Caveats first: Yes, Quentin Tarantino's latest feels a bit like his "Inglourious Basterds," with slavery subbing in for Nazism. And, yes, "Django" goes on 15 minutes too long (maybe so Tarantino could save his own cameo?). But this film is a wild, riotous, irresistible Tarantino mash-up of history and pop culture, all delivered as a satisfying revenge fantasy. In typical Tarantinian fashion, it's both cartoonishly bloody and magnificently verbal. Jamie Foxx does his best work since "Ray" as a slave named Django who is freed by a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) so he can help I.D. the hunter's high-value quarry. Then, they track Django's wife (Kerry Washington, who has little to do but scream and look longingly at Foxx), who has been sold to a Mississippi plantation owner (an unexceptional Leonardo DiCaprio). As he did in "Inglourious Basterd," Waltz simply steals the show - and rightly won another Oscar for his efforts.
- KRISTINA DORSEY