We gotta take our streets back – A Barbershop: The Next Cut Review

Barbershop The Next Cut poster

Thanks to the long weekend I had the time to check out two movies: Civil War and Barbershop: The Next Cut. Chances are pretty good you’ve already seen Civil War so I’m here to tell you why you need to check out Barbershop: The Next Cut.

Barbershop: The Next Cut is the next in the series of Barbershop films. Calvin and his misfit crew of barbers have joined forces with a salon. A necessary move in order to stay afloat in a neighbourhood increasingly under siege by gang violence.

The Good

  • Good performances from everyone involved, even Nicki Minaj (she isn’t required to do much, but her acting never came across as unconvincing)
  •  It’s very funny
  • Brings across some very relevant issues affecting Black people, even if the focus is primarily Black Americans
  • It’s got an Indian guy in it! And he exists as a very necessary non-white opinion that doesn’t always agree with what’s being said by everyone else when it comes to issues of race
  • Plays with stereotypes extremely well
  • Film has a lot of emotional depth thanks to the handling of its subject matter
  • Despite the heavy subject matter, still ends up being a feel good film
  • Discusses some racial issues that are relevant in South Africa

The OK

  • Damn dudes, we get it. Nicki Minaj has a big booty. Does it have to be in every shot she’s in? Actually, judging from her music videos it’s probably something she wanted
  • Even though it is very funny, not every joke hits home
  • The pacing is a bit uneven
  • If the final shots of the film are the suburbs that Black people are complaining about, I need to move to America
  • May make white people feel a bit awkward as some of the racial subject matter discussed doesn’t pull any punches
  • Despite the themes, it’s fairly formulaic in its execution

The Bad

  • Some of the “debate” scenes come across as a bit too preachy, and too on the head, which broke immersion for me (these scenes would have been perfect in a play though)

Final Thoughts

I haven’t seen any of the previous Barbershop films, and decided to go check this one out just because the reviews were good. So does the film live up to critical opinion?

It is a good film, but not quite as good as some critics make it out to be. I feel this film is far from perfect, mostly due to some uneven pacing and occasional immersion breaking scene. Also, the camera far too often gives us ample time to take in Nicki Minaj’s behind. Considering it doesn’t do this with any of the other female actresses, I am guessing this is something that she asked for, as opposed to it being a “male gaze” issue.

On the plus side, the film is very funny, is well acted, and deals with some extremely topical issues that affect the Black community in the US, and across the rest of the world. It’s basically a Black film about Black societies and the problems they face and have to deal with.

Overall Barbershop: The Next Cut is still a very entertaining, intellectually stimulating, and surprisingly deep film, despite its few flaws. It’s a recommended watch for everyone, whether you are Black and live in Chicago, or not.



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