is a quirky film that sort of works as a straight-up comedy, and sort of works as the satire it seems intended to be. What helps propel Butter forward and engage the audience is the first-rate cast. Jennifer Garner and Ty Burrell play Iowans Laura and Bob, whose lives have centered on the very Midwestern phenomenon of butter sculpture. Bob's been having an affair with a cheeky stripper, Brooke (Olivia Wilde), who's dying to figure out a way to go public with her affections for Laura's husband. Enter the annual butter-sculpting contest. Bob's decided to retire; Laura wants to carry on his tradition; Brooke wants to show up to cause emotional carnage. Then Destiny arrives. Destiny (Yara Shahidi) is an orphaned African-American girl and the foster child of well-meaning Ethan and Julie (Rob Corddry and Alicia Silverstone) and who has an almost unbelievable gift for, you guessed it, butter sculpture. What happens at the contest and in the small Iowa suburb is both a fascinating look at people's unusual obsessions and a satire of those obsessions. If Butter falls short of being in the league of Election or Little Miss Sunshine, it is still enjoyable for what it is--an ensemble cast clearly having a great time playing with one another, and playing in their food. It's a small buttery gem. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Jennifer Garner, Ty Burrell, Olivia Wilde, Hugh Jackman, Rob Corddry
  • Directors: Jim Field Smith
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • DVD Release Date: December 4, 2012
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009IV2ZBO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,514 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video
Despite an impressive comic cast, I hadn't heard very many positives about "Butter" before I sat down to watch it. Maybe my expectations were set too low, because I actually thought this biting Midwestern satire worked just fine. It is never afraid to push the envelope of good taste, but it is also grounded by a certain gentleness and sweetness that is as unexpected as it is winning. Many contemporary satires are content to be as abrasive and confrontational as possible, so I thought the levels of shading in "Butter" really distinguished it from the pack. That's not to say that the movie has gone soft or lacks edge, it doesn't. It just works a fine balancing act between outrageous political incorrectness AND characters that you might actually care about. So, for me, "Butter" was a genuinely pleasant surprise.

Of course, the premise of the film is absolutely irresistible. Set in the competitive and cut-throat world of butter carving, the screenplay attacks both obvious and less expected targets. Ty Burrell (invaluable on Modern Family) and Jennifer Garner play the first couple of the annual State Fair. Burrell has been the butter carving champion for fifteen consecutive years, and Garner has basked in the associated glory while rising to a level of community power. When Burrell is asked to sit out of this year's competition, this opens the door to new talent. Among them, Garner steps up as a amoral and manipulative contender. Also in the ring is an orphan girl (an effective Yara Shahidi) that seems like a butter carving prodigy. The two ladies stage an epic battle of skill and cunning, but the ruthless Garner doesn't intend to play fair. Who will emerge victorious? And will anyone remain unscathed from this battle of good versus evil?
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I don't know why I was surprised at how good this film is. The actors are all top-notch, the story is completely different, and the "heart-warming-ness" isn't too sickening sweet. I guess the fact that it's playing in theaters while I rented it online threw me: only stinkers get rented out as soon as they're released. I hadn't heard beans about this movie, so clearly the studio wasn't happy with it. Still, I liked it. It reminded me of "Best In Show", with its single-minded, nut-job characters, but it was also a lovely little story of finding love & family. It could have been a good "family" movie if they'd cut the few sex-related scenes which really added nothing to the film & could have been simply alluded to. But sex sells, right? Nevertheless, rent the movie, it's fun.
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Format: Amazon Video
Bob (Ty Burrell) has been the Iowa state butter sculptor champion for 15 years straight, making fine sculptures such as "The Last Supper" and "Newt on a Horse." The state fair has politely asked him to step aside and let someone else win. His overly straight, June Clever clone, wife Laura (Jennifer Garner) with a foul mouth objects and decides to carry on the family tradition and enter the contest herself. Her step daughter is excellently played by Ashley Greene. Bob seeks comfort in a stripper/prostitute (Olivia Wilde) who gets involved with the contest and also has some great swagger music.

Meanwhile a young 10 year old African-American girl, Destiny (Yara Shahidi), is bounced around foster homes. She is overly mature and has taken a shine to butter sculpturing, which her foster parents (Alicia Silverstone and Rob Corddry) encourage, but think is a bit odd. I think you can guess the where this competition is going.

The film is exceedingly funny as it satirizes American life, yet at the same time has heart without being too drippy or a chick flick. The script had great characters, even minor characters such as Carol Ann played by the always comical Kristen Schaal. A great film for the adults, and might make a good date night flick. The end has a blooper reel. The outtakes and extended scenes are worth a peek, but not as good as the main feature.

Parental Guide: F-bombs, sex, girl/girl action. No nudity.
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Format: DVD
Still not 100% sure how I feel about BUTTER. Not butter butter, but the film starring Jennifer Garner, Ty Burrell and Hugh Jackman! I liked it, just not sure how much - it's a quirky indie film with a freaking BRILLIANT performance by Jennifer Garner (who I have new respect for, after watching this), who plays Laura, an ambitious (and fairly nutso) woman in Iowa whose laid-back and henpecked husband Bob (Ty Burrell) has won the local and state butter-carving (yes, I said butter-carving) competitions the last 15 years in a row. Laura's sees this unbreakable record as her and Bob's way into the governor's mansion, but when officials suggest that Bob retire and give someone else a chance, Laura's hopes threaten to go up in flames - until she decides she must go into competition herself, to save what investment she's made in her and Bob's future.

Unfortunately for Laura, this time around she faces some truly stiff competition in the form of a young African-American girl named Destiny, an orphan who's been shuffled from one set of foster parents to another all her life. Destiny, quiet and introspective and incredibly creative, is a true artist with butter - which brings out the sociopath in Laura, who will do pretty much ANYTHING to make sure the butter sculpting title stays in the family, even when an angry prostitute that Bob has yet to pay enters the competition just to drive Laura nuts, too.

The film is bizarre, if you haven't already figured that out, but also (at times) very funny, and holds together I think because of Jennifer Garner's terrific work as Laura.
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