First Wave Of DJANGO UNCHAINED Reviews Are In! Is It A Hit Or A Miss?

First Wave Of DJANGO UNCHAINED Reviews Are In! Is It A Hit Or A Miss?

Mild Spoilers! Reviews for Quentin Tarantino's latest revenge offering, Django Unchained have arrived! Hit the jump to check out a compilation of excerpts from some of the top film critics.

Jim Vejvoda of IGN
Writer-director Quentin Tarantino has made one of 2012's best movies with Django Unchained, a weird, wild, and violent crowd-pleaser that serves as a raucous salute to the spaghetti western.


The real standouts in the cast are Waltz, DiCaprio, and Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Candie's loyal, old house slave Stephen. This character, as Tarantino has explained, is meant to personify some of the most hated of African-American stereotypes, while also serving as a crafty villain in his own right. Jackson really sinks his teeth into it and has great chemistry with DiCaprio, whose character he essentially raised. DiCaprio also clearly relishes his larger-than-life role, playing Candie as a dandified bastard. Foxx is solid as Django, stripping away his movie star persona as he also did in Ali and Collateral. He's tough, yet vulnerable.

Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter
The anecdotal, odyssey-like structure of this long, talky saga could be considered indulgent, but Tarantino injects the weighty material with so many jocular, startling and unexpected touches that it’s constantly stimulating. A stellar cast and strong action and comedy elements will attract a good-sized audience internationally, though distaste for the subject matter and the irreverent take on a tragic subject might make some prospective viewers hesitate.


The film’s greatest problem is that, especially in the second half, the Django character gets a bit lost in the shuffle; he doesn’t pop from the screen the way Schultz, Candie and Stephen do. Django is all about being resolute and determined, but more detail could have filled out the character’s transformation from downtrodden slave to steely master gunfighter. Schultz teaches him about Siegfried and firearms, but the long-journey format could have nicely accommodated a fuller, more gradual account of the expansion of Django’s mind and horizons; as it is, he lurches from impotent nonperson to cocky dude too abruptly.

of The Film Stage
A caveat that prevents Django Unchained from earning a slightly higher score (A-): if the film is, at any point, ever unable to carry all of its own weight, the middle section would need to be singled out. It’s in some of the moments after DiCaprio’s introduction when it feels, in some way, that Tarantino’s fallen a bit too in love with his own world — where things gets a bit doughy around the edges, structure- and pacing-wise, and where no central character is readily identifiable.


To hell with it, though. The second act climaxes with, speaking in terms of off-camera filmmaking and on-camera character stakes, one of the more tense scenes in Tarantino’s entire oeuvre, leading into a third act with closure is so sweet it doesn’t matter if you saw it coming from the start.

Drew McWeeny of Hit Fix
"Django Unchained" is "Blazing Saddles" with a body count, a positively incendiary entertainment about America's greatest shame, the personal and social toll of slavery, and like Tarantino's last film, "Inglourious Basterds," this is a case of history being remixed in a way that makes more emotional sense to Tarantino as a storyteller. I don't know what instigated this switch in direction for him, but I love it. The emotional rush that hit at the end of "Basterds" was remarkable, this compelling feeling that we were getting to see something that we needed to see, no matter if it was 100% factual or not. It was emotionally correct, and that's all that mattered.


Tarantino talks often of quitting as a filmmaker, but when he continues to turn out work this vital and alive, I hope that remains the idle chatter between each recharge of his battery, because his voice is one of the true treasures of modern movies, with "Django" simply the latest entry in one of the most interesting filmographies.

Peter Debruge of Variety
Django joins a too-short list of slaves-turned-heroes in American cinema, as this zeitgeist-shaping romp cleverly upgrades the mysterious Man in Black archetype to a formidable Black Man. Once again, Quentin Tarantino rides to the Weinsteins' rescue, delivering a bloody hilarious (and hilariously bloody) Christmas counter-programmer, which Sony will unleash abroad.


Gorgeously lit and lensed by Robert Richardson against authentic American landscapes (as opposed to the Italian soil Corbucci used), the film pays breathtaking respect not just to Tarantino's many cinematic influences, but to the country itself, envisioning a way out of the slavery mess it depicts. In sheer formal terms, "Django Unchained" is rich enough to reward multiple viewings, while thematics will make this thorny "southern" -- as the director aptly dubs it -- perhaps his most closely studied work.

Eric Kohn of Indie Wire
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.


However, much of what makes "Django Unchained" so energizing right out of the gate is ruined by an overindulgence of those same ingredients during the bloated second half. There's so much to admire about the movie that I had to see it twice to soak in the minutiae of Tarantino's stabs at showmanship. But none of that changes the terribly drawn-out scenes taking place on Candy's plantation as Tarantino gradually trounces on his initial exuberance with redundancies. DiCaprio's uneven performance as the main villain never takes on enough definition to seem necessary in the already cluttered plot.

Matt Singer
of Screen Crush
‘Django Unchained’ almost feels like three movies in one: Schultz and Django searching for their first targets; the pair getting to know one another during a winter of bounty hunting; and their final assault on Candyland. In addition to the Western and Blaxploitation elements, this is also a road movie, a buddy comedy, a Western spoof, and a riff on the 1975 slave fighting film ‘Mandingo.’ No doubt Tarantino fell in love with the world he’d created — with good reason — and didn’t ever want to leave. But he’s brought a lot to the table here. Maybe he should have taken a page from his own playbook and split this sucker up, ‘Kill Bill’-style.


Obviously you don’t go to a Quentin Tarantino movie for restraint. You want the excessive style, banter, and action. You do, however, go to a Quentin Tarantino movie for his perfectly structured cinematic jigsaw puzzles — and ‘Django’ isn’t that. Some will observe that Tarantino misses his longtime editor Sally Menke, who cut all of his previous films before she tragically passed away in 2010. They might be right. In Menke’s absence, ‘Django’ is grossly distended, like a balloon that’s been blown up to the absolute breaking point.

DJANGO UNCHAINED was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and stars: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington and Samuel L. Jackson. In Theaters Christmas Day!

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Filed Under "Action" 12/11/2012 Source: Various
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novaprime - 12/11/2012, 10:50 PM
Ok i will See it For Myself!!!
novaprime - 12/11/2012, 10:52 PM
I like Westerns, sam l is the Man, fox and Dicaprio look intense
BigDamnHero - 12/11/2012, 11:03 PM
In the UK we have to wait till February. Which majorly sucks!! I want this movie now goddamnit!
Tymminator - 12/11/2012, 11:04 PM
Can't wait to see it.
Happy11 - 12/11/2012, 11:10 PM
Ill watch it on DVD, there's something about Foxx I think he believes his own hype and I find him very off putting but Tarantino, Di caprio who is turning into an excellent actor and Samuel L it should be good.
JerBear - 12/11/2012, 11:16 PM
Dicaprio's a good actor and all, but I can't take him seriously in this kind of role
BlakeUsmcVet - 12/11/2012, 11:19 PM
Not seeing this after Foxx called Obama "Lord and Savior"
supermanonemillion - 12/11/2012, 11:25 PM
@ Happy11

I completely agree with you. I can't stand Jamie Foxx. He's his biggest fan and a complete racist.
CharacterAssassin - 12/11/2012, 11:30 PM
@JerBear... I know what you're saying. No matter how hard Dicaprio tries even if he stands on a chair and squeezes his nuts and yell he'll always sound like a teenage kid. Can't ever take him seriously.
CharacterAssassin - 12/11/2012, 11:31 PM
lol... first comment rocks... lmao
TheOneWhoKnocks - 12/11/2012, 11:32 PM
There's "too long" and there's "pacing issues", but not enough to hurt the film as a whole.

Same as TDKR ;)
AsianVersionOfET - 12/11/2012, 11:51 PM
Can't wait!!!!
BlakeUsmcVet - 12/11/2012, 11:52 PM
@Nerdicon, It's not the fact that he supports Obama but calling him "Lord and Savior" is the part that I don't agree with.
RobLiefeldFan - 12/12/2012, 12:26 AM
nah i'll pass too racist for me
Tmachaveli - 12/12/2012, 1:32 AM
Dam ppl get a grip ya'll still talking about a comment he said as a joke. So that makes him a racist .Stop crying please .Dam ppl forget that he started off doing stand up. So he said something that he thought was funny to him. That doesn't make him "cocky" or a "racist" like some ppl on the post have said. If you do want to see the movie because you think it will not be any good cool but don't keep using what he said as Excuse. If he would have been white and the president would had been white would anybody be saying sh*t....I think not grow up
Jollem - 12/12/2012, 2:12 AM
if you're not gonna have anything to do with people who like obama you are really limiting the media that is acceptable to you then
harley2011 - 12/12/2012, 2:26 AM
All Tarantino movies are worth watching even just for the soundtrack. Also cannot wait to watch DiCaprio. He's one of the best actors working today.
Jazza815 - 12/12/2012, 2:52 AM
you people really are pathetic

oh Foxx is just stroking his own ego, oh and he's a racist be quiet virgins

he's earned that right to be egotystical because he's got something that any of you will ever have, a large abundance of money, and so what if he's racist how does that impact his acting ability, Im Caucasian an i despise white people, so what ?
manymade1 - 12/12/2012, 3:45 AM
@ BlakeUsmcVet You must miss out on a good lot of movies if you don't watch them when the star has a different opinion.
diagnostic - 12/12/2012, 3:49 AM
It will be a big flop.
EarOne - 12/12/2012, 3:50 AM
i like ALL Tarantino's flicks, EXCEPT for Inglourious Basterds. for me THAT one is rather pretentious and just ODD (even for a tarantino flick).

i hope DU will go back to more of the ol' Tarantino's more coherent and exciting stuff, like Kill Bill (both) and Rsvr Dogs..and of course PF.
RobLiefeldFan - 12/12/2012, 4:14 AM
what so because he said he kill white people on snl but the fact that in the movie he does kill white people, but zimmerman killed a black dude for no reason and no-one is complaining but when a black man says it, he is racist considering django unchained is racist itself, considering all the racism black people suffered from white people for the last decades and now white people have the mouth to call someone racist oh please check yourself before you call someone racist.
kevberg - 12/12/2012, 4:27 AM

1) Zimmerman isn't a movie star is he? and BTW, Poor Little Trayvon attacked him. Theres Photos of the Beating zimmerman got to prove it.

2) As Far as Foxx goes , he's CONSTANTLY made statements that come off racist inthe past and his saturday Night Live monologue is in line with that. You can bet he had input on the opening monologue.

3) BTW, unless you can prove it, don't call "white people" racists. It aint the 1800's or even 1960's. spoiled little brats like you love throwing that crap around.

4) BTW--i'd expect that from a Liefeld fan
RorMachine - 12/12/2012, 4:32 AM
Has someone been round here with the stupid stick?

Anyway, delighted the reviews are mainly positive. Not that I wouldn't see it anyway but it's always nice when a movie gets a nice reaction.
jazzman - 12/12/2012, 4:34 AM

u an idiot. u aint seeing it cause Foxx called Obama "Lord and Savior". it a fricking joke people say worst things compare to that.
jazzman - 12/12/2012, 4:40 AM

Trayvon attacked him cause he had to defend himself. why the hell a grown ass man follow a young boy in the rain. police told him to stay in his car and he should of. Foxx aint a racist everyone knows that.
astromerc - 12/12/2012, 4:47 AM
Silly white people, racism is not just for you.
Orphix - 12/12/2012, 4:51 AM
@ thenerdicon

This might shed some light on all the nonsense about Fassbender and his GF.

Basically... it ain't true.
MitchConner - 12/12/2012, 4:55 AM
I'm sorry, didn't care about Lord and Savior didn't care about and was always a fan...but I watched the SNL thing and was horrified. I turned it off during the monologue, and I always look forward to SNL. Very disappointing. I won't see it because of that.
Orphix - 12/12/2012, 4:55 AM
Also is Kevberg for real?

Or is he just being funny??

A lot of people take what he says really seriously. But he is just joking. Right?
MitchConner - 12/12/2012, 4:56 AM
Also, DiCaprio is the man, that dude has turned out to be a beast on screen. If I see it on DVD, it'll be to see another good performance by him.
MitchConner - 12/12/2012, 4:57 AM
No, after SNL, I'm convinced he is a racist...sorry, he took that bit a little top far
MitchConner - 12/12/2012, 5:07 AM
And WAltz is awesome as well...but Jamie "kill all white people, how black is that?! Ha :)" frick off dude, not funny...white people aren't the white people in this movie, and I know that personally go out of my way to make sure my employees are performing their duties with the utmost respect for each other...I think that white people that talk like that are disgusting and stupid, so I think Jamie fox is too...
kevberg - 12/12/2012, 5:10 AM

First of all, Trayvon waasn't a young boy..he was 17 and the news media won't seem to publicize that much. Look it up , they used old photos of him from when he was 11.

Also they NBC doctors the 911 call that Zimmerman made to make the guy look like a racist--NBC had to apologize publicly .

@robliefeldfan brought that up.

Personally, I think both were in the wrong, Zimmerman was a Neighborhood watch guy that should've stopped following when the 911 dispatch told him to not follow and Trayvon could've simply left Zimmerman alone.

dumbass, is racism ok no matter who does it? of course not.
kevberg - 12/12/2012, 5:11 AM
@orphix---wow that all you got ?
jazzman - 12/12/2012, 5:15 AM

u make me laugh the Jamie Foxx bit was a joke.

kevberg - 12/12/2012, 5:16 AM
Since we're talking the actual movie...Im not seeing it. Have fun But look YAY! Tarantino might have a success again. ....or people just WANTED to like this. Taratino has sucked for the last decade and he's all hype.

jazzman - 12/12/2012, 5:19 AM

17 is still a young boy. also Zimmerman still can be a racist it does not give him the right to follow a young boy and shoot him. he was told to stay in the f-ing car and let them handle the situation.
jessepostal - 12/12/2012, 5:19 AM
Everyones racist in some way, it's part of life, get over it.

@mitch, type o negative has a great tune called " kill all the white people" and there white. If your into metal check it out.
MitchConner - 12/12/2012, 5:19 AM
If it was a joke, then he's a sh1tty was very offputting
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