Barbershop 2: Back in Business

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Barbershop 2: Back in Business Movie Poster Image
Great message delivered in an edgy hip-hop movie.
  • PG-13
  • 2004
  • 110 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

It's better to keep small businesses like barbershops -- traditionally a cornerstone of African-American neighborhoods, a place to debate, joke, and gossip -- in the neighborhoods they serve rather than bringing in characterless chain stores that are found in malls all over the country. A major theme is integrity.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Calvin is a small business owner who works hard, cares about his employees and his community, and wants his child to have the best life possible. 


Riot scenes show police and rioters fighting with billyclubs and molotov cocktails on the streets of the South Side of Chicago in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. A rioter nearly throws a molotov cocktail into the barber shop, almost killing two people inside. 


Some kissing. Sexual innuendos on the order of "size isn't everything." A character is briefly shown in bed with a woman who was flirting with him earlier in the film. 


Occasional profanity: "f--kin'," "s--t," "ass." 


Ironic that a film about chain stores running small businesses out of their communities shows characters holding Dunkin' Donuts boxes. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Barbershop 2: Back in Business does an excellent job of showing the importance of the barbershop in African-American communities, and the necessity of local businesses in neighborhoods as corporate chains try to move in. Flashbacks show some of the barbershop characters' direct experience of history (riots in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, for instance), illuminating the importance of keeping people and businesses in the neighborhoods that know and understand the history of the community. The movie is also very funny, but there's some profanity and there are sexual innuendos. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 4 and 17-year-old Written byMommiebon July 27, 2016

If you're paying for a "black lives matter " lecture, this is for you.

Ice cube is normally funny, sometimes edgy but all in all his work can relate to everyone regardless of race. Not this movie. This entire thing was a lecture on... Continue reading
Adult Written byjoshua martinez September 30, 2011

13 and up.

Barbershop 2: Back in Business is an average movie and parents this second installment Barbershop 2: Back in Business has some violence but nothing intense ther... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

2 isnt as good as 1

it is very good and funny. especially with Cedric the Entertainer in it. It is not as good as the first one though. it has more sexual references in it than... Continue reading

What's the story?

In BARBERSHOP 2: BACK IN BUSINESS, the Chicago barbershop owned by Calvin (Ice Cube) still plays a central role in the community. Money is always tight, but he finds a way to help out anyone who needs it. Calvin is glad to see more jobs, money, and tax revenues coming into the Southside neighborhood, but worries that the community's history and flavor will be lost in a sea of chain stores. Things look bad when a chain barbershop called Nappy Cutz puts up an "opening soon" sign across the street. Once again, Calvin must decide whether to sell out. There's plenty of give and take between the denizens of the barbershop: Terri (Eve), Jimmy (Sean Patrick Thomas) now working for an alderman, secretive ex-con Ricky (Michael Ealy), Nigerian immigrant Dinka (Leonard Howze), white barber Isaac (Troy Garrity), and of course, extremely talkative Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer). The old gang is joined by Calvin's cousin-in-law, Kenard (Kenan Thompson), just out of barber school, and gets some visits from Beautyshop hairdresser Gina (Queen Latifah).

Is it any good?

Just as in the original Barbershop, the pleasures of the sequel are in the delightful conversations, especially when compared with the fake-hipness of most portrayals of African-Americans. Barbershop 2: Back in Business lets us listen in on conversations that are not just very funny; they feel much more authentic in the frank treatment of race, as the characters debate who they can "take credit for" and which white people they would be willing to have sex with.

The group discusses their disappointment in finding out that the D.C. sniper was black and the way the media portrays biracial celebrities. They debate what race Jesus was, and a woman explains that he is "Cablanasian, like Tiger Woods." Calvin explains to his baby that poor black people will always be asking him for money and that he won't know they're poor at first because they will dress very nicely. The movie also provides some historical context. We see how Eddie first came to the barbershop, and how he and Calvin's father stayed on through meetings of the Black Panther and the riots after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Barbershop 2: Back in Business shows how people make choices about the places they do business. Do you go to the big national chains or do you seek out small local companies? 

  • Families can also talks about some of the history shown in the movie and their own experiences during the 1960s.

  • How does Barbershop 2 compare with Barbershop? Which do you like better? 

  • How do the characters in Barbershop 2: Back in Business demonstrate integrity? Why is this an important character strength?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love stories of the African-American experience

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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