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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"For a star-studded big-budget musical, Hairspray does a nice job of retaining the funky sweetness of the original."
‑ Bob Mondello,
"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."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"If any movie musical could threaten the standing of retro favourite Grease, it's this one."
‑ Alan Jones, Radio Times
"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."
‑ Nick Levine, Digital Spy
"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"
‑ Leo Goldsmith, Reverse Shot
"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."
‑ Paul Clinton (,
"Hairspray is an infectious aerosol comedy with nearly every hair in place."
‑ John Moore, Denver Post
"Director-choreographer Adam Shankman has come up with one of the purest entertainments of the summer."
‑ Michael Hastings, Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
"In alchemy the transmuting of materials between forms distills them to their purest elements. In film, the opposite is true. The more iterations, the more muddled things get. Hairspray is good at what it does but not everything it does is good."
‑ Joshua Starnes,
"It falls to individual efforts by the cast to keep the eye and ear coming back for more."
‑ S. James Wegg, JWR
"Waters cultists have ample reason to be wary, but the film retains a surprisingly subversive edge that undercuts its blinding surface gloss."
‑ Nathan Rabin, AV Club
"Hairspray is one of the most enjoyable translations of a Broadway musical to the big screen ever."
‑ Lawson Taitte, Dallas Morning News
"It pays respect to the original while also carving its own image as a truly good musical."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"Much of the fun comes from director-choreographer Adam Shankman's happy acceptance of musical staples"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"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."
‑ Tony Macklin, Fayetteville Free Weekly
More reviews for Hairspray on Rotten Tomatoes

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