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Movie Reviews: 'Django Unchained' Scores Big with Critics

Quentin Tarantino's latest film, set before the Civil War commences, offers "a bloody good time," critics say. Have you seen it?

 

"Django Unchained" contains the snappy dialogue, the laconic humor, the choreographed violence and the first rate acting we've come to expect from Quentin Tarantino. The movie was released on Christmas Day.

Have you seen the film?  Leave your review in the comments below.

It tells the story of a bounty hunter named King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) and the soon-to-be-freed slave turned bounty hunter Django (Jamie Foxx), who travel the South, meeting the local color as they team up to haul in or eliminate bad guys and to find Django's wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). If there were one theme for this movie, it would be revenge, writ large.

It's gotten a 97 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Here's what the critics are saying:

“Django Unchained” is Quentin Tarantino’s greatest exploration of the human condition, from its idea of what is right to its heinous moments of evil. Continuing with the theme of revenge explored in "Inglorious Basterds," Tarantino blends the Spaghetti western genre with 70s Blaxploitation, creating an insane concoction of vengeance and thoughtfulness, tossing between the disgustingly funny and the most primal notion of violence. “Django” is a shocking and bold film with a huge heart and soul. Justin Craig, Fox News

The trail Django and Schultz follow -- at one point juxtaposed against the hilarious accompaniment of Jim Croce's "I've Got a Name" -- leads to gory, choreographed shootouts, an encounter with a slick but dangerous plantation owner (Don Johnson, delivering one of his most successful performances), right up to the main prize: the Candyland plantation, run by evil dandy Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) -- a sicko who, for sport, holds bloody "Mandingo" fights in his swanky parlor.

Playing against those boyish good looks, DiCaprio makes Calvin a charismatic monster; it's a pleasure to see him branch out from low-hanging-fruit roles of leading men. Here, he demonstrates just how well he can pull off portraying a loathsome cur. However, the scene-stealer is Tarantino go-to guy Samuel L. Jackson as Candie's right-hand man, Stephen, a slave who's adverse to any change in the master-slave dynamic. With his stooped posture, baffled expression and weirdly righteous outrage, Jackson makes Stephen the film's most fascinating character. Randy Myers, Contra Costa Times

The story is familiar, like a Gothic German fairy tale about a noble prince who sets out to rescue his beloved princess from the clutches of a despicable monster. Here, though, the prince is an ex-slave-turned bounty hunter (Jamie Foxx), the princess is his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) and the monster is a playboy owner of a joint plantation and brothel, who goes by the name of Calvin Candie (Leo DiCaprio, who is clearly having a blast playing a slimy villain who smokes like a chimney).

Tarantino has populated this particular universe with his customary assortment of outrageous characters, such as Django’s oddball German partner (Basterds‘ Christoph Waltz), a Colonel Sanders lookalike (Don Johnson), and an elder house slave who is the real brains behind Candie’s operations (Samuel L. Jackson). It’s a twisted yet funny fairy tale about a dark period in American history, as only Tarantino would think (or dare) to tell. Sandy Schaefer Screen Rant

"Django Unchained" runs 165 minutes. It's rated R for extreme violence and offensive language, including racial epithets. It's coming to the Beechwood Cinemas 12 in Athens, according to the company's website.

 

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Teresa Wilson December 26, 2012 at 10:32 AM
It was funny and I really enjoyed the movie
Denetta McReynolds December 26, 2012 at 12:36 PM
The movie was awesome!! Thumbs up for Tarantino. I dnt have cable television so I diddnt have a chance to see the previews. But it was one of the best movies with top dog players in the film. I loved the character that Leonardo D. Acted, it was different but he pulled it off well. Jamie Fox is so cool! He could protray any character. Samuel L Jackson, very typical of an old man during their time.
thomas December 26, 2012 at 03:40 PM
best tarantino movie yet better than the kill bills, you do need some comedy with violence.
paul davis December 26, 2012 at 04:24 PM
A perfect 10 out of 10! Tarantino did it again!!!!!!!!!! A movie GENIUS!!!! this movie is definitely on my top 5 list evr!!!
Dan Matthews December 26, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Lots of winks and elbows to 70's film and TV series (anyone besides me remember "Alias Smith and Jones" or the "Trinity" series of latter day Spaghetti westerns) and the comedy is cringe-worthy at times. The only seemingly rushed and poorly wriiten part of the film was the segment with the Tarantino cameo. People did speak English dialects quite differently in 1858, and the hardest people to understand were the white workers for me. Every racial card, joke and stereotype is portrayed on a humorous buffet that would take way too much time to explain to anyone under 18. The violence is intense but real and there are brief but unforgettable nudity in a largely non sexual manner. Needless to say Quentin likes to make us squirm, think, be repulsed and compelled simultaneously, and he succeeds quite well here.

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