Hairspray 2007

Critics score:
91 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times: What it offers isn't really a nostalgic look at a 'more innocent time' so much as a saucy wink at a casually vicious time that is constantly being sold to us as innocent. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: With its zesty dancing, strong performances, goofball details and sweet message of acceptance for all, Hairspray might just be this summer's happiest hit. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Hairspray is a wondrously entertaining ball of spunky musical numbers, talent set free and fun, fun, fun, with just enough of a message to make it sizzle all the more. Don't miss it. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: As mile-high-wig musicals go, the film version of Hairspray is less polished but more fun than Dreamgirls. Both are drag revues at heart, one funny, the other serious. I prefer the funny one. Read more

Albert Williams, Chicago Reader: With its wisecracking screenplay, period-perfect pop score, and Shankman's splashy choreography, this may be the funniest, dancingest screen musical since Singin' in the Rain. Read more

Joanne Kaufman, Wall Street Journal: The movie is a throwback to MGM musicals of the '50s. But it's a giddy, unselfconscious throwback. That in itself is refreshing. Read more

Nathan Rabin, AV Club: Waters cultists have ample reason to be wary, but the film retains a surprisingly subversive edge that undercuts its blinding surface gloss. Read more

Randy Cordova, Arizona Republic: Only a die-hard grump could resist the giddy charms of Hairspray. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Against all expectations, Hairspray turns out to be an explosion of industrial-strength good cheer, delivered by very smart show-biz pros with wit, passion, and a soupcon of dementia. Resistance is futile. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: Marc Shaiman's peppy music conspires with Shankman's energized, retro-musical choreography to make for a giant cinematic grin -- a dimpled dental testament of faith in the powers of nice over nasty, tolerance over bigotry and aerosol over the ozone. Read more

Paul Clinton (, Bright, campy and wonderfully light, Hairspray reminds us that fun comes in all shapes and sizes. It's also one of the few 'event' movies this summer that doesn't outstay its welcome. That's worth singing about, no matter what your name is. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Hairspray is a feel-good musical that, for a change, actually makes you feel good. Read more

John Moore, Denver Post: Hairspray is an infectious aerosol comedy with nearly every hair in place. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Hairspray is a fizzy and delirious high-camp message-movie musical that may just turn out to be the happiest movie of the summer. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: It is the most deliriously enjoyable movie in a summer that hasn't been exactly packed with old-fashioned moviegoing pleasure. Read more

Lawson Taitte, Dallas Morning News: Hairspray is one of the most enjoyable translations of a Broadway musical to the big screen ever. Read more

Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly: An odd hybrid that lacks both the rambunctious energy of a live performance and the expressionistic pull of a great movie musical. Read more

Bruce Newman, San Jose Mercury News: The movie pulsates with so much energy and excitement that it sometimes seems it will come bouncing off the screen. But then someone applies another layer of lacquer to their 'do, and the whole boisterous bouffant of a show somehow sticks together. Read more

Jan Stuart, Newsday: ...Hairspray is a surprisingly effervescent ice cream soda of a musical, fizzing with sly comic performances and a bonanza of heel-thumping numbers. Read more

David Ansen, Newsweek: This bright, bouncy movie musical is a happy surprise, a candy-colored ode to outsiders that left me with a big grin. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: Hairspray is perfectly pleasant -- I smiled to myself all the way through it -- but it's not as exhilarating as the show. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: Adam Shankman's movie of the Broadway Hairspray gets better as it lumbers along, but there's something garish about its hustle -- it's like an elephant trumpeting in your face. Read more

Lisa Rose, Newark Star-Ledger: More a reinvention than a retread, Hairspray is a pleasant surprise, a breath of fresh, whimsical air in a season that's been dominated by franchise entertainment. Read more

Bob Mondello, For a star-studded big-budget musical, Hairspray does a nice job of retaining the funky sweetness of the original. Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: Adam Shankman's Hairspray is a great big sloppy kiss of entertainment for audiences weary of explosions, CGI effects and sequels, sequels, sequels. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: A rousing alternative in a marketplace packed with noisy, special-effects-heavy sequels, Hairspray is the best and most entertaining movie adaptation of a stage musical so far this century. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: That Hairspray is good-hearted is no surprise. The surprise may be that this Hairspray, stuffed with shiny showstoppers, is actually good. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: When Hairspray slows or stumbles, which it often does, the direction and choreography (both by Adam Shankman) pull it back together fast, and it keeps on trucking. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: It's a toe-tapper to make your forget sashaying pirates, comic-book heroes, robot Camaros and cartoons. This is the movie event of the summer. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: This movie musical about the plus-sized white girl who shakes her way onto a segregated teen dance show and brings black high-schoolers with her is a laughing gas. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Hairspray exceeded my expectations and, while it isn't my favorite movie of the pool-and-beach season, it's enjoyable enough to earn a recommendation. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Hairspray is just plain fun. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, John Travolta is no Divine. And this shiny musical just doesn't have the crazy, messy charm of John Waters' original. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Enjoyable movies are released every week, but movies that have the capacity to delight -- movies like Hairspray -- are few and far between. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: Hairspray more than fulfills that most basic (but not easy) task of the movie musical: It leaves audiences frugging their way down the aisle. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: It's amiable, it's bouncy, it's got a sweet unknown in the lead flanked by a cast of bankable stars and, providing as it does an amiable and bouncy and sweet escape from a summer's worth of clunky blockbusters. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: At the risk of sounding as manic as Corny Collins, Baltimore's answer to Dick Clark, this latest screen incarnation is guaranteed to flip your wig. Read more

Ben Walters, Time Out: Though not as scabrous, as sharp or even as musically memorable as John Waters' original, it retains much of his filthy, big-hearted sensibility. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: It's hard to keep a smile off your face and your toes from tapping during this unpretentious and spirited adaptation of the stage musical by director/choreographer Adam Shankman. Read more

Dennis Harvey, Variety: It's one of the best Broadway-tuner adaptations in recent years -- yes, arguably even better than those Oscar-winning ones. Unpretentious, feel-good pic is low on histrionic diva wailing and MTV-style editing, high on retro movie-musical craftsmanship. Read more

Peter Marks, Washington Post: The real star of this Hairspray is director-choreographer Adam Shankman. Read more