By Jeffrey Anderson,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Tarantino's slavery tale is uneven and brutal but brilliant.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
On the one hand, Django Unchained looks at slavery in a matter-of-fact way -- in a way that many other American movies have avoided -- and it could get discussion going about that part of American history. But on the other hand, the movie is largely about killing and revenge, with no real redemption or lessons learned.
Positive Role Models
Django Unchained is populated mainly by killers and scoundrels, people who are hateful and seeking revenge or are looking out for their own interests. One character agrees to help another out of what seems to be friendship, but this small act is more or less lost in the grand scheme of brutality.
Violence & Scariness
In addition to explosive shootouts and killings with massive quantities of spurting blood, the movie shows shocking mistreatments of slaves; male slaves are forced to fight one another, breaking bones and bashing each other to a bloody pulp, and a female slave is tortured in a "hot box" for several days. A slave is ripped apart by dogs while people watch. A man is murdered in front of his young son. Slaves are branded.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Partial nudity includes one female breast and two naked men (not full frontal, though nudity is definitely suggested). Django and his wife share a passionate kiss in one scene. There's a good deal of flirting and sexual tension and some innuendo (such as a reference to "comfort girls").
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Very strong language throughout includes nonstop use of the "N" word; possibly the most ever used in a high-profile film. Other words include "f--k," "motherf---er," "s--t," "p---y," "t-ts," "goddamn," "ass," "damn," "hell," "bastard," "bitch," "goddamn," "oh my God," and more.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult characters smoke cigarettes in a background way. The two main characters sip at two beers in a saloon. Characters drink stronger alcohol in a social setting.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Django Unchained comes from writer/director Quentin Tarantino, and if you've seen any of his other films, you know what that means: incredibly strong, shocking "grindhouse" violence and language. Django Unchained (which takes place in Deep South in the mid-1800s) not only features guns, shooting, killing, and spurting blood, but also horrible violence against slaves. Male slaves are forced to fight each other, breaking bones and bashing each other into a bloody pulp. A female slave is briefly tortured, and a male slave is ripped apart by dogs. The "N" word is used countless times, as are other Tarantino favorites ("f--k," etc.). There's some partial nudity (both male and female) and kissing, as well as some cigarette smoking and background drinking. The good news is that this movie takes a matter-of-fact look at slavery, which may get discussions going among older teens and families. But otherwise, this movie is very brutal and not recommended for the under-18 set.
To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Based on 33 parent reviews
Yes Common Sense, Slavery Was Violent
Report this review
GREAT MOVIE BUT COMMON SENCE REALLY OVER REACTED
Report this review
What's the Story?
In the mid-1800s, bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) tracks down a slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) and buys him -- promising him freedom later -- so that Django can help identify Schultz's next target. The two become partners and friends and eventually embark on a dangerous quest to rescue Django's wife (Kerry Washington) from a plantation owned by the brutal Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). To gain access, the duo must pose as potential investors in a "Mandingo fighting" racket. But Candie's devoted old slave, Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson), quickly catches on to the truth. Can Django and company escape with their lives?
Is It Any Good?
Oddly, the rather blank, stoic Django is the least interesting character in this violent, somewhat uneven film. In his previous film, Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino told a masterfully sprawling story of WWII, bending history willy-nilly to find a more truthful center. DJANGO UNCHAINED is even longer and more sprawling but with a much simpler story and themes. It doesn't quite fit. The movie has long, flabby stretches that scream for the cutting-room floor, while the bursts of violence often feel outsized and misplaced.
But occasionally the movie unexpectedly slips into brilliance. These moments are mostly centered around talking and negotiating, which also explains why the quiet hero doesn't always work. But actors Waltz, DiCaprio, and Jackson are all mesmerizing on more than one occasion. Somehow, Django Unchained finally manages to raise some interesting questions, mainly about slavery and how it has historically been depicted (or not depicted) in movies.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Django Unchained's brutal violence. Why do you think Tarantino chose to make the violence so intense and bloody? What effect does it have on the movie overall?
How does the movie depict slavery during the pre-Civil War era? What does this movie show that other movies set during that period don't show? Do you think it's exploitative, or will it get meaningful conversations started?
Why do you think actors are attracted to these kinds of vicious roles? What's appealing about them?
- In theaters: December 25, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: April 16, 2013
- Cast: Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Leonardo DiCaprio
- Director: Quentin Tarantino
- Inclusion Information: Black actors
- Studio: Weinstein Co.
- Genre: Western
- Topics: History
- Run time: 165 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong graphic violence throughout, a vicious fight, language and some nudity
- Awards: Academy Award, Golden Globe
- Last updated: December 2, 2022
Inclusion information powered by
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
Best Action Movies for Kids
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate