From the producers of Soul Food comes this "warm, generous" (The New York Times) taleabout a Chicago barbershop where razor-sharp comedy never goes out of style! Starring Ice Cube, Anthony Anderson, Sean Patrick Thomas, Ev... more »e and Cedric the Entertainer, Barbershop is both a "sweet, life-affirming movie" (N.Y. Daily News) and outrageous, bust-a-gut fun!Calvin (Ice Cube) is a would-be entrepreneur with big plans and running his family's barbershop isn't one of them. But when he impulsively sells the shop to a shady loan shark, he soon realizes just how important the neighborhood parlor is to him and just how far he'll go to get it back!« less
Call it: A Raisin In The Sun meets It's A Wonderful Life
Earl Hazell | New York | 03/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Renting this movie last weekend was the first time I had actually seen it, and I can't believe Jesse Jackson and his followers actually took offense to the lines referring to Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights movement in it. Of all people you would expect to get the point, and have the poetry of the script revealed to!The point of the entire movie can be summed up in a monologue by Cedric the Entertainer (who is about as good as it gets in this role and in this movie), where he says the barbershop--which the owner (Ice Cube's character), while caught in a moral dilemma, is preparing to sell--is more than just a place where brothers can get their hair cut. Each and every barbershop in every city and inner city in America, from Harlem to Oakland (and around the world too; I've been to several African-owned shops in Germany, Holland and Italy), is like Sam's bar on CHEERS: they are "the Black man's country club". And in that country club, a brother can get a line, a skin-fade, a shape-up, a little trim of the beard or goatee...and rediscover the royalty of his inner being while in conversation with friends and strangers about virtually anything. As a matter of fact, the beauty of the so-called controversial lines in the movie about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King (not to mention those about Rodney King and O.J. Simpson) triumphantly proclaim one of the best things about the Barbershop: where else can Black men hold such strong, divergent or even culturally iconoclastic opinions and have them be respected--or even heard?The movie is a little short on character development. The sub-plot starts getting too ridiculous after the first fifteen minutes. And as good as Ice Cube is he is still growing as an actor, making me wish he were making this movie five years from now as opposed to almost a year ago. Just the same, the wealth of characters and acting in the movie give all the real local Barbershops across the world a three-dimensional tableau of a tribute via the fine acting talents of all involved and some truly wonderful (and wonderfully ridiculous) moments in the script. Actors in this movie (like the fine character actor as loneshark Keith David, whose voiceover voice is becoming more famous than he is) are seriously funny, while comedians like Cedric the Entertainer are sometimes borderline spellbinding in how serious they demand you take them as actors. Anyone who isn't a Black man (and that includes the sisters) should see this movie and laugh unapologetically. Anyone who is, should first get a shape-up down the block, share what they think of the Iraq war and Halle Berry in spandex with the barber in the next chair... and then after you tip your boy right, buy this movie immediately."
I Left Feeling Good
I. Gross Georg | Edmond, Oklahoma USA | 09/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is so refreshing to see a movie without blood and guts and shooting but with an urban theme. The story revolves around a makeshift family of barbers headed by a young man who has to live up to his father's legacy but yet has dreams of his own. The movie has everything...there's a hero, a villain, and two hapless smash-and-grabbers are the comic relief. There are tender moments, also. I found the scene where the old barber gives a lesson to the younger ones very moving. Ice Cube has really come into his own, and I'm happy to see him play a less violent character than usual. It's a step up for him. Cedric is phenomenal, and outdoes Eddie Murphy when it comes to playing an older character. Best of all, the hero comes out on top! I left the theater feeling really good.When a person sees a film that's based on unfamiliar characters, culturally speaking, the potential arises for getting hung up on certain things. People somewhat familiar with urban culture, like myself, know that we grow up hearing a lot of foul language. But if I can watch a movie like My Big Fat Wedding and not get hung up on kids being spit on for luck and enjoy the story anyway, I think that all but the most puritan of white people can enjoy Barbershop if they can relate to a guy who just wants to do the right thing for his family...including his extended family in the shop. This is another great ethnic feel-good movie, it won't get nominated for anything, and I don't care! When this is out on video, it'll be a welcome addition to my collection."
Eat your heart out Jessie Jackson.
Rick D. Barszcz | bristol, ct United States | 10/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With the terrible smear review that was given by Jessie Jackson and others on this politically incorrect film, it only seem fitting to view this myself and see what the fuss was over.This is a great film. Honest, fresh, funny, emotional, soul sturring and just great plain entertaining. In this new modern world with movies that have to have special effects or sex scenes that have nothing to do with the story or mass murders with lots of blood and guts, it's refreshing to see a motion picture that is based on just a good script and actors that can deliver and keep the audience transfixed on the screen. Now that is talent! You will not be disappointed by this film unless of course your part of the modern generation that is basically brain dead and won't know anything about culture unless in came in the form of a drug.One of the great things about this movie is "thinking for yourself, America." Again, this is a great film for ALL people."
SID | BOSTON | 09/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Barbershop is a very good look into the epicenter of the urban community, or what many recognize as the congregation center for male communication. This feature film from the team who brought us Soul Food, weaves the largest plot (keeping or selling the handed-down establishment) to the smallest plot (the bumbling antics of two very bad crooks). In the end, viewers will leave Barbershop with a belly full of laughs and a heart full of love. The plot centers on Ice Cube's character that inherits the barbershop from his deceased father. Recognizing the tremendous debt that he is now responsible for, he can only see the shop as a burden. Ignoring the real value the barbershop holds as an age-old institution in the community, he accepts an offer from a neighborhood loan shark who plans to turn the barbershop into a strip joint. With a superbly talented and diverse cast, Barbershop features some notable performances. Cedric the Entertainer reaches new comic heights as the 70-year-old barber turned mentor to the crew of "Gen-X" barbers. Rapstress Eve plays the only female barber with the occasional stank attitude that arises from either someone in the shop drinking her apple juice or the actions of her cheating boyfriend. Stepping out of his typical tough-guy characters, Ice Cube also hits the jackpot with this juicy role as a tormented man always looking for that next big break. Watching the film and hearing the dialogue between the characters will remind male viewers of past barbershop experiences from childhood to adulthood. These experiences include everything from the older men who are fixtures within the barbershop, to the heated "topic of the day" that everyone weighs in on. And of course, no comment is ever spoken in soft tones.Without giving anything away, Barbershop is a must see, must support film by all. If you ever wanted a taste of what goes on in your neighborhood barbershop, check this film out. It has everything but the pool table and the weight set in the back room!"
Sharp, funny and right on target
JLind555 | 03/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Calvin Palmer has a pregnant wife, some big dreams, and a barbershop he inherited from his father and his grandfather before him that he doesn't particularly want. Seems Calvin yearns for bigger and better things, like having his own recording studio. But when he contracts with a local loan shark to sell the barbershop to finance his pie-in-the-sky schemes, Calvin is brought up short by the realization of how much the barbershop means to his employees, his customers and his community. Because the local barbershop in a black neighborhood is an institution, a place where the guys can come in, kick back, trade news and views and feel at home. Calvin realizes he's made a terrible mistake. But how to rectify it? The loan shark plans to turn the barbershop into a strip joint and he wants double the selling price to sell it back. There's a lot of moving and shaking and a hysterically funny subplot involving a stolen ATM before this film reaches its conclusion.The cast is excellent all around. Ice Cube is wonderful as Calvin, who doesn't know what a treasure his family has owned for three generations until he's about to lose it. I thought Eve was very effective as Terri Jones, the lady barber who has had it up to here with her no-good two-timing boyfriend. Anthony Anderson is hilarious as JD, probably the dumbest would-be robber who ever hijacked an empty ATM. But the big draw in this film is Cedric the Entertainer as Eddie, with a leonine head of hair that looks like he stuck a wet finger in an electric socket, pontificating and philosophizing, offering up insights and chunks of wisdom that are sharp as a razor and devastatingly funny. The movie feels totally real; we're right there inside the barbershop, kicking back along with the cast and enjoying every second. It's a film with a lot of warmth and a lot of heart, and not a dull moment in it. We leave this movie feeling it's life's intangibles that really count."