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102 minutes

Comedy
Ice Cube gives an engaging performance as the reluctant inheritor of a neighborhood barbershop on Chicago's south side, but he can't salvage this tangled mess of stereotypes, corny dialogue, and maudlin situations. While his barbers and customers banter and bicker, he's drowning in debt, and secretly he sells the shop to a loan shark who plans to turn the space into a strip joint. Some of the verbal jousts are hot, and a Laurel and Hardy routine involving a stolen ATM is fitfully hilarious, but this reminds me of a pilot for a cable sitcom. Music-video veteran Tim Story directed a script by Mark Brown, and jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard wrote the score; with Eve and Cedric the Entertainer as an irreverent debunker of African-American history.

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