‘Django Unchained’: What Do The Critics Think About Tarantino’s New Film?

By: Phil Pirrello / December 14, 2012

Writer-director Quentin Tarantino follows up his Oscar-nominated Inglourious Basterds with another must-see movie angling for awards attention: Django Unchained.

Equal parts bloody and brilliant, Tarantino’s tenth film follows the titular slave (Jamie Foxx) as he teams up with dentist-cum-bounty hunter Christoph Waltz on a journey to free Django’s wife from villainous plantation owner, Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Tarantino veteran Samuel L. Jackson leads an ecclectic supporting cast that includes Don Johnson, Jonah Hill and Justified’s Walton Goggins.

Tarantino’s brand of violence and quotable dialogue, coupled with a scary good performance from DiCaprio, have the critics saying that Django is one of the year’s best. But is it Tarantino’s masterpiece?

Devin Faraci, BadassDigest

“Fist-pumpingly exciting and blood-boilingly provocative, Django Unchained is very much a spiritual sequel to Inglorious Basterds. If there’s a single complaint to lodge against the film it’s that at nearly three hours Django Unchained is too short… How many three hour long movies feel like not enough? Only the very best ones.”

Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

“The film’s greatest problem is that, especially in the second half, the Django character gets a bit lost in the shuffle… Foxx doesn’t project the sort of charisma that the lucky few have to rivet audience attention even when they’re doing nothing, so when he’s not the center of attention, he seems withdrawn and not that interesting.”

James Rocci, BoxOffice.com

“Django Unchained is a sharp shock of a film in an Awards season very full of movies so noble they become immobile. It’s wildly unlikely to get much love from the Academy, and that’s fine – bluntly, it’s too good for them. Django isn’t just a movie only America could make – it’s also a movie only America needs to.”

Alison Willmore, Movieline

There’s a good movie inside Django Unchained, maybe even a great one, but it hasn’t been carved out of the lopsided excess. There’s no pressure on or expectation for Tarantino to please anyone other than himself…”

Eric Kohn, IndieWire

“Accept Django Unchained on its own gonzo terms and it’s a marvelously enjoyable piece of subversive entertainment — for a little while… This one overstays its welcome, but not before the filmmaker reminds us why we love him.”

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