Django Unchained (18)

Film

Westerns

Jamie Foxx, left, and Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Mon Jan 14 2013

In the past decade there were those who – perfectly reasonably – assumed that Quentin Tarantino’s time had passed. Following the exhaustive movie-geek sprawl of the ‘Kill Bill’ movies, the crass indulgence of ‘Death Proof’ and the diverting but directionless ‘Inglourious Basterds’, it seemed like the ultimate fanboy had slipped into a terminal, self-congratulatory decline.

Well, somebody’s clearly rattled his cage, because ‘Django Unchained’, for all its digressive, episodic and frequently ludicrous nature, is a blazing return to form. This is a meaty spaghetti western, heavy on the spicy sauce and ketchup and peppered with the sort of unforgettable touches only Tarantino could get away with.

Last time around, Tarantino gave the Nazi top brass what for. This time, the topic for irreverent dissection is American slavery: Jamie Foxx is Django, freed from a chain gang by German bounty hunter Schultz (Christoph Waltz), and on a mission to rescue his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). Only trouble is, Hildy is owned by moustache-twirling Mississippi slavemaster Calvin Candy (Leonardo DiCaprio), whose ugly reputation precedes him.

The first thing to notice is how packed ‘Django Unchained’ feels. Tarantino’s love of pithy language hasn’t deserted him, but the dialogue never exists only for its own sake: every moment feels purposeful. The second is how great it looks: from the period design and incredible costumes – Foxx gets a dandyish blue silk number that could well spark a trend – to some gorgeous photography, particularly of human faces, this might be the director’s best-looking movie.There are problems: like every Tarantino film since the soulful ‘Jackie Brown’, ‘Django Unchained’ feels a little ersatz, favouring momentary thrills over lasting emotional punch. The romance between Django and Broomhilda is talked about in epic terms, but we never feel their connection, while the brutal dispatch of a couple of key characters late in the day is done with cold efficiency, when they deserved more.

But this is a film bursting with pleasures: the note-perfect performances (a director cameo aside, but that’s to be expected), a brace of close-to-the-bone, borderline offensive moments (Samuel L Jackson’s character will make jaws drop), the soaring cine-literate soundtrack, the sheer, relentless drive. So welcome back, Quentin. All may not be forgiven quite yet, but keep this up and even ‘Death Proof’ may vanish in the rearview.

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Release details

Rated:

18

UK release:

Fri Jan 18, 2013

Duration:

165 mins

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Battersea Park Children's Zoo

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Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:8
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:4
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|31
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Siobhan

Best Taratino movie ever, and probably my favourite move ever (for the moment). Incredibly violent but also hilarious, and it deals with subject matter that has been too long ignored by Hollywood. I did not find it too long - time slipped by unnoticed. I cannot wait to see it again, and then to buy it on DVD. An entertaining and importent movie.

Siobhan

Best Taratino movie ever, and probably my favourite move ever (for the moment). Incredibly violent but also hilarious, and it deals with subject matter that has been too long ignored by Hollywood. I did not find it too long - time slipped by unnoticed. I cannot wait to see it again, and then to buy it on DVD. An entertaining and importent movie.

Zoeb

Exhaustive? Is that an adjective you give to Kill Bill, one of the most thrilling action sagas in recent times? Crass? Well, Death Proof was not that much fun but it was not that bad either. And 'Directionless'?Inglourious Basterds had a superb and taut script where every character had something to do. I don't know why are you so biased towards Tarantino. Each of these films are good. And Django Unchained is clearly one of the best films this year..... Very violent yet hilariously funny, superb acting from all corners- Waltz and Jackson steal the show while Leo shows up in an awesome turn as a plantation owner and superb visuals....and then there are the Tarantino trademarks- sharp dialogue, humor mixed easily with fear and so much more....

Zoeb

Exhaustive? Is that an adjective you give to Kill Bill, one of the most thrilling action sagas in recent times? Crass? Well, Death Proof was not that much fun but it was not that bad either. And 'Directionless'?Inglourious Basterds had a superb and taut script where every character had something to do. I don't know why are you so biased towards Tarantino. Each of these films are good. And Django Unchained is clearly one of the best films this year..... Very violent yet hilariously funny, superb acting from all corners- Waltz and Jackson steal the show while Leo shows up in an awesome turn as a plantation owner and superb visuals....and then there are the Tarantino trademarks- sharp dialogue, humor mixed easily with fear and so much more....

chris jackson

i was disappointed by this film , there were two scenes which involved violence at a level which made me feel sick and i very nearly left (they involved dogs and a hammer) . christian weitz was the standout actor in the film by far and he added the lightness and humour which made it not seem so ridiculously violent. sorry but this is no pulp fiction. lastly can it be good for us to watch films with so much violence??

Les R

Before you go to see this film, ask yourself "Since life is a finite resource, can I afford to waste three hours of it watching puerile drivel?" This film is Hollywood piffle, which takes the historically significant subject of slavery and exploits it as an opportunity to wallow in gory spectacle and gun worship. What kind of an idiot thinks that a spring-loaded Derringer hidden up the sleeve is interesting plot device? Or that a 15-minute gun battle is anything other than boring? It is sad to think of the good films that could be made on this subject if funds were not being wasted on drivel like this. I give it one star to recognise the good work of the actors and production team. The script gets zero.

Narciso

I enjoyed it and its worth the price of admission to watch. Waltz is great but DiCaprio is the main man, he is a brilliant combination of charm, southern manners and pure evil! It went slightly of track when QT made an appearance... why!? Seemed a tad indulgent on his part and that Aussie accent has be up there with the worst accents on film!

DumDumBoy

Okay. My fault. Should've just waited for the DVD. Actually, should've just waited 'til it showed up on TV - then wouldn't have paid at all. The Cons: Overlong (by the time we reach the Tarantino-scene, it's a case of 'surely there's not more ?'. Devoid of any emotion. (you don't care for anybody) Indulgent (that Tarantino scene, oh boy - and don't give me any of that 'he knows he a shitty actor rubbish' - that just ridiculous - he claims to be making a statement about slavery and in that scene he blows it) Rambling (boy does it ramble, his dialogue is simply not strong enough to carry the broad brushstrokes) Imitation (it's not always flattery - at some point QT HAS to find his own true voice )there's a hint of it in Jackie Brown; but he's copied all the BAD things about spaghetti westerns - even the great ones were too long, rambling and featured often forgettable dialogue, well done QT you paid tribute well!) The violence (always partial to bloodshed, but I've always believed it should hurt - Wild Bunch, it looks like it hurts. Godfather - it looks like it hurts. This? Kids playing, nothing more) The Pros: Leo is great. The soundtrack (got to be careful here) works - but ONLY BECAUSE IT WORKED BEFORE!!!!!!! Let's stop all this praise for his musical choices - they are lazy - the scenes where the music works well is BECAUSE THE MUSIC WOULD WORK WELL ANYWHERE , IT"S GOOD MUSIC!) Please stop giving QT credit for something even he'd be hard-pushed to ruin. You want to see a great use of music - watch DRIVE, watch MANHUNTER. Oh and I've seen mention of his unique use of snowy landscapes - only unique if you choose to believe that GRAND SILENZIO and JEREMIAH JOHNSON don't exist!

scrumpyjack

1st, day of release, in screen 5, then 2 five days later......3rd viewing screen 1 yesterday Not seen that before

scrumpyjack

1st, day of release, in screen 5, then 2 five days later......3rd viewing screen 1 yesterday Not seen that before

Sutton

A superb movie. Great performances from the leads, particularly Waltz, excellent dialogue, great soundtrack and Tarantino back on top of the game.

Sutton

A superb movie. Great performances from the leads, particularly Waltz, excellent dialogue, great soundtrack and Tarantino back on top of the game.

Paul

A good night out and full house to see DU now the snow has melted and escapism wanted. You have read all the good commentary, I didn't find the film too long or violent. Each scene moved me along and I only looked away during the Mandingo fight scene. Memories of Blazing Saddles at times and the film worked better as a witty pastiche than a story to be taken seriously. I could easily see it again to enjoy more of the detailing.

fueldragster

A half-cooked bowl of spaghetti. By no means either the best or worst of the Tarantino films that I have seen. What to dislike: Tarantino's apparently obligatory theft of music from far better westerns. The importation of Waltz (well suited to his previous role but once round the studio floor with him was enough) and the attempt to justify a reason for using him (Django's wife having been named Broomhilda/Brunhilde "von Shaft") -mein Gott das ist wunderbar?. When did winchester carbines come out? What about the Remington derringer? Is this film not, by definition, supposed to pre-date the US civil war? (perhaps Tarantino missed an opportunity to arrange dialogue for cap&ball reloading sessions?) What to like: Samuel Jackson gives an award worthy performance as an old Silver-back, his initial expressions are memorable. That the stolen music is mercifully limited to the first half. Everything else so-so, adequate performances from the rest of the cast. I really do not see this film adding anything useful to a debate on slavery, is the alternative negro word now supposed to be acceptable? If you want slow-motion carnage then the Wild Bunch was far better. Did I feel ripped off? Well no actually, anyone who volunteers to watch one of his films must surely by now know that allowances are expected. If you liked his previous go lap it up, everyone else I suggest some caution.

critique

Typical Tarantino fare: wordy, bloody, overlong, funny distinctive. Waltz, DiCaprio and Jackson all turn in memorable performances. Like Inglourious Basterds, the film is at its best in the scenes which build up tension. Three and a half stars.

Loulou

Now I have seen it, it didn't disappoint but it's not one of his best. Leo di Caprio makes a great baddie - loved Christoph Waltz's performance too. Too much theatrical blood, I felt - kind of nauseating, although for the most part, the film did indeed look good. And you could never call QT's films boring.

jay

From the opening bars of the 'Django' theme, we know we are in familiar territory for his wanton nostalgia by overly referencing other films. Tarantino, known for being ill-disciplined in the editing room - which strained, "Inglourious Basterds" and "Kill Bill," delivers a thrilling ride, with more comedic moments than a Mel Brooks comedy. Top-notch performances throughout, especially the reliable (Christoph Waltz) who chews up the scenery with aplomb. Foxx fits the role of the slave in search for his damsel; Dicaprio is a character with a charming, brooding menace, and Jackson delivers a Cheney-esque uncle Tom. My only gripe would be the peurile use of his exploitation-style of blood and carnage (I recall Corbucci or Leone not using much at all), and his willingness to offer himself a cameo; more painful this time with the inclusion of a faux Australian accent. It's taken a while, but he has deliivered his best film since the under-appretiated, "Jackie Brown."

DutchFilmFan2013

Top acting and a strong script made this an outstanding Quein Tarantino film! Pity that Leonardo Di Carpio did not get a Best Supporting Actor nomination though: he was simply quite amazing as the *baddie* as far as I am concerned. This will be a strong come-back-film for Jamie Foxx in any case after having failing to shine in his films on the whole, after getting his Best Actor Oscar for Ray quite a couple of years back.

Ian

Every time i found myself liking the film Tarantino does something to annoy. In places it is very funny and Waltz, Di Caprio and Foxx are all excellent however there are too many annoyances to make this a four star film. The violence is too extreme with too much fake blood splattered everywhere and like a few have said Tarantino and his aussie mates are a disaster. Jackson hams it up incredibly and there must have been a bet between him and Don Johnson as to who would play the biggest cliche because both are hammier than a bacon sarnie. Its enjoyable but not great and is probably 20 to 25 minutes too long. Worth 7 out of 10. Not for the weak stomached or as a date movie.

J O SULLIVAN

Great history lesson its 1858 all white people are evil all black people noble So lets tell this revelation over nearly 3 hours with stylised dialogue ,direction and acting. oh throw in a knowing soundtrack,well he is a fan boy Only highlight Weitz recycling his performance from IB and Carnage But if this history lesson is true those nice people in Impossible and Les Mis were bastards as well... Oh I can feel the tears welling up !!!

pulpsmith

First we know in a Tarantino we will get a scene or two with long dialogue BUT... I would not have it any other way. every film he makes is exactly what Tarantino wants to make he holds back nothing and achieves with a single camera shot the intensity of a million dollar CGI fest. You can tell tht music his is drug he must sit down play a hundred songs and to each track Write the perfect movie Sergio Leone him self wold be proud of this modern twist of spaghetti western master piece. To say Death Proof is a bad movie is a joke same for Inglorious Basterds and to slate kill bill is a further joke. You sound like every other critic who sits there and just thinks its cool to slate his movies. yes you may have liked this one to some degree but to be truthful you have no idea the thought and passion that goes into it every camera angle every scene instead of just being shot to death by a DIR to get the right shot. He will be remembered as one of the best directors ever to live up there with other modern and old directors i.e Kubrick, Scorsese and Nolan. Whe n he goes and stops making movies what will we be left with but over produced bull crap. Apart from my rant hahaha I believe its another great film by the man him self.

pulpsmith

First we know in a Tarantino we will get a scene or two with long dialogue BUT... I would not have it any other way. every film he makes is exactly what Tarantino wants to make he holds back nothing and achieves with a single camera shot the intensity of a million dollar CGI fest. You can tell tht music his is drug he must sit down play a hundred songs and to each track Write the perfect movie Sergio Leone him self wold be proud of this modern twist of spaghetti western master piece. To say Death Proof is a bad movie is a joke same for Inglorious Basterds and to slate kill bill is a further joke. You sound like every other critic who sits there and just thinks its cool to slate his movies. yes you may have liked this one to some degree but to be truthful you have no idea the thought and passion that goes into it every camera angle every scene instead of just being shot to death by a DIR to get the right shot. He will be remembered as one of the best directors ever to live up there with other modern and old directors i.e Kubrick, Scorsese and Nolan. Whe n he goes and stops making movies what will we be left with but over produced bull crap. Apart from my rant hahaha I believe its another great film by the man him self.

Gort

Thought it was a great movie. After Basterdz I was afraid this will be QTs friend playing their favorite cowboy characters but thankfully I was wrong. It is a very serious movie that meditates on American history and relationships between it's citizens. I mean just take gung-ho violence seems to be in place as sort of US tradition and obsession. Film also looks great especially night scenes which seem to be lighted only by candle light. The things bothering me seems to be that some scenes were unnecessary like the part with KKK which didn't bring almost anything to the movie. But I guess it's becuase Sally Menke died and she was obviously only one with authority to tell QT when to leave out a scene.

Tom C

Very good performances but its long, quite boring and needlessly violent. Its quite muddled in places and struggles to hold the audiences attention in the final third. I won't see it again.