You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Back to IndieWire

‘Django Unchained’ Opens Big Today; What We Thought + What You Thought…

'Django Unchained' Opens Big Today; What We Thought + What You Thought...

Since Django Unchained opened today, Christmas Day, to impressive numbers ($10 to $13 million according to Deadline, opening on 3,010 screens), and some other outlets are releasing their reviews, I thought we’d remind you all that both Sergio and Tambay saw the film and reviewed it separately about 2 weeks ago, each with different reactions to it.

Read Sergio’s enthusiastic review HERE; and then read Tambay’s less enthusiastic, much longer critical analysis of the film HERE.

After a year+ of lots of discussion, debate and controversy around the film, all that comes to a head, as it’s now opened wide, across the USA, for you all to witness firsthand. So if you’re one of the few million people who saw it today (or when you see it tomorrow, or after), please feel free to share your thoughts on it in the comments section below. 

This Article is related to: Reviews and tagged , , ,



Even with Django's love story as a backdrop, this movie just helped to brainwash Black male youth further into believing the lie that the Black women in slavery were a bunch of willing whores for white slaveowner men. Thus further inflaming hatred of Black women by Black men, and further endangering Black women among Black men who will hate Black women based upon this falsification of an aspect of slavery.

The perception of Black women as being happy, willing slave playthings and sex toys to white slaveowners – a very common, yet false and unfortunate, belief among man African American men – only bodes poorly for Black women in relation to Black men in America, who already have much stored up hatred towards Black women. The Hollywood propaganda against Black relations continues…


34 million in the first 3 days. CHOKE HATERS! CHOKE! lol

Excellent Movie just loved it!

This movie awesome, was what we went thru in the 1950's & 1960's as black people wish could have seen more of the young lady Denisha Hardeman and LaTrece. We had over 200+ people go to the movie in one day each since christmas!!


I saw it yesterday and still trying to rinse my brain of the ugly so I'll be brief here. One big problem for me is Jaime Foxx and the fact that his backstory and performance were one note and emotionally lacking… that and his own uninviting persona made Django…unlikeable. (I understand why Will Smith and his innate likability was 1st choice though he wisely deferred soiling his brand here) Yes, Django was on a noble mission to free his wife yet when they meet again there was no chemistry or tenderness at all between them. Leo DiCaprio, Christoph Walz and Samuel Jackson's performances were exceptional. I squirmed watching the kkk scene; so not funny and like the movie; too long…we get it; they're stupid. I closed my eyes during the gore fest; the sound design was sufficient to get what was going on. After seeing Django, I get where Spike Lee is coming from though I do believe he has major issues, (like tweeting someone's address! WTF?!?) and the timing of his comments make envy seem plausible… Still I went to see it for myself because of my ancestors and because I am a filmmaker.


It is interesting to all of these negra slaves of tarantino defending the use of the word n—-r saying that is how whites referred to blacks. When I read correspondences, letters, etc from that time period they were called either negro or colored. The word n—-r was not used was not use prevalently. It certainly was not used a 10th of the time that negro or colored was. But for someone to know this, he would have to be someone who takes initiative and do his own research. I.E. someone who is the opposite of an entertainment lackey who views a white high school director as his master/lord/savior and laps up whatever fantasy pornagraphic sadism that he puts into his negras food bowl.


I'll wait for it to be on Crackle, Netflix or some site to rent but I'm not forking over money to watch the history of my ancestors be mocked and made for entertainment, Jamie Fox or not. I'm with Spike Lee on this although Red Hook Summer sucked. It will be interesting to see how many people go and support a film based on Nat Turner or Harriet Tubman.

yemi toure

They say Hollywood is a sandbox where rich white males get to play. That's what "Django" is for Tarantino. It ain't that deep yall. If you wait and get it on dvd from the brother on the corner, I ain't mad at you.

The n-word is in there 110 times. What??? That reflects the time, you say? We Black folx had some pretty spicy words for whites at the time, too. But "cracker" is not heard at all, "peckerwood" once. Please.

QT made "Inglorius Basterds", about Jews resisting the Nazis. How many times did QT put in the script that the Jews should be called "kikes"? Not once.

The lead white character is dead before the end of the film. Very rare. The lead Black character is not only still alive, but better off at the end of the film. That's even rarer. I give QT props for that.

The usual "walking the red carpet" event was set for the premiere in NYC. But that spectacle was canceled because of the Newtown massacre. So QT recognized his film's violence would have an impact, and he pulled back. Why didn't he recognize that a flood of 110 n-words would have an impact?

Both Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington say that on the set they heard the n-word so many times that they had to put up mental "shields" to get through the day. What does that tell you?

Django says, "Kill white folks and get paid for it? What's not to like?" I give QT props for that. Django kills a lot of white folks and gets away with it. I give QT props for that. Those are almost never seen in film. Feels funny to you, for me to even say that, doesn't it?

Warning to all Black women– don't get caught alone with QT. This film confirms once again that he only sees you as sex object for men.

"Django Unchained" is ultimately not about Django getting unchained, or slavery or freedom or love. It is ultimately about how much blood and gore QT can splatter across one film. It's just QT playing again in the sandbox.

And because of that, the film will make us less sensitive to human suffering. The NRA and Quentin Tarantino are cut from the same cloth.


Loved it.. Tarantanino made a good flick, and Django was his own man. For those who are hating without having seen the movie, or are mad because you feel it did a disservice to slavery, here's an idea.. MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN FILM. Tarantino made the film he wanted to make; a story about a man trying to get his wife back.. It wasn't meant to show the depths of the American slave trade.

Great humour, great action and the end sequence was awesome. 8.5/10


I like the old adage don't judge a book by its cover. In terms of cinema, I didn't want to judge this film by reviews or trailers but I fell victim to the "controversy" by seeing, MSNBC's Melissa Harris_Perry's show (hosted by Joy Reid) this past Saturday, trailers and reviews. I went to see it any way. I like to see for myself. I brought my on set of cultural antenna in the form of memory of Birth of A Nation and Gone With The Wind. If these two movies can be taken seriously so can Django Unchained.

I was transfixed on the instruments of slavery. It wasn't as though I didn't know about these devices. I think I am going to have nightmares for things like the bit. I see/saw people walking down the muddy roads of Django with all sorts of slavery paraphernalia about their person. It was a parade of horribles. That did more damage to my psyche than any word or bloody shooting scene could ever do.


It's so interesting to read the negative comments on the film because none of them have anything to actually do with the movie. They're all caught up in the political backstory. And half of y'all haven't even seen the film and are even declaring you'll never see it. So why are you even commenting? I guarantee if y'all were transported to a vacuum and watched the film without knowing who Tarantino is, you wouldn't have the same reservations. Personally, I think there are some issues with the film that have nothing to do with racial politics. It's too long. The ending is a bit anti-climactic. Broomhilda is flat. Candie's characterization is a bit uneven. Other than that, for me this movie was great. A real treat in a creative climate that shrinks from original stories.


I just saw the movie today. Oooooo I have a WHOLE lot to say. First, I thought it was good movie! I don't care who wrote it, directed it it was well done. Look Tarantino been doing movies for 20 years! He had a majority black cast, if anyone had any reservations I'm quite sure he heard it. The movie was tastefully done, there weren't any jokes about slavery and Tarantino himself was in the movie AND he died!(yeah open convo here). The movie had Tarantino all over it but there was research done, like the way people were hit with bullets was as close as possible from that time, they hit hard. I wanted to cheer because we know these stories, we know the 'house negroes', let's be honest we joke about it, Samuel L Jackson played the mess out of his role and yes I feel Kerry Washington could have had more but also everything fit. It was not a historical film but had history in it. I am a student of history, I know all of the films, I know the slave narratives, my family lived through Jim Crow, I know what's it's like to face blatant racism i.e. being a called a Nigger to my face in a hateful manner. I thought the movie was a good mix and I will definitely be buying it on DVD/Blu-ray. As far as Spike Lee let's be honest he could NOT make this kind of movie and go mainstream, besides it woudn't be like Tarantino anyway. Also Spike did 'Miracle at St. Anna' which is a fictional story. I think more filmmakers need to step up and not wait on the one and only 'Spike' because our stories need to be told and films need to be done regardless.


I wrote a full review here: but basically it's a fine film. Definitely QT's most coherent film to date. But Jamie is not the hero of his own story until the last 20 minutes or so. He's the lead, but he is a rather passive lead and like someone else said, Kerry's part is a nothing part. Which leaves the white males and Sam Jackson to be the most dynamic characters in a slavery revenge tale.


Nikki J

I saw it with friends yesterday when it came out and absolutely loved it. Now I am a QT fan but I had my reservations about this movie. I was nervous about the N-word, violence against slaves, a white savior theme, and trivializing slavery, I thought the joke would be on us. I'm happy to say I should have had more faith in QT and the cast. All of them were amazing. Think Inglorious Basterds, revenge of the Jews against the Nazis. Pure genius. Like it's been said before how often do we see a Black man in Hollywood go through hell to save his Black wife? It was hilarious at times (the KKK Scene omg!) which made it even better. It had all the elements of a great movie. Can't wait to buy it on DVD.


After seeing this movie last night with friends and family, I have to say that what I saw was rather shocking and unexpected. Quentin Tarantino did an excellent job with this film (more profound artistry and honesty than any other film reflecting my history that I have seen thus far). Django Unchained ripped some part of me open, and made me bleed deep inside my core. And as a young African American female who for a while now has believed that the story of my ancestors was somehow erased from the history books of the 21 century, I would like to say Thank you to all of the people who were apart of the creation of this film (Jamie Fox and Carry Washington in particular). Our world, especially now, needs to view more of this on the big screens and not just from one perspective. I appreciate Tarantino’s perspective and how this film paints the reality of hatred in red blood across the screen…after all that is what happened to us. Sure the movie is graphic in many people’s eyes (mine included) and at times it can be offensive (but not intentionally) with its speech and use of the N word. But a movie as intense as this in my opinion MUST be seen. Django Unchained truly gives the viewer a glimpse inside the human heart (and skull). Besides what this movie highlights and what we all fail to realize (regardless race, class, or gender) is that only Truth can set you free. So as long as we keep watering down or erasing the story from the history books we will all remain slaves, and like energy just in a different form. All in all, go see the movie with an open heart and form your own opinion.


There was really nothing wrong with what Jamie did or his part. Just like someone else said the main character i.e. Frodo, Harry Potter are usually outshined by the villians or supporting characters. A flashy villian will always be the one getting attention. Kerry's part was a nothing part.


Make no mistake, Django is the hero of this story. A black hero that saves his lady from evil. When was the last time that was shown on the big screen? The film puts the B in Blaxploitation and that's a good thing. Maybe there will be (or should be) a renaissance in the genre. Btw, the film was produced by a black man and two women! Check this review:


Have any of you seen a Tarantino movie before? "Too graphic and violent…too long"…um…Tarantino movie people.


@ uncle Carl
I gave a valid reason for the appeal to see the movie for some of you.
What's the problem?
Everybody wants to see themselves on screen even toms in training.
Can you write off the movie ticket as professional development?


I think some didn't go to see Django as a hero, but because they saw themselves in Sam Jackson's character. They have been waiting to see a proper rendition of their direct ancestor Uncle Tom.
Some are practicing their tomming dialogue using spike lee.


J Thomas

Firstly, I think we use the word "hater" much too loosely. Just because Spike finds issue with the film, people are so quick to call him a "hater." He is NOT a hater and he is entitled to his own views on the film. Not every black person has to be rushing to the box office to see Django this week. We are entitled to a difference of opinion when it comes to the film. Like Spike, I also have no intention on seeing it myself for several reasons: 1). Yes, I understand that Tarantino's overusage of the "n" word is appropriate given the time period of the film BUT, this is becoming a pattern with him. He somehow finds a way to use the "n" word in a lot of his films, most of which are not period pieces. I think Tarantino is obsessed with that word and I'm not going to overlook it this time simply because the film takes place during slavery; 2). I don't find anything entertaining about slavery. As Spike aptly stated, "slavery was not a spaghetti western…it was a holocaust." As such, I don't find anything entertaining or humorous about slavery and more importantly, I will never be interested in a white man's rendition of slavery; 3). There are too many quality black films in the marketplace for black people to be running to watch this foolishness. I take it all those commenting on this site are avid readers of Shadow and Act and should be aware of all the independent black films currently in the marketplace. Why aren't we running to support those films?

Monique a Williams

I find it amusing that people debate whether or not Django was a hero, as if he didnt come strictly to save his wife. No one would expect a white man to free others held captive. Why would we give Django a 21st century knowledge of self as if he was not a victim of PTSD, and not several generations removed like folk crying about it today? Also, it's a movie. A great fictional yarn spun for entertainment. I thoroughly enjoyed it beginning to end. Whoever is complaining probably enjoyed Red Hook Summer. *yawn*

Erik W

So let me get this right. The film is set in the times of slavery and folks are mad because "nigger" is being used to refer to black folk? Was Tarantino supposed to have the white folk call the slaves "African-Americans"? This has more to do with Tarantino being white and nothing else.


I felt like I was apart of the latest Coon Convention going to see this movie. Everybody opening their mouth to diss Spike in Praise of
QT is the living embodiment of Sam Jackson's coon character. How dare you part your lips to diss Spike, whom without him could not even begin to have a conversation on Black Cinem?. My what short memories you have. No Black filmmaker could have made this same film. No way in hell it would ever get Greenlit. Django was not a hero. Plenty of opportunities to be one and free more than just his wife but none were taken. The brutality that our people endured was very hard to watch. And to see so sensationalized in light of the fact we are not that far removed from it in time and be living breathing descendants who STILL suffer with barely any progress and definitely no comeuppance is beyond appealing to me. Hell if we were in the Middle East at this exact moment we could still be sold and castrated. I hope all you coins are happy when Leo gets the nom and award. And now you are praising QT as your new savior, DISGUSTING!!!!!!!


I gave it a 9/10 via imdb:


Wondering how many heads will explode when Leonardo DiCaprio wins his first Oscar for his role in this movie, while Jamie and Kerry receives no nominations….


@NO This post is about "Django Unchained" not about your deep seated personal issues with Spike Lee. What is it a Daddy issue or something with you Spike Lee haters who seem so obsessed with hating the man and his latest body of work. Is Daddy dissappointing you because he's not making as much money as he used to? Go ahead and say it, "See Daddy, you ain't shit next to the white man he got more money than you and well, er, he's all white and good and pretty and errythang". Where's your film, NO? Where's your successful film like Malcolm X or Do The Right Thing? Where's your failure like Miracle At St. Anna or Red Hook Summer that everybody will still know about? You wrote, "LOL Tarantino's success is Spike Lee's failure, LOL" — Wow, NO, I'm afraid you've drank the sell-out Kool-Aid.


Most of the comments praise Leo and not Jamie so call hero.
I read several reviews that said Django did not have much to say and Kerry was damn near mute.
Since Leo and Chris got the noms and on here they are getting most praise, how is this a black movie? Either Jamie & Kerry were woefully underwritten or the movie is not what some of you
claim it to be. I also notice that Jamie and Kerry are the only two promoting the hell out of this
movie. Sounds like the meaty role was not Django and this movie was a vehicle for Leo and Chris.

I did not see it, I will catch it on DVD.
I did feel like hearing the n word while slurping on a big gulp on Christmas Day


Deadline is now reporting that Django made 15.5 on its opening day. Third best Xmas opening ever. Looks like Spike Lee was the only one who did not want to see this film. It was long but this movie was great.


Django Just got an A- Cinamascore. Looks like word of mouth will be great. Also it's predicted to have made 14 million today. Huge indeed.


Just got out of the theater and was basically disappointed. Solid craftsmanship (as expected of a well-resourced production like this). Thoroughly enjoyed what Tarantino "does" to his character. Does it trivialize a terrible period in history whose vestiges continue to affect life in the US and beyond? No discerning spectator can deny that, but examining it as a piece of entertainment one's gotta point to the performances, which save the film (Kerry Washington's pain and DiCaprio's completely-there-madness are key highlights; Waltz too proves a game-saver). The film would've been much more awkward to watch without such performances given much of the action feels narratively under-justified (disproportionate even in light of the earnest attempt at "spaghetti-western" parody).

I've seen a person shot multiple times on the street (Harlem, NY). So it's difficult for me to appreciate gratuitous bloodshed and death like this, which, aside from coming across as self-indulgent, seriously reinforces the complaints of any gun-rights advocate concerning any disensitizing influences of showbusiness.

Oh Well

It seems Whites thought the movie was a blast and some dumbed-down Blacks have applause for it as well…what a Shame.


The film went on for too long, but that it was a great bit of dark humor on a very serious subject. Kerry Washington's part was grossly underwritten. I thought all the major actors acquitted themselves well, especially Leonard DiCaprio's take on a demented southern plantation owner. Very gorey, Sam Peckinpahish shoot-em up. Now, I can see why Lee doesn't want to see the film: he didn't have the wherewithal to make that sort of film. Instead, he's left making an embarrassing film such as Red Hook Summer or doing one about a borderline pedophile (aka Michael Jackson). Worse, Lee hides behind the accusation of Django Unchained being "disrespectful of his ancestors."


Really well-made movie, but I think it could've been exponentially stronger if it was shorter. There is absolutely no reason that film had to stretch that long. It's a simple story. I mean The Color Purple is shorter, and Spielberg managed to cover Celie's adolescence through seniority WITH a couple of side stories. Tarantino loves the long scenes. I get it. But you have to be more considerate of your audience, man. Otherwise, great movie.


Critics were right. This movie was a blast.


This was a great film. My sold out theater loved it. Expect great word if mouth.



It was nauseating. Not just the graphic violence and gore (which was not present in the classic spaghetti westerns). I could not absorb his deluded depiction of some of the characters. Leo was too buffoonish to reflect the REAL atrocities of slavery. In fact, the gunslinging and gore seemed to eclipse the ugliness of slavery. That Mandingo fighting scene, they way he shot it. It was missing the reaction of the fighting slaves themselves. It came off as graphic and more salacious than authentic and telling. Don Johnson as a slave master made me laugh…not cringe but laugh in way that wasn't a send up, laugh as in he had a funny disposition.

And Django was hardly a 'hero'. For one, Christoph Waltz was the heavy in the film…carried the action until the last forty minutes. HE he had that final confrontation with Leo when it should have played out between Django and Leo!! But noooooo. Who was Django's final confrontation? The House Negro played by Sam Jackson. You mean to tell me, Django's final showdown is with an old, self-hating Black Man? One whose mind was poisoned by White oppression and slavery and yet is s built up as the big showdown. NAW! Hoodwinked! Bamboozled! Malarkey!!!

Django had but one intent, to find his woman and do little more…in fact TWICE he had the chance to free some folks and instead went on his way. this empty…uneven love story was DEFINITELY for 'other' audiences. And poor Kerry. She had maybe four lines through the whole movie. I'm sure most ended up on the cutting room. But I was looking for something about her, a monologue, a moment that they shared where we could see just what he had lost in losing her. But nope. By the time they came back together…I didn't care. I was to believe he loved her but based on what…that she 'wasn't no field negra cause she was pretty?' GOHWTBS!!

I walked out angry. Cheated and frustrated. Once again, Tarantino left me feeling played. It's like when he had Ving Rhames character get raped on camera….Ving was left to have his comeuppance (ie getting 'medieval on they asses') OFF CAMERA. In film, if it doesn't happen on camera its almost as if it didn't happen. he was emasculated and never quite redeemed. BS!

Then there's that scene in Django w/Leo and his use of the human skull to demonstrate that Blacks are biologically subservient. This was never addressed or revisited…just left floating in the wind…I was looking for Django to flip this…use Leo's bloody skull to prove otherwise…( i mean as much gore as there was why not?) but no…another dead end…another wasted moment. It was a fantasy alright. Once Leo's character was killed (By the German and NOT Django) You BEST BELIEVE Leo's lucky negros (his lover and Sam) would have been killed or sold off. Not left to attend his funeral or make any decrees. You mean to tell me if Sam's character told those white men to hold their fire, they would have listened!? AFTER Leo is dead!? BS!!!

And remember…Tarantino just shat on Roots. This man REALLY thinks he knows us….and we give him all the space he needs to explore his ideas of us. EFF HIM! ANd Reginald Hudlin's co-signing azz. I have learned my lesson. I will NOT spend another dime on his films. DONE!


Thought it was great. Theatre was packed. Audience seemed to really enjoy it. Lots of loud responses (wincing and laughing). Yeah, it was graphic, but it was a Tarantino flick. It's expected. Made for a fun, interesting, and entertaining almost-three hours.


Way too long. Some scenes that do not further the plot. Too graphically violent: I like a good violent movie as well as the next guy but a couple of scenes depicting excessively cruel violence made me wince. I am a Tarentino Fan, but this one is not for me.


Great opening for a great movie.


If these Christmas Day numbers hold up, I'm thinking this movie does at least $60 to $70 million through next Sunday. That is a HUGE opening considering it's almost 3 hour running time, R rating, and subject matter. I plan on seeing it this weekend.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *