Hairspray - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hairspray Reviews

Top Critic
Pauline Kael
New Yorker
May 28, 2008
When Divine's Edna Turnblad is on-screen in the sleeveless dresses she's partial to, the movie has something like the lunacy of a W. C. Fields in drag.
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
July 16, 2007
Not only Waters's best movie, but a crossover gesture that expands his appeal without compromising his vision one iota; Ricki Lake as the hefty young heroine is especially delightful.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Variety Staff
Variety
June 30, 2007
John Waters' appreciation for the tacky side of life is in full flower in Hairspray, a slight but often highly amusing diversion about integration, big girls' fashions and music-mad teens in 1962 Baltimore.
Top Critic
Derek Adams
Time Out
June 24, 2006
Waters' most hygienically commercial film is a Retro schlock-fancier's delight.
Top Critic
Janet Maslin
New York Times
May 20, 2003
The actors are best when they avoid exaggeration and remain weirdly sincere. That way, they do nothing to break the vibrant, even hallucinogenic spell of Mr. Waters's nostalgia.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
The movie is a bubble-headed series of teenage crises and crushes, alternating with historically accurate choreography of such forgotten dances as the Madison and the Roach.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
Waters writes warmth into his caricatures, lifting Hairspray above cartoon cult.