Quentin Tarantino tends to elicit this kind extreme reaction in audiences, and Django Unchained is no exception. My own view is that it's an exceptionally fine movie, but lord almighty is it shocking and brutal. I found myself averting my eyes a dozen times, even while I winced and laughed at the over-the-top humor of the thing.
It's rather hard to discuss the movie without giving a whole lot a way and spoiling it for potential viewers, so instead I'll give some diagnostic questions to help you decide if this movie is appropriate for you:
• You are able to watch movie violence and over-ride your suspension of disbelief in a way that lets you enjoy the pure demonstration of special effects.
• You can see potential for finding humor in a raid by a KKK lynch mob.
• You enjoyed movies like Pulp Fiction, Fight Club, Seven Psychopaths.
If you can answer yes to at least two of these, you can probably safely see Django Unchained.
Tarantino is so invested in shocking normal attitudes that I'm not sure he'll ever get nominated at the Golden Globe or Academy level; but if he does, this might be the movie that does it. Mrs. Mercurious, bless her soul, is great at appreciating the same kind of movies as me, and she liked this one much better than Pulp Fiction—which she loved. A word of warning, though: it's likely a rare member of the feminine geezer club who can get ride this vehicle—it has the potential for badly sickening the faint of heart. It might be a move best enjoyed "with the boys." Not exactly a date movie.
Django Unchained is blessed with some exceptionally fine supporting roles, so much so that it would be difficult to pick who might get supporting actor nods. Christopher Waltz is, if anything, even better than he was as the Nazi you loved to hate in Inglorious Basterds. Samuel L. Jackson (of Pulp Fiction fame) is also astounding. The biggest treat, though, might be Leonardo DeCaprio, who makes a villainous turn here that is exceptionally fine. There comes a moment where DeCaprio shifts from amiable evil to truly disturbing perversity in a way that will make you rethink Leo's abilities as an actor. Any one of the three is quite worthy of best supporting actor.
I cannot think of a movie that has stuck in my head quite the way this one has. If you are really willing to challenge your soul, you might do a long double-feature matinee, seeing Spielberg's Lincoln in the early showing, then taking the electroshock treatment of Django late in the day. The close juxtaposition of the two movies will mess you up for weeks.
These may well be the two best movies of the year, and they ostensibly deal with the same subject matter (slavery) in an historical time period only 10 years or so apart.
And you will never see two movies that are so good, and yet so unlike one another.
Django Unchained Geezer Quotient: 96/100