Yup, barberry, I am thinking crimson pigmy barberry.
They have been pruned all wrong. They are narrow at the base and wider at the top. In the long run the wide top will shade out the narrow base and the leaves at the bottom will die, leaving you with bare sticks with greenery on top.
See my post here about this: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... ng#p357027
You can prune in fall and you will need to prune the top back hard to start working towards this structure. (You are not going to get there all in one step, one time of pruning.) It's OK, the barberry is very vigorous and will not mind it. It is actually an invasive exotic that is listed as noxious weed in some states: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/te ... berry.html
I will say that this says as well as birds spreading the seed by eating the berries, it spreads vegetatively by the roots. But I planted some 20+ years ago where I used to live and they are still just sitting there. I can't say if there are other barberries in the neighborhood that birds planted, but they have not spread at all from the roots.
When you prune, use heavy gloves and be sure to pick up and dispose of all the pieces, NOT in a compost pile or brush pile. When they start to break down, those vicious thorns drop off and lie around in the landscape waiting for an unwary hand or foot.
You can see that I have mixed feelings about these shrubs, even though they are pretty in the landscape ...
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