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Django Unchained: What the Critics are Saying

5 years ago by Nadya Vlassoff

Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained – Photo: Columbia Pictures

Although Django Unchained has yet to hit theaters, Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming Western has both critics and fans talking ahead of the Christmas release.

In director Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, Jamie Foxx stars as Django, a slave on the hunt to rescue his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), from “Candyland” plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) with the help of bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz).

Set for a December 25 release, Django Unchained has already landed five Golden Globe nominations for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Picture and two Best Supporting Actor nods to Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz.

Beyond the Golden Globes, the critical response to Django Unchained has been mainly positive. Review aggregate sites Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic both have Django Unchained listed favorably. Rotten Tomatoes has the film ranked with critics at 97% while Metacritic has the film scoring 80/100 ahead of release.

Perhaps the most appropriate critical opinion comes from The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw who called Django Unchained “unwholesome, deplorable and delicious as a forbidden cigarette.”

Django even caught the favorable eye of TIME Magazine’s Richard Corliss who lauded the director for his Western. “Django Unchained is pure, if not great, Tarantino,” said Corless.

Some critics have even stated that Django Unchained is Tarantino’s best work since Pulp Fiction.

However, you can’t please everyone. Some critics tore into Django like no tomorrow.

Cameron Meier of Orlando Weekly was especially harsh toward Django Unchained. “Even more disappointing,” said Meir, “is that someone with such a mastery of the craft of filmmaking can make such unfathomably bad artistic choices.”

Although Movieline’s Alison Willmore wasn’t quite as biting in her critique, she saw the film as Tarantino’s “self-indulgence” in style. “The film also comes across like a rough cut that was never looked at as a coherent whole,” wrote Willmore, “and some segments that start off as promising become interminable while others feel entirely unnecessary.”

Despite the negative criticism, the majority of early reviews have been positive. Come Christmas Day, there will undoubtedly be a lot of fighting, swearing, and perhaps bleeding among critics and fans when Django Unchained hits theaters. Would you want a Tarantino movie to be any other way?

What are your thoughts on Django Unchained?

What do you think?

Nadya Vlassoff

Nadya Vlassoff joined The Deadbolt in 2009 and currently serves as associate content director and contributing editor. A former writer for the boutique apparel and accessories blog MelroseStreet.com, Nadya has interviewed and worked with a variety of top names in pop culture, fashion, entertainment and sports.