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Barbershop Punk

HD   NR Closed Captioning

Georgia Sugimura Archer & Kristin Armfield

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About the Movie

Robb Topolski is an unlikely crusader for free speech -- on the surface; he seems to be a mild-mannered geek with a fondness for acapella music. However, when Topolski tried to upload some rare recordings of barbershop quartets to a peer-to-peer file sharing website in 2007, he found that his broadband Internet connection slowed down to a tiny fraction of its usual speed. Topolski, who worked as a computer network engineer, ran some tests to find out what was happening and made a surprising discovery -- his internet service provider was monitoring the web use of its customers and using software to slow connections for certain activities and certain websites. Topolski took his ISP to court and has become a passionate spokesman for Net Neutrality, believing that ISP's have no right to interfere with what their customers are doing and should not be watching their activities on line. This case is one of the key inspirations behind the documentary Barbershop Punk, which explores how a small number of powerful corporations have the power to control the World Wide Web, and what ordinary people can do to promote the free exchange of information in cyberspace.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 6
  • Fresh: 4
  • Rotten: 2
  • Average Rating: 5.9/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: An engaging, provocative documentary using one man's crusade against Comcast (now merged with NBC Universal) to explore issues of Web freedom. – Andy Webster, New York Times, Nov 10, 2011

Fresh: The urgency of this complex and far-reaching issue, coupled with the undeniable appeal of the Everyman story that triggered the debate, will propel "Punk" to harmonious fest exposure and tenacious afterlife. – Eddie Cockrell, Variety, Oct 16, 2012

Fresh: Solid documentary explores how sweetly harmonized barbershop music catalyzed a battle between First Amendment proponents and the telecommunications industry. – Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter, Nov 7, 2011

Rotten: Dovetails with the current Occupy message but still feels rather stale. – Benjamin Mercer, Village Voice, Nov 8, 2011

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


What an amazing film that kept me captivated the whole way through. I can't believe that with all the garbage in theaters these days that this was not released theatrically. Production quality is far superior to any doc I have seen released by the major studios and the subject matter is something that affects all our lives. I hope everyone continues to purchase the film so the director can pursue other projects because there is not enough quality product out there.

Barbershop Punk IS A MUST SEE!

Barbershop is a must see. As a paying consumer I'm thankful there is a voice on our side. What an amazing and enlightening film!

LOVED Barbershop Punk

Barbershop Punk is incredibly insightful and entertaining! :o) 👍👍

Barbershop Punk
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2011

Customer Ratings