Django Unchained

Just know it’s the sort of movie whose premiere gets postponed in the wake of school shootings, and whose dialogue contains so many N-bombs that people have glumly gotten down to counting them. Sure, the word was common enough in the 1850s, but Quentin Tarantino is not exactly a paragon of historical verisimilitude. Now the audacious ever-adolescent revisionist just wants us to know how, like, awesome our history would’ve been as one big bloody badass overlong western-blaxploitation whatsit. Christoph Waltz plays a voluble and worldly bounty hunter who frees the eponymous hero (Jamie Foxx) to rescue his wife (Kerry Washington) from a brutal plantation lord (Leonardo DiCaprio). Gangsta vengeance and tedium ensues. All told, though, good taste might have been more offensive. Waltz is wonderful, Foxx deliberately less a character than a trope, and DiCaprio a bit of a bore except in that he seems at last to enjoy acting again. But maybe the real revelation is Samuel L. Jackson in a career-capping turn as the slaveholder’s elderly house man, a sort of terrible and riveting Tarantino apotheosis, or at least an antithesis of the actor’s role as Spike Lee’s Mister Señor Love Daddy.