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Opening: Django Unchained 

Overly long and excessively violent, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained isn’t as great of a movie as some critics make it out to be. And yet, Christoph Waltz’s performance is so terrific, it practically redeems a film. Waltz plays Dr. King Schultz, a crafty bounty hunter who frees the slave Django (Jamie Foxx) and then proceeds to help him attempt to free his wife (Kerry Washington), who has been captured by Calvin J. Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), a viscous plantation owner who forces male slaves to fight each other in brutal matches. Tarantino has said he intended the movie to be a genre film (it’s a spaghetti Western—as was a 1966 Italian Django flick–mashed up with Blaxploitation) that deals with the brutality of slavery. But whatever critique of American history that Tarantino might be offering here is obfuscated by the gratuitous nature of the violence and by the excessive use of the “n” word.

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