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Good Hair Review

  • Release Date: Oct 09, 2009
  • Rated: some language including sex and drug references, and brief partial nudity
  • Runtime: 1 hr. 35 min.
  • Genres: Documentary
  • Director:Jeff Stilson

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    72

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    Entertaining and substantive enough to be interesting even for those completely unfamiliar with weaves and relaxers.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Rock conveys a lot of information, but also some unfortunate opinions and misleading facts. That doesn't mean the move isn't warm, funny, and entertaining.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Rock takes his Good Hair job as a documentarian seriously enough to be interesting, but not so seriously that the film groans with earnestness.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Rock gives Good Hair a rousing message: Where African-Americans in the '60s adopted a ''natural'' look, they now feel free to coif their heads any way they want. That's cultural power.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Good Hair is cause for hope that Rock continues to make documentaries. His style is lively, smooth and up-to-date, like the most coveted 'do.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Good Hair reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Funny, smart docu is OK for older teens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Chris Rock documentary includes some mature themes related to race, femininity, and class. There's a fair amount of strong language (a couple of "f--k"s, as well as "s--t," "bitch," and the like), conversations about how hair affects sexual relationships, and consumerism (mostly hair-product brands). Kids will see two approaches -- African-American celebrities like Eve, Raven Symone, and Nia Long are straight up about masking their natural hair with expensive weaves, while a few outspoken women rage against the "slavery" of a straightening regime and sport their natural locks (or, in one case, a bald head).

  • Families can talk about the various reasons that African-American women -- and women in general, really -- might want hair other than what they have naturally. How does the obsession with hair specifically affect the African-American community?
  • What message does the documentary convey to young girls? What lessons can be learned by those not in the African-American community?
  • How is African-American beauty depicted in the media and pop culture? Why do you think straight hair is often a part of that depiction?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The movie has a positive message about how natural hair can bring "freedom," but most of the interviewees admit that they've bought completely into the idea that they must change their hairstyle in order to be attractive -- even if it means spending lots of money and time to do it.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Maya Angelou, Tracie Thoms, and an outspoken woman with alopecia stand out as women who say that they're purposely not straightening their hair because they don't think African-American women should have to sport "straighter" hair to be beautiful or accepted in society.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: It's not violent, but there's a disturbing description of what a chemical burn caused by a chemical relaxer feels and looks like.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Candid conversation about what it's like for men to make love to a woman with a weave (including tips on which positions are best for men not to be tempted to touch their partners' hair -- references include terms like "doggy style"). Plenty of cleavage; women wearing lingerie and bikinis walk around at the hair show, and photos of topless African women are shown briefly during a slideshow of how black women's hairstyles have changed throughout the ages.

  • language false3

    Language: Occasional (but not frequent) strong language like "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," and the "N" word, as well as "ass," "titties," "damn," "hell," and "oh my God."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Mostly hair products and related industry brands: Bronner Brothers, Dudley hair products, Revlon, Loreal, etc.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Jokes about how hair treatments are more addictive than crack or "the pipe."

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