ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Barbershop (2002), PG-13
Analysis Date: September 18, 2002
CAP Score: 53
CAP Influence Density: 1.49

MinMax: -100

Barbershop (2002) CAP Mini-thermometers

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

BARBERSHOP (R) -- On a cold winter's day on the southside of Chicago in a moment of crushing despair...

Production: Cube Vision, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Distribution: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director(s): Tim Story
Producer(s): Matt Alvarez, Mark Brown, Thomas J. Busch, Larry Kennar, Robert Teitel, George Tillman Jr., Rocky Russell
Written by/Screenplay: Story: Mark Brown. Screenplay: Mark Brown, Don D. Scott, Marshall Todd
Cinematography/Camera: Tom Priestley Jr.
Music: Terence Blanchard, Ice Cube, Eve, Jay-Z, Ralph E. Tresvant
Film Editing: John Carter
Casting: Felicia Fasano, Mary Vernieu
Production Design: Roger G. Fortune
Art Direction: Gary Baugh

*Barbershop* is a perplexing movie. It has much good to say with several moments of positive ethics, but it uses mounds of filth to say it. Barbershops have been for many decades a cornerstone for the community. *Andy of Mayberry* presented the template of barbershops ... a place where [typically] a man could go and meet his friends to solve world, local, economic and spiritual problems.

Our "Floyd" of Mayberry is Calvin Palmer (Ice Cube). Calvin has for two years tried to maintain the family barbershop, in the family since 1958. He has also been trying to make a go at making his own recording studio to turn out platinum CDs out of his basement. Calvin's entourage of cutters include Ricky Nash (Michael Ealy), an ex-convict (which is one of the good points of this movie - giving a job to those with a criminal record); Terri Jones (rap artist Eve) with a 'tude about her apple juice; oh-so-sure of himself, intellectual Jimmy James (Sean Patrick Thomas); ever-grateful immigrant Dinka (Leonard Earl Howze) and the only Caucasian, Isaac Rosenberg (Troy Garity). Last but not least was the sage Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer) with his wit and moments of wisdom.

Calvin has another commitment. To refer to Calvin's wife as a "commitment" is shallow but it provides a way to introduce Jennifer (Jazsmin Lewis). A wife with child. Let me note here that not only does *Barbershop* present some earthy wholesome social values, it presents Jennifer as the *very* supportive wife. She is willing to support whatever Calvin decides because they will be together doing it and at his side is where she wants to be. Jennifer is by no means a "Steppford wife." She has her own mind and is not afraid to express it, but when the chips are down she stands with her husband.

At the beginning of the movie portly JD (Anthony Anderson) and pencil-thin Billy (Lahmard Tate) steal an ATM by backing a pickup truck into a nearby convenience store operated by east Indian, Samir (Parvesh Cheena). JD and Billy encounter a number of shenanigans to try to get the ATM open. Little do they know, as revealed by Samir, there is no money in it. It had just been installed and was not yet operational. JD suffers a number of mishaps including a crushed foot but nothing is going to stop him from getting inside that ATM. Nothing.

On a cold winter's day on the southside of Chicago in a moment of crushing despair, Calvin decides to sell the barbershop to Lester Wallace (Keith David), local loan shark and bejeweled man with the deals. Wallace wants to make the barbershop a "gentlemen's club", more commonly known as a strip joint with dancers who will not be particular how they make their money. What it is that makes a strip club a "gentlemen's club" is beyond me. Wallace offers Calvin $20,000 for the shop, but after some reflection Calvin decides the value of the shop does not lie in its monetary value but in its value to the employers and the community. Calvin changes his mind and does not want to sell the barbershop after all and tries to buy it back from Wallace by giving back the $20,000. But being the shrewd "business man" Wallace is, the price ups to $40,000. Calvin has until 7:00 PM to come up with the extra $20,000. And that he does in a most unexpected way. But were there any consequences for loan sharking? N-o-o-o. [Hab. 2:9, Hab. 2:12, Ps. 62:10, Prov. 13:8]

As I said, there were several moments of positive ethics. Some moments at "clean up" and media accountability were noted. Calvin shouts "Stop your cussin'. This ain't no *Def Jam Comedy*" but, of course it didn't work. Accountability in mutual respect was noted, however ignored. Once Calvin realized what Wallace was going to do with his barbershop, his ethics compelled him to not let it happen. Calvin's respect for his deceased father was strong. Indeed, everyone spoke nothing but honor for the pater. While the police were confused about the culprits in the ATM theft and were leaning toward accusing the ex-con barber, Calvin made sure the truth was known. Jennifer was proud of Calvin for sticking it out with running his father's barbershop even though Calvin had higher hopes and dreams. Other examples of good morals were noted but...

Is that supposed to excuse the 98 minutes of 83 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary or the six uses of God's name in vain, four *with* the four letter expletive? Or even the two distinct uses of the most foul of the foul words with a number of muffled or abbreviated uses of it? [Prov. 8:13, Prov. 22:11, Titus 2:6-8, Ps. 49:6-7] Or the man grabbing a woman's behind so his fingers curled into her lower glutei fissure? Or the comment "Jesus wasn't a Christian?" The criminal activities? What kind of "message" is that sending? That it is okay to hold high morals while practicing poor morals? What dissonance! What emboldenment!

*Barbershop* earned a CAP score of 53 which places it one point below the top of the CAP scoring range for R-rated movies (54 and below out of 100), or two points under the bottom of the scoring range for PG-13 movies (55 to 67 our of 100). That makes it a "lite " R-13.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Hab. 2:9 Woe to him who builds his realm by unjust gain to set his nest on high, to escape the clutches of ruin! Ps. 62:10 Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
  • Prov. 13:8 A man's riches may ransom his life, but a poor man hears no threat.
  • Prov. 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
  • Prov. 22:11 He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.
  • Titus 2:6-8 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

    *******Food for Daily Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    Barbershop (2002) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • vehicular breaking and entering
  • manual breaking and entering
  • robbery
  • firearm threat, repeatedly
  • reckless driving
  • fighting
  • loan sharking
  • vandalism

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 83 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • two uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • lies
  • racial insults

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • cohabitation for sex
  • talk of planning sex
  • sex talk, innuendo, comments
  • man grabbing a woman's behind so his fingers curled into her lower glutei fissure
  • camera angle to force viewer on private parts
  • excessive cleavage
  • vulgar talk
  • invasive eye movement
  • sex counseling
  • sexually insulting comments
  • anatomical reference

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking
  • drinking

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • six uses of God's name in vain, four with the four letter expletive
  • mockery of Christianity
  • "Jesus wasn't a Christian."
  • insult to Jesus

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted

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    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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