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Good Hair (2009)

tomatometer

94

Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 81
Fresh: 76 | Rotten: 5

Funny, informative, and occasionally sad, Good Hair is a provocative look at the complex relationship between African Americans and their hair.

91

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 33
Fresh: 30 | Rotten: 3

Funny, informative, and occasionally sad, Good Hair is a provocative look at the complex relationship between African Americans and their hair.

audience

69

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 48,930

My Rating

Movie Info

"Good Hair" is an insightful and entertaining, yet remarkably serious, documentary about African-American hair culture. An exposť of comic proportions that only Chris Rock could pull off, "Good Hair" visits hair salons and styling battles, scientific laboratories, and Indian temples to explore the way black hairstyles impact the activities, pocketbooks, sexual relationships and self-esteem of black people. What Rock discovers is that black hair is a big business that doesn't always benefit the

Feb 16, 2010

$4.1M

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All Critics (81) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (76) | Rotten (5) | DVD (2)

Rock fronts this informative rummage through the $9 billion US black hair industry in a style much like his stand-up comedy: hilarious, insightful and charming enough to let him get away with the flammable stuff.

June 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Full of sweetly sardonic observations, the docu-comedy is one of the funniest movies of the year.

October 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Rock sheds new light on this old story through a poignant mix of interviews, investigation and his trademark satire.

October 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Associated Press
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's funny, clever and marginally educational. You can tell your friends you went to a documentary without having felt as if you saw one.

October 23, 2009 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Comment (1)
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's rich food for thought, though you wonder why little attention is given to the idea that perhaps some women relax their hair because it's easier to style that way, or that elaborate attention to hair is hardly exclusive to black women.

October 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Morgan Spurlock, look lively. Sacha Baron Cohen, watch your back. Chris Rock's bright, wisecracking expos√ (C) Good Hair is the mane event.

October 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though Rock's affable nature and probing comic instincts ensure the tone is always light and jocular, his discoveries are sometimes jaw-dropping...

August 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Scotsman

It's an eye-opener, if a blatantly chauvinistic one: Rock's main beefs seem to be that men have to pay for it, and upkeep of such a coveted accessory is a barrier to intimacy in the bedroom.

June 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Chris Rock hosts this exploration into hair issues in the African-American community, talking to celebrities, experts and hairdressers. What's surprising is that this is such a big issue, although the film isn't much more than entertaining fluff.

June 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

All Christopher Guest-allusions aside, this is a crucial documentary about race and gender today.

June 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Despite dozens of interviews and Rock's personal agenda, this isn't the hard-hitting expose it should have been.

June 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

It's just about sharp and funny enough to make you wish it was a bit sharper and funnier.

June 24, 2010 Full Review Source: News of the World
News of the World

Though its production values are on the low side and it flounders a little as it bounces from Hollywood to India, overall it's a fascinating, energetic and enlightening film that'll ensure you'll never look at hair the same way again.

June 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

...an amiable and mostly funny spotlight on a part of black culture...

December 17, 2009 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Mr. Rock and Mr. Stilson don't beat you up with a tiresome polemic a-la Michael Moore. Never does he put himself at the center of the film, condescend to the audience, or insult his interview subjects regardless of their views...

December 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinemalogue.com
Cinemalogue.com

Superficial doc.

November 25, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (2)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The "Girlfriend, ya gotta see this movie!" of the year for an entertaining and provocative tour of some of the permutations of African-American women with their hair.

November 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Film-Forward.com
Film-Forward.com

Good Hair stands as an informative and entertaining documentary, and one that's pulled off with no small measure of style.

November 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing | Comment (1)
Creative Loafing

Educates more than it entertains, even though there's plenty of colorful subjects (Chris) Rock could have gently lampooned.

October 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Charlotte Weekly

One of the best movies of the year seems to be lost in the Halloween-time shuffle.

October 24, 2009 Full Review
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

Hair-larious!

October 24, 2009 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze | Comment (1)
NewsBlaze

Despite the padding, there's enough interesting sociological digging here -- not to mention the easygoing presence of comic Chris Rock -- to keep us entertained and even enlightened.

October 23, 2009
Kansas City Star

Good Hair...uncovers a multibillion dollar industry relying on misinformation, misrepresentation, and misguided personal opinions about fashion to maintain its beauty salon stronghold.

October 23, 2009 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

Unlike most documentaries with a message, 'Good Hair' invites moviegoers to a conversation, not a lecture.

October 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) | Comment (1)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Audience Reviews for Good Hair

Interesting insight into a morally questionable industry, but as a whole it's uneven, focusing too much on the spectacle of the industry's annual trade show at the expense of the in-depth interviews about what words like beauty, confidence, natural, etc. mean and the connection to one's hair. Worth seeing once for the revelations about "Indian Hair" and the chemical composition of hair relaxant alone... not to mention Chris Rock's stated motive of trying to figure what to tell his daughters about their own hair.
July 17, 2014
danperry17

Super Reviewer

Recommended by a good friend, this is an insightful, amusing, and rather fascinating documentary about the world of hair, specifically the hair of black women, and its important role in African American culture.

Presented and narrated by comedian/actor Chris Rock, who decided to do this documentary after his young daughter asked him, "Why din't I have good hair?", Rock interviews a number of celebrities, business owners, and casual people as he tries to figure out the obsession with hair culture.

It is amusing, but there are some serious undertones, specifically the incredibly dangerous effects of using various chemicals, specifically relaxer to give someone straight hair.

There is some deeper subtext buried within the proceedings, but the film and Rock himself oddly shy away from asking the really important, but tough questions that really get to the hair of the issue, namely exactly why it is so important for black women to have 'white' hair.

That's what keeps the film from being really great. It is a good intro to the subject, and it covers a lot of bases, but it really doesn't scratch the surface, and also neglects to look at parts of history that could have really given a lot more insight as well as answers. I personally want to know how Civil Rights and Black Power affected the hair issue, and see the development of why it evolved away from that.

I'm okay with levity, but I think the film took too much of a diversion by putting a lot of focus on the ridiculously absurd hair competition, and not enough focus on the darker side of things. I mean yeah, the competition still reveals how big of an economic impact black hair makes on the hair care industry, but still, it gets pretty absurd.

Overall though, I did like this. It is a very fascinating topic, and, despite the film's faults, I do think you should give it a watch. Rock does a decent job and tackling a rather tricky issue. I think Spike Lee could have given it the kind of treatment I was expecting, but then again, he may have taken it a bit too far for my liking in that direction as well. Anyways, give it a look. It's pretty decent.
July 31, 2013
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

A tricky subject in many ways, Chris Rock charms his way around 'The big question' quite well and it all turns into a bit of fun. Probably for the best really and I don't think there is a big horrible answer either. Its main strength is that it is universally amusing, considering I'm balding quite rapidly, I quite enjoyed it!
August 17, 2011
SirPant

Super Reviewer

A film not only on the amazing nature of African American hair and its qualities, but also the industry that takes in billions of dollars a year in order to assimiliate the populus. Delving into everything from the Bronner Brothers Hair Show in Atlanta which holds the most absurd of competitions, India where most of the hair that goes into weaves is cut and sewed, and bringing out tubs of relaxer that can dissolve a soda can in four hours, this film covers all the bases of a good documentary. Great interviews by African American performers, business owners who are part of the hair movement, and a scientist unknowing of the true use of a chemical so deadly it melts the skin off raw chicken. With a societal scope and being highly intellectual this funny film about what it means to be a woman in our country drastically alters what good hair defines in a person and a race.
January 26, 2011
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

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