Reviews - The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
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The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Genres: Crime, Drama

Taglines: Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.

Director: Frank Darabont

Writers: Stephen King, Frank Darabont

Stars: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler, ...

Chronicles the experiences of a formerly successful banker as a prisoner in the gloomy jailhouse of Shawshank after being found guilty of a crime he did not commit. The film portrays the man's unique way of dealing with his new, torturous life; along the way he befriends a number of fellow prisoners, most notably a wise long-term inmate named Red.

100 | Ian Nathan

A thumpingly good ode to friendship, hope, wit, wiles and wisdom, brimming with crackling characters and topped with the most twisteroo of twists since "The Crying Game."
Read More: Empire

90 | Peter Travers

It's the no-bull performances that hold back the flood of banalities. Robbins and Freeman connect with the bruised souls of Andy and Red to create something undeniably powerful and moving.
Read More: Rolling Stone

90 | Jonathan Rosenbaum

Read More: Chicago Reader


Central to the film's success is a riveting, unfussy performance from Robbins. Freeman has the showier role, allowing him a grace and dignity that come naturally.

90 | Richard Schickel

[Darabont] makes you feel the maddening pace of prison time without letting his picture succumb to it.
Read More: Time

90 | Rita Kempley

Read More: Washington Post

89 | Marc Savlov

At times poignant, joyful, and terrifying, Shawshank Redemption is an altogether brilliant movie and the debut of an equally brilliant director.
Read More: Austin Chronicle

88 | James Berardinelli

Whitmore's Brooks is a brilliantly-realized character, and the scenes with him attempting to cope with life outside of Shawshank represents one of the film's most moving -- and effective -- sequences.
Read More: ReelViews

88 | Roger Ebert

If the film is perhaps a little slow in its middle passages, maybe that is part of the idea, too, to give us a sense of the leaden passage of time, before the glory of the final redemption.
Read More: Chicago Sun-Times

75 | Peter Stack

Some of "The Shawshank Redemption'' comes across as outrageously improbable. Yet the film keeps pulling you back with its sense of striving humanity slowly turning the tables against evil.
Read More: San Francisco Chronicle

70 | Staff (Not credited)

A crowd-pleasing story that has little to do with the messy complexities of reality.
Read More: TV Guide Magazine

67 | Owen Gleiberman

Shouldering a laconic-good-guy, neo- Gary Cooper role, Robbins never quite makes emotional contact with the audience.
Read More: Entertainment Weekly

40 | Desson Thomson

Speaking of jail, "Shawshank"-the-movie seems to last about half a life sentence. The story, chiefly about the 20-year friendship between Freeman and Robbins, becomes incarcerated in its own labyrinthine sentimentality.
Read More: Washington Post