Reviews - Django Unchained (2012)
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Django Unchained (2012)

Country: USA

Genres: Drama, Western

Taglines: The "D" is Silent. Payback Won't Be.

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writers: Quentin Tarantino

Stars: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, ...

Former dentist, Dr. King Schultz, buys the freedom of a slave, Django, and trains him with the intent to make him his deputy bounty hunter. Instead, he is led to the site of Django's wife who is under the hands of Calvin Candie, a ruthless plantation owner.

100 | 2013-01-08 | Roger Ebert

What Tarantino has is an appreciation for gut-level exploitation film appeal, combined with an artist's desire to transform that gut element with something higher, better, more daring. His films challenge taboos in our society in the most direct possible way, and at the same time add an element of parody or satire.
Read More: Chicago Sun-Times

100 | 2013-01-03 | Joe Morgenstern

The film doesn't play it safe, so neither will I. Instead, I'll say that it finds Mr. Tarantino perched improbably but securely on the top of a production that's wildly extravagant, ferociously violent, ludicrously lurid and outrageously entertaining, yet also, remarkably, very much about the pernicious lunacy of racism and, yes, slavery's singular horrors.
Read More: Wall Street Journal

100 | 2012-12-26 | Joe Williams

With a fearless director and his mighty pen freeing a talented cast to attack a vital theme, Django Unchained is damnation unleashed.
Read More: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

100 | 2012-12-26 | Mick LaSalle

The most consistently entertaining movie of 2012. It's 165 minutes long and shouldn't be a minute shorter, a film of surprises, both in story and in casting, and of moments of agonizing, teased-out tension. The dialogue is dazzling.
Read More: San Francisco Chronicle

100 | 2012-12-26 | Betsy Sharkey

In "Django," Tarantino is a man unchained, creating his most articulate, intriguing, provoking, appalling, hilarious, exhilarating, scathing and downright entertaining film yet.
Read More: Los Angeles Times

100 | 2012-12-26 | A.O. Scott

Like "Inglourious Basterds," Django Unchained is crazily entertaining, brazenly irresponsible and also ethically serious in a way that is entirely consistent with its playfulness.
Read More: The New York Times

100 | 2012-12-18 | Rex Reed

Exactly what you might expect from the fearless, controversial director of "Pulp Fiction" - it's overlong, raunchy, shocking, grim, exaggerated, self-indulgently over-the-top and so politically incorrect it demands a new definition of the term. It is also bold, original, mesmerizing, stylish and one hell of a piece of entertainment.
Read More: New York Observer

100 | 2012-12-12 | Peter Bradshaw

Django Unchained also has the pure, almost meaningless excitement which I found sorely lacking in Tarantino's previous film, Inglourious Basterds, with its misfiring spaghetti-Nazi trope and boring plot. I can only say Django delivers, wholesale, that particular narcotic and delirious pleasure that Tarantino still knows how to confect in the cinema, something to do with the manipulation of surfaces. It's as unwholesome, deplorable and delicious as a forbidden cigarette.
Read More: The Guardian

100 | 2012-12-12 | Peter Debruge

An immensely satisfying taste of antebellum empowerment packaged as spaghetti-Western homage... A bloody hilarious (and hilariously bloody) Christmas counter-programmer.
Read More: Variety

100 | 2012-12-12 | James Rocchi

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. With its bloody stew of history and hysteria, action taken from movies and atrocities taken from fact, Django isn't just a movie only America could make-it's also a movie only America needs to.
Read More: Boxoffice Magazine

91 | 2012-12-26 | Marc Mohan

Django doesn't have the razor-sharp chronological complexity of "Pulp Fiction," but it's ably paced. A very funny scene involving a proto-Ku Klux Klan lynch mob and their poorly made hoods nevertheless seems a bit out of place, but there's plenty of well-timed suspense.
Read More: Portland Oregonian

91 | 2012-12-26 | Nathan Rabin

Tarantino simply isn't a good enough performer for his presence to be anything but a distraction in a rip-roaring crowd-pleaser this consistently great.
Read More: The A.V. Club

90 | 2012-12-27 | Stephanie Zacharek

Django Unchained is by turns exhilarating, hilarious, horrifying and poetic.
Read More: NPR

90 | 2012-12-18 | Scott Foundas

Like all of the best pop art, Tarantino's film is both seriously entertaining and seriously thoughtful, rattling the cage of race in America on-screen and off.
Read More: Village Voice

88 | 2012-12-26 | Wesley Morris

The movie Quentin Tarantino has written and directed is corkscrewed, inside-out, upside-down, simultaneously clear-eyed and completely out of its mind.
Read More: Boston Globe

88 | 2012-12-23 | Claudia Puig

There's an epic spaghetti Western feel to Quentin Tarantino's latest action/comedy/romance hybrid that is by turns dazzling, daring, gruesome and astonishingly funny.
Read More: USA Today

88 | 2012-12-23 | James Berardinelli

Despite the occasional brutality of the material, Django Unchained includes some of the best laugh aloud scenes of any 2012 motion picture, regardless of the genre.
Read More: ReelViews

88 | 2012-12-13 | Peter Travers

Wake up, people. Tarantino lives to cross the line. Is Django Unchained too much? Damn straight. It wouldn't be Tarantino otherwise.
Read More: Rolling Stone

80 | 2013-01-15 | Dan Jolin

Another strong, sparky and bloody entry in the QT canon. Although, creaking under its running time, it's not quite as uproariously entertaining as his last pseudo-historical adventure, "Inglourious Basterds."
Read More: Empire

80 | 2012-12-26 | Mike Scott

It's that zippy dialog more than anything that moves "Django" along and that coaxes such fantastic performances from its actors.
Read More: New Orleans Times-Picayune

80 | 2012-12-25

Whatever you like or hate, or like and hate, about Quentin Tarantino's movies, is in full display here. It's long (too long) and bloody, profane and gleeful, with movie-genre references stuffed so tightly into each scene they practically spill out onto the theater floor. Restraint is not his strong suit...Entertainment is, and Django has plenty of that.

80 | 2012-12-23 | David Edelstein

Django Unchained doesn't merely hit its marks; it blows them to bloody chunks. It's manna for mayhem mavens.
Read More: New York Magazine (Vulture)

80 | 2012-12-21 | Matt Glasby

Tarantino's three-hour feast of Southern-fried trash cinema might be too much – and too bloody – for certain constitutions, but the rewards are plentiful. Be sure to hunt it down.
Read More: Total Film

80 | 2012-12-20 | Joe Neumaier

Just when we thought Quentin Tarantino had shown us all the cojones he has, in rides Django Unchained.
Read More: New York Daily News

80 | 2012-12-12 | Richard Corliss

A pastiche that's nearly as funny as it is long (2hr. 45min.), and quite as politically troubling as it may be liberating, Django Unchained is pure, if not great, Tarantino.
Read More: Time

80 | 2012-12-12 | Joshua Rothkopf

Vibrating with the geekery of a filmmaker off the chain, the movie plays like no other this year. Tarantino, steeped in even the smallest Leonean gesture (what's with the weird terrain shifts?), knows how to satisfy fans of scuzzy Italian horse operas and badass superviolence in equal measure.
Read More: Time Out New York

80 | 2012-12-12 | Todd McCarthy

Only Tarantino could come up with such a wild cross-cultural mash, a smorgasbord of ingredients stemming from spaghetti Westerns, German legend, historical slavery, modern rap music, proto-Ku Klux Klan fashion, an assembly of '60s and '70s character actors and a leading couple meant to be the distant forebears of blaxploitation hero John Shaft and make it not only digestible but actually pretty delicious.
Read More: The Hollywood Reporter

78 | 2012-12-26 | Marjorie Baumgarten

Despite these quibbles, Django Unchained offers an embarrassment of riches (and actors in tiny cameos).
Read More: Austin Chronicle

75 | 2012-12-26 | Peter Rainer

Will Tarantino, who is more talented than he allows, ever break out of his perpetual adolescence and make a movie that does more than glorify his love of schlock? Will we ever get a "Tarantino Unchained"?
Read More: Christian Science Monitor

75 | 2012-12-26 | Rene Rodriguez

Django Unchained is the most brutal film Quentin Tarantino has ever made. Unlike "Kill Bill" or "Inglourious Basterds," where the violence was thrilling and carried a visceral kick, the carnage here is often ugly and difficult to watch.
Read More: Miami Herald

75 | 2012-12-20 | Kyle Smith

Django Unchained might have been a revelation in 2005. But after Quentin Tarantino and others have spent years spoofing '60s and '70s genre movies, this mock spaghetti Western tastes like it came out of the microwave.
Read More: New York Post

75 | 2012-12-12 | Eric Kohn

At times more in line with "Blazing Saddles" than the grimly bawdy qualities that define many bonafide oaters, Django Unchained erupts with a conceptual brilliance from the outset that never fully meshes with its clumsy storyline. Nevertheless, it's a giddy ride.
Read More: indieWIRE

67 | 2012-12-12 | Owen Gleiberman

DiCaprio, having a blast, makes Candie the equivalent of Waltz's Nazi in "Inglourious Basterds": a racist villain who mesmerizes us by elevating his ideology into a puckishly thought-out vision of the world. Yet Django isn't nearly the film that Inglourious was.
Read More: Entertainment Weekly

63 | 2012-12-26 | Ann Hornaday

Breathes its own refreshing, occasionally demented, life into that time period, albeit in a pulpy, stylized cinematic language more akin to vampire-hunter cartoonishness than "Lincoln's" more classical reserve.
Read More: Washington Post

63 | 2012-12-23 | Steven Rea

Is Django Unchained about race and power and the ugly side of history? Only as much as "Inglourious Basterds" was about race and power and the ugly side of history. It's a live-action, heads-exploding, shoot-'em-up cartoon. Sometimes it crackles, and sometimes it merely cracks.
Read More: Philadelphia Inquirer

63 | 2012-12-20 | Liam Lacey

Tarantino's approach is so enamoured of the exploitation cinema he emulates, there is a serious risk that noble intentions get smothered in juvenile comedy and cinematic grandstanding.
Read More: The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

63 | 2012-12-12 | John Semley

While the rush toward a conventional climax is confusing, and more than a little disappointing, there's an undeniable pleasure that emerges in seeing Tarantino juggle the dynamite of his ideas, even when they prematurely pop off in his face.
Read More: Slant Magazine

60 | 2012-12-12 | Alison Willmore

The film also comes across like a rough cut that was never looked at as a coherent whole, and some segments that start off as promising become interminable while others feel entirely unnecessary. There's no pressure on or expectation for Tarantino to please anyone other than himself, and the film feels overstuffed with ideas that should have been pruned.
Read More: Movieline

50 | 2012-12-31 | Anthony Lane

By the time Tarantino shows up as a redneck with an unexplained Australian accent, Django Unchained has mislaid its melancholy, and its bitter wit, and become a raucous romp. It is a tribute to the spaghetti Western, cooked al dente, then cooked a while more, and finally sauced to death.
Read More: The New Yorker

50 | 2012-12-26 | Dana Stevens

Django Unchained provoked a lot of contradictory feelings in me, including some that don't usually come in pairs: Hilarity and boredom. Aesthetic delight and physical nausea. Fist-pumping righteousness and vague moral unease.
Read More: Slate

50 | 2012-12-26 | Michael Phillips

By the two-hour mark the fun had oozed out of the movie for me. It's long. Or feels it.
Read More: Chicago Tribune

42 | 2012-12-12 | Rodrigo Perez

It's not particularly funny or moving and it's terribly self-indulgent. Flamboyance and cartoonishness rule, there's hardly a moment of genuine emotion, and most overtures in that direction are superficial. As a picture ostensibly about love, revenge and the ugliness of slavery, Django Unchained has almost zero subtext and is a largely soulless bloodbath, in which the history of pain and retribution is coupled carelessly with a cool soundtrack and some verbose dialogue. Though it might just entertain the sh.t out of the less discerning.
Read More: The Playlist