Critic Reviews

81

Metascore

Based on 42 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Boxoffice Magazine
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.
100
An immensely satisfying taste of antebellum empowerment packaged as spaghetti-Western homage... A bloody hilarious (and hilariously bloody) Christmas counter-programmer.
100
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.
80
The Hollywood Reporter
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.
80
Time Out
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.
75
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.
67
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.
63
Slant Magazine
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.
60
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.
42
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.

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