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parental advisory

Is Django Unchained the Least Family-Friendly Movie to Be Released on Christmas Day?

In his review of Django Unchained, David Edelstein wrote: "Django Unchained doesn’t merely hit its marks; it blows them to bloody chunks." Django takes many Tarantino-isms and pushes them to their Tarantino-iest. Nudity, violence, language: It's all graphic. It's not surprising that QT would make a non-family-friendly movie, but releasing it on the most family-friendly holiday maybe is. (As Julie Klausner alluded to yesterday in the video with her mother, your relatives are probably the last people you want to be sitting next to while looking at Jamie Foxx's genitals.) But is its family-unfriendliness unprecedented? We went through the last fifteen years of movies to open on Christmas Day to see if Django Unchained is actually the least family-friendly, let alone if it's the least family-friendly by Tarantino, whose Jackie Brown opened on December 25, 1997. (For moral reference, we looked at Kids in Mind, a site that rates the inappropriateness of movies for children.)

War Horse, 2011 (Kids in Mind Rating: Sex/Nudity=1, Violence=8, Profanity=2)
Last year's big Christmas movie is about war but isn't particularly violent. Sure, the deaths/injuries of the film's horses might bum out a youngest daughter, but otherwise, it's nowhere even close to Django (which also features horse death/injury).
Less Family-Friendly: Django Unchained

It's Complicated, 2009 (S=7, V=2, P=4)
Sure, the kids won't want to watch people their parents age doing it, but it's all pretty harmless — we're not talking about Peter Scolari and Becky Ann Baker on Girls here. Ultimately, it got its R-rating for some pot use, so depending on your stance on marijuana, this one should be fine.
Less Family-Friendly: Django Unchained

The Spirit, 2008 (S=4, V=8, P=4)
Plenty of guns and plenty of femme fatales in comic-book-appropriate attire; however, at a PG-13, nothing is that extreme. Also, the cartoonishness lessens the severity of the violence.
Less Family-Friendly: Django Unchained

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, 2007 (S=5, V=9, P=5)
Okay, now we're talking.  It's scary and bloody and gross and you can see the boobs of dead ladies. There's also the fact that this movie is terrible and not suitable for anyone with taste.
Less Family-Friendly: Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem

Black Christmas, 2006 (Not reviewed by Kids in Mind)
First things first: This is a scary movie, not a racist movie, so at least it won't have Django's N-word situation. That withstanding, the film features enough gore, nudity, incest, and shaky handheld camera use that only the most gothic families should've gone to see it.
Less Family-Friendly: Black Christmas 

Magnolia, 1999 (S=7, V=6, P=10)
This is a close one. Magnolia has some nudity, but more than that, you don't really want to be sitting next to a family member during the Tom Cruise "respect the cock" part. Also, Magnolia is an adult movie with grown-up themes that just won't make sense to younger family members.
Less Family-Friendly: Magnolia 

The Talented Mr. Ripley, 1999 (S=7, V=6, P=5)
It's not too, too bad: some dude butt, some F-bombs dropped, a spoonful of violence. It's awfully tame compared to Django. It does, however, have a real sexy vibe that will be awkward — just not as awkward as seeing an upside-down, naked Jamie Foxx.
Less Family-Friendly: Django Unchained 

The Faculty, 1998 (S=5, V=9, P=9)
Don't let Jon Stewart or Josh Hartnett's very nineties, cargo-pocketed wardrobe fool you, The Faculty is not fun for the whole family. That said, the violence is also very nineties and not that bad by post-Saw standards.
Less Family-Friendly: Django Unchained

The Postman, 1997 (S=5, V=7, P=7)
The boringness of Kevin Costner's epic is a double-edged sword: It's not fun for any family member, yet it also allows the sleepier relatives to miss the inappropriate parts. There is some violence and brief sex stuff, but it doesn't matter too much because the whole family will be snoring.
Less Family-Friendly: Django Unchained 

Jackie Brown, 1997 (Not reviewed by Kids in Mind)
It's a bummer Kids in Mind didn't grade Jackie Brown; it would've been fun to see another 10 for profanity on here. Still, though there's sex and violence, nothing is as graphic and, at times, hyperreal as the stuff in Django.
Less Family-Friendly: Django Unchained 

Overall Verdict: As we can see, Django is not the least friendly option families have been given. And even though it might be more risqué than some of these films, at least it's all purposeful and in the service of the movie. Django might have as much violence as Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, but it's done artfully and with style. Moreover, you might feel uncomfortable watching a slave get whipped with your family, but that's part of the point. By releasing it on Christmas Day, Tarantino demands that we spend time thinking about the atrocities of our past. Also, how else will we learn what our grandmother thinks of Jamie Foxx's penis?

Photo: Andrew Cooper/The Weinstein Company