Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
Director Jim Field Smith and newcomer screenwriter Jason Micallef can't or don't care to distinguish the elements of audacity and satirical cleverness from those of mockery and crudeness.
Butter is laid on too thick, and in other places it's spread too thin, and it never quite develops a flavor of its own.
New York Times:
Drippy sentiment and coarse political satire vie for control of "Butter," a two-faced sendup of heartland obsession that wants to have its toast and eat it too.
Wall Street Journal:
The film grows increasingly mirthful as the characters come into focus, and the casting is the key: Ms. Garner, who also helped produce the film, has a gift for catty roles ...
A toothless, insufferably smug satire using competitive butter-carving as a weak-tea stand-in for Midwestern politics ...
"Butter" is funny in spots, but it's so preoccupied with landing below-the-belt cultural jabs that it misses the opportunity for laying out biting social commentary.
A shrill, cartoonish mess - not a total disaster, but no one's idea of a good movie.
Director Jim Field Smith keeps the quirky characters coming with smooth efficiency and throws in some nice touches along the way.
Once the wilted satire of Jason Micallef's script is stripped away, what's left is a generally amusing competition comedy.
Hardly the high-priced spread, this condescending comedy about Middle America will score with some audiences and put off others.
Butter thrives on skewering characters whose self-importance isolates them completely from the consequences of their actions.
New York Daily News:
It's one thing to create biting social satire; it's quite another to shoot at such easy targets.
New York Post:
At times, the Midwestern satire "Butter" is almost funny, and in its honor I almost laughed.
Butter wishes it were a Christopher Guest sendup but comes off like a cheap imitation.
San Francisco Chronicle:
At 90 minutes it feels inflated, and though clearly intended as funny, it's difficult to locate, except in the most general terms, the focus of the movie's satire, and there's not a laugh to be had.
Political satire requires a sure hand; this wink-wink attempt at milking the culture wars for comic commentary is downright butterfingered.
Butter is a film more enamored of its premise than interested in making it work.
A wicked Midwest satire with razor blades stashed beneath its bright candy-apple surface.
Plays like one long, slow descent into cloying moralizing and uplift that's well past its expiration date.
We're still just scratching the surface of witty, provocative humor as long as envelope-pushing directors such as Jim Field Smith continue to find work.