• Released
  • February 16, 1988
  • PG , 1 hr 30 min
  • Comedy
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Hairspray (1988) Synopsis
Couple's (Divine, Jerry Stiller) plump daughter (Ricki Lake) goes on '50s dance show.
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings

77
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90

Chicago Reader

By Jonathan Rosenbaum
Not only Waters's best movie, but a crossover gesture that expands his appeal without compromising his vision one iota; Ricki Lake as the...
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90

Los Angeles Times

By Kevin Thomas
Hairspray is a deliriously fast and funny satire of the '60s that marks John Waters' best shot yet at mainstream audiences. [25 Feb 1988,...
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88

TV Guide

Controversial filmmaker John Waters finally hits his commercial stride in this film, parlaying his keen social observation and great...
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80

The Dissolve

By Noel Murray
While it’s corny by design, Hairspray also aims to get at something truthful, about the various kinds of prejudice weighing down the city...
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80

Empire

By Kim Newman
Thoroughly charming, and thoroughly deserving of its cult status.
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80

Wall Street Journal

By Julie Salamon
The strangest thing about his latest picture, Hairspray, is how very sweet and cheerful it is. In his own weird way, Mr. Waters has...
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80

The New York Times

By Janet Maslin
The actors are best when they avoid exaggeration and remain weirdly sincere. That way, they do nothing to break the vibrant, even...
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75

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
Basically the movie is a bubble-headed series of teenage crises and crushes, alternating with historically accurate choreography of such...
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75

Chicago Tribune

From its opening shot-of little girls with huge hairdos-Hairspray is a relentlessly silly, crude and hilarious lampoon of modes and mores...
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63

USA Today

By Mike Clark
If Hairspray is clean and sweet, don't cry sellout. Taken as a pointed burlesque of a serious racial issue, this is what Spike Lee's School...
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More Info

Rated PG
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says Pause for kids 13 & under A kitschy teen fantasy you can dance to.
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POSITIVE MESSAGES
VIOLENCE & SCARINESS
LANGUAGE
DRINKING & DRUGS