Hairspray Reviews

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Stephen Himes
Film Snobs
December 11, 2007
Like your high school's production of "Grease": A musical about sex with a chastity belt strapped to its waist.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Leo Goldsmith
Reverse Shot
August 8, 2009
Shankman's crassly theatrical attenuation of Hairspray only draws gay culture away from a moment of American history with which it ought to have a great deal in common
Tony Macklin
Fayetteville Free Weekly
February 2, 2009
Hairspray is an energetic romp, but as a social statement -- which it pretends to be -- it's cartoonish. And as a playful look back at a time and place, it's simplistic shtik. It's a mountain of whipped cream, with an occasional chocolate sprinkle.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.0/5
Kam Williams
July 23, 2007
A safe, self-congratulatory fantasy which revisits the civil rights era not for a valuable history lesson but for an escapist, syrupy sweet, sing-a-long trip down memory lane to an unrecognizable, Hollywood utopia that never existed.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Matthew Sorrento
Bright Lights Film Journal
July 10, 2008
Even if the new Hairspray seems a welcome return to camp for Travolta, his mock seriousness is as frozen as ever.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
Brian Orndorf
July 19, 2007
Upon further inspection, not only can I stop the beat, but I would like to turn this stopping of beats into a national movement. Do yourself a favor and just revisit the original Waters film. Your senses will thank you in the morning.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
Thomas Peyser
Style Weekly (Richmond, VA)
July 25, 2007
A mostly buoyant, candy-colored diversion, leavened by perky performances and upbeat numbers whose lyrics and melodies you'll be hard-pressed to recall once you've left the theater.
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
July 20, 2007
There's nothing Divine about this tame Hairspray.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Pablo Villaca
Cinema em Cena
January 16, 2008
Caso tivesse 20 minutos e alguns números musicais a menos, Hairspray poderia ser uma surpresa tão divertida quanto o original (que tampouco é um clássico). Inchado como ficou, porém, é apenas um passatempo pouco memorável.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
John Thomason
Orlando Weekly
July 19, 2007
This screen-to-stage-to-screen disaster spits in the face of John Waters' decade-defining pop pastiche of harmonious camp and progressive thinking, retaining the basic plotline and anti-segregationist morals but none of the authenticity.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews
July 20, 2007
...there reaches a point at which such sequences start to take on repetitive and superfluous qualities...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Tony Medley
August 11, 2007
When Blonsky dances, it's embarrassing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/10
Jordan Hiller
December 6, 2007
One's enjoyment of Adam Shankman's motion picture will largely depend on one's tolerance for conflict-less, feel good musicals.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
John Wirt
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
July 27, 2007
Hairspray opens on the upbeat with big-girl heroine Tracy Turnblad bopping down a Baltimore street. She's gotta dance. From there this frantic musical comedy rarely takes a breath.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Kevin N. Laforest
Montreal Film Journal
July 20, 2007
Mostly flat, flat, flat, but Amanda Bynes is Amanda fine!
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
July 17, 2007
An odd hybrid that lacks both the rambunctious energy of a live performance and the expressionistic pull of a great movie musical.
Armond White
New York Press
July 18, 2007
Based on John Waters' 1988 satire of civil rights-era nostalgia, this movie-musical adaptation makes the same mistake as the 2002 Broadway incarnation -- it domesticates Waters' parodistic anarchy into general-audience silliness.
Peter Bradshaw
July 20, 2007
Hairspray looks like it's sending up the straight, heterosexual world, but it also resembles a big, brightly coloured closet which declines to reveal its contents.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
July 20, 2007
John Travolta is no Divine. And this shiny musical just doesn't have the crazy, messy charm of John Waters' original.
Nick Levine
Digital Spy
July 14, 2011
Much as Hairspray serves as a showcase for the effervescent charms of newcomer Blonsky, its greatest trick is to revitalise the careers of a few old Hollywood faithfuls.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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