Django Unchained a 'thrilling' return to form for Tarantino

Brilliant, brutal Spaghetti Western homage, with a terrific comedy double-act in Waltz and Foxx

LAST UPDATED AT 08:33 ON Fri 18 Jan 2013

What you need to know
Writer-director Quentin Tarantino’s new film, Django Unchained, has opened in UK cinemas. The revenge tale is set in the American South in the late 1850s .

The film stars Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Kerry Washington and Leonardo DiCaprio. It follows freed slave (Foxx) as he teams up with a bounty hunter (Waltz) on a mission to rescue his wife (Washington) from a cruel plantation owner (DiCaprio).

Django Unchained has been nominated for five Academy Awards including best picture, best supporting actor, and best original screenplay.

What the critics like
There is strange and brilliant magic at work in Quentin Tarantino's new film, says Robbie Collin in the Daily Telegraph. It nods to the spare, brutal Spaghetti Westerns made in Europe, but is closer to 70s 'slavesploitation' pictures or the director’s own back catalogue. It’s "a dark, bubbling alchemy of art and junk".

Tarantino's "brilliant and brutal revenge western is a wildly exciting return to form", says Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian. Waltz and Foxx make a terrific comedy double-act.

It’s a film bursting with pleasures, says Tom Huddleston in Time Out, from "note-perfect performances", to close-to-the bone comedy and a soaring cine-literate soundtrack. "Welcome back, Quentin."

What they don’t like
The first half of the tale is skillfully balanced, but it loses its pace and the poise as the hunters head to DiCaprio’s plantation, says Anthony Lane in the New Yorker. Here Tarantino seems less interested in character than the chance to bait us with the N-word and an "apocalypse of blood". · 

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