It's pure Tarantino from start to finish, with just a pinch of a little something more. I'll definitely have to agree with those who are saying that QT might be wearing his heart a little more out on his sleeve with this one...which was certainly effective considering that I genuinely ended up caring for Django and his wife - making the suspense of those dinner scenes in Candieland all the more unbearable. The performances here are great across the board. Foxx practices the restraint and taciturn cool of classic Western heroes and manages to pull off the archetypal persona while at the same time adding in all the emotional undercurrents of the character beautifully. Washington accomplishes being riveting without even having to say a word, DiCaprio relishes every scene and has a helluva time doing so, Jackson is scarily good, and Waltz absolutely steals the show with his own level of class and charisma.
All in all this was every bit the entertaining ride I expected from Tarintino. Seeing it in a packed theater on Christmas day was a real treat.