Slavery is the backdrop of this film, the curtain hiding some of the most heinous sections of American history, the catalyst by which many Black people came into this country. This is slavery, and how do you make it laughable, without going too far, without offending too many? In his own way, Tarantino pulled it off because he doesn’t run from it. He faces it head on and in part, things like seeing a human being torn from limb to limb works to keep the viewer alert in between the wise-cracks.

So even though Django Unchained lacks on all cylinders, in the moments when its scores, they’re slam dunks.

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