Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
  1. So moving, so memorable, so magically produced, it's going to delight millions of movie fans and sweep the Oscars.
  2. 90
    Above all a cracking good yarn that earns its laughter, its wonder and its tears.
  3. 88
    As Darabont directs it, it tells a story with beginning, middle, end, vivid characters, humor, outrage and emotional release. Dickensian.
  4. A reminder of just how good Hollywood storytelling can be.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 259 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 60 out of 63
  2. Negative: 2 out of 63
  1. Nov 26, 2011
    It makes me angry to see many low scores from critics, this is probably one of the best and most emotional movies I have ever watched.
  2. Aug 17, 2011
    I watched this for the third time yesterday, the thing that one critic pointed out is that this film has something extremely rare: soul. This is the most emotional movie I have ever seen, it's not just a drama movie with plot twists and unexpected tragedies; it has extremely lovable and disliked characters. Characters that we connect with, and when anything happens to them in the movie we feel like crying our guts out. It's also bound to make you take a different look on the use of the electric chair, and there are many other underlying themes and subjects with this movie. This film is a 3 hour experience that will change your mental attitude completely, highly recommended movie. 5/5 stars Full Review »
  3. theresam
    May 2, 2009
    Thought-provoking and emotional dynamite!