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8 Movies Like Barbershop You Must See

January 11, 2023

‘Barbershop’ is a widely known comedy film that will have you laughing out loud. The story revolves around Calvin Palmer (Ice Cube), a man burdened with running his father’s failed hair salon. Tired of running the barber shop, he decides to sell it, which he immediately regrets after an eye-opening incident. He recognizes the cultural importance of his shop, where people meet to talk and share, creating a sense of community and belonging.

Calvin does his best to take back the barber shop in a series of hilarious events perfectly orchestrated by director Tim Story. The comedic masterpiece was such a hit that the creators released two more sequels, titled Barbershop 2: Back in Business and Barbershop: The Next Cut. If you can’t get enough of this movie franchise, here is a list of absolute banger comedies that will have you rolling on the floor. Most of these movies that are similar to ‘Barber Shop’ can be seen on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.

8.CB4 (1993)

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CB4 is a mockumentary film, a satire on the gangster rap culture that has been generalized and stereotyped by the media. The film, starring Chris Rock, begins with a group of friends trying to break into the rap scene. After unsuccessful attempts, they assume the identities of gangsters and become an overnight sensation. However, this swindle becomes their undoing and they are forced to make a life-changing decision. Director Tamra Davis, screenwriter Chris Rock and several other talented visionaries are the brains behind this comedic stroke of genius. Similar to Barbershop, this film focuses on the themes of black community and brotherhood.

7. Brown Sugar (2002)

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Brown Sugar is a romantic comedy about childhood friends Dre (Taye Diggs) and Sidney (Sanaa Lathan) who bond over their love of hip-hop and music. Over time, they reunite as adults and develop romantic feelings for each other. Due to their existing relationships, however, they cannot live them out.

Dre and Sidney navigate the ups and downs of their relationship, their commitment, and their personal struggles. Director Rick Famuyiwa strikes the perfect balance of humor and drama in this realistic portrayal of a modern-day relationship. Much like the people in Barbershop who rekindle their bonds by meeting in the shop, the young lovers in Brown Sugar bond through music.

6. House Party (1990)

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‘House Party’ is an entertaining comedy about high school students who want to throw a big house party. But that’s no picnic for her. They make various arrangements, battle rival party hosts and hatch an elaborate plan to impress a girl. Full of gags, catchy dance routines, and enjoyable music, this is another hit comedy from director Rick Famuyiwa. The film shares elements of rivalry and finding a solution in the midst of a crisis (but in a hilarious way) with Barbershop. After the film’s huge success, it became a franchise and has spawned several films since then.

5. Don’t be a threat to South Central while drinking juice in The Hood (1996)

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A movie with a long title and big ambitions is the best way to describe this 1990’s parody of ghetto movies. The wacky humor and depiction of real elements in a witty and twisted way make this a great film. The protagonist is Ashtray (Shawn Wayans) who moves to downtown South Central Los Angeles and his misadventures take their course.

Director Paris Barclay uses slapstick humor and cultural references to make the film entertaining and relatable for audiences. Even in this satirical film, Ashtray comes to terms with his responsibilities and learns valuable life lessons that parallel those in Barbershop.

4. The Best Man Holiday (2013)

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The sequel to the 1999 film, Best Man, is a romantic comedy about a group of people who meet on a holiday. An innocent meeting gives rise to old rivalries, past mistakes and romance. Coming from all walks of life, the friends try to overcome their inner struggle while appearing tough on the outside. As the week progresses, the group is forced to face up to their past mistakes and decide whether to continue this friendship.

Director and author Malcolm D. Lee succeeds in defining group dynamics and power games with a pinch of humor in an exemplary manner. Even Calvin from Barbershop evolves, takes responsibility for his actions and changes things, and so does the group in The Best Man Holiday.

3rd Life (1999)

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Life is a comedic crime drama that tells the story of Ray (Eddie Murphy) and Claude (Martin Lawrence), two convicts who are serving a life sentence and develop an unbreakable bond that gets them through tough times. They are given the opportunity to work on a farm in Mississippi, where they discover how much the world has changed since their incarceration.

There are several flashbacks to their lives, but eventually they get a chance at redemption and find meaning. This heartwarming film from director Ted Demme shows how a philosophical message can reach an audience with jokes and gags. The two best friends experience life-changing events that show them the importance of social change and friendship, just like Calvin did in the barbershop.

2. The Wood (1999)

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The Forest (1999)
Director: Rick Famuyiwa
Pictured from left: Richard T. Jones, Taye Diggs, Omar Epps

The Wood is the story of three childhood friends who prepare for the wedding of one of the prepare theirs. They spend time together and embark on a journey into the past. They have heartfelt conversations about their childhood, their infatuation, their problems and the death of a close friend. Soon they also have to deal with the challenges of surviving in this world and their hardships in various areas of life. This coming-of-age comedy directed by Rick Famuyiwa makes you appreciate the ups and downs in life. Barbershop’s Calvin struggles with these same difficulties, but finds strength in his friends and family.

Friday (1995)

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‘Friday’ is a stoner comedy written by, and starring, Ice Cube and directed by F. Gary Gray. The film is a series of hilarious events that begin with Craig (Ice Cube) being fired from his job and helping his best friend Smokey (Chris Tucker) return the money he borrowed from drug dealers. The stakes are high because Smokey could be killed if he doesn’t show up with $200.

So the duo goes through all sorts of misadventures to save Smokey. While it’s a light-hearted film, the creators explore themes of friendship, responsibility and the struggle of growing up, as they do in Barbershop. This film ranks among Ice Cube’s best works, earning it the top spot on our list.