The Green Mile


Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36

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Critic Reviews

  1. TNT RoughCut
    Reviewed by: Christopher Brandon
    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. New York Post
    Reviewed by: Jonathan Foreman
    A reminder of just how good Hollywood storytelling can be.
  5. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    Darabont follows King's book fairly closely, allowing the audience to steep itself in the setting and characters slowly, like reading a good novel.
  6. 78
    A touching (and at times horrific) -- albeit overlong -- Christ allegory, that scores not so much on the strength of its convictions as it does on the truly remarkable performances it elicits from the cast.
  7. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    There's almost too much there, but the three-hour-plus film permits the kind of detailing that not only brings the storytelling to life, but sometimes persuades us we're breathing to its rhythms.
  8. Portland Oregonian
    Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    An often pedestrian film, one that never inflates to the epic grandeur to which it aspires or transfers its own emotional trajectory off the screen and into the viewer.
  9. Excessive, but I, like Mr. Jingles, can't resist the Christmas-season cheese.
  10. Miami Herald
    Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    A very engrossing movie, the kind that gives shameless manipulation a good name.
  11. Has a simple but exceptionally powerful and uplifting emotional lure.
  12. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Well acted by an ensemble that leans toward equality for all, Mile carries its long running time extremely well.
  13. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Michael Wilmington
    On many levels, it hits its marks -- but it still misses the impact of some shorter, less-ambitious movies that play with our emotions more deftly or deeply, walk their miles, deadly or not, with a lighter, faster, more confident tread.
  14. A film with a counterproductive tendency to take its time...but unassumingly strong, moving performances and Darabont's durable storytelling make it a trip worth taking just the same.
  15. From its deceptively easygoing beginning to the heart-wrenching finale, The Green Mile keeps you wonderfully high above the cynical ground.
  16. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    An intermittently powerful and meticulously crafted drama that falls short of its full potential due to considerable over-length and some shopworn, simplistic notions at its center.
  17. Mr. Showbiz
    Reviewed by: Kevin Maynard
    This jailhouse jam is quite a haul.
  18. Philadelphia Inquirer
    Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Surely a life sentence goes by quicker.
  19. Modest, on-the-money performances, which look effortless because they're so meticulously thought out, make the hours fly by.
  20. A loud and ghastly movie to sit through and not short on gratuitous hideousness, but Darabont has also done his best to baste it with humanity and sweetness.
  21. 60
    A fascinating tragedy, easy to underrate.
  22. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    I still feel pushed around by Darabont's mysticism, and his overbearing sense of grandness; a little bit of the Mile goes a long way.
  23. Rolling Stone
    Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    But just watch Hanks, with the effortless grace of a Jimmy Stewart, turn the loony into something sweetly logical. Now that is magic.
  24. 60
    Much of the three-hour movie takes place in the prison, but the resonant characterization, expansive plotting, and judicious use of exterior locations and flashbacks remove any sense of claustrophobia or sluggishness.
  25. Its view of spiritual healing is closer to Spielberg fantasy than religious insight. Still, its good acting and good intentions will be enough to please many viewers.
  26. Reviewed by: Tom Keogh
    Simply a case of severe overreaching and the illusion that an overstuffed movie is an epic movie.
  27. Time
    Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    At the core, though, one finds a slacky, sappy film. The human mystery that breathed so easily in "Shawshank" is often forced here.
  28. A shameless "Shawshank" redux.
  29. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Superficially respectful but ultimately cruel.
  30. Three hours of overstatement and schmaltz.
  31. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    While writer-director Frank Darabont often fails to make King's story plausible, that's no fault of the actors. The performances are the movie's strong suit.
  32. Irritatingly repetitious and piled high with long-foreseen conclusions.
  33. Moves with the suffocating deliberateness of a river of molasses.
  34. Baltimore Sun
    Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    With a grating combination of naivete and arrogance, The Green Mile consistently overplays its melodramatic material, including a portrait of a black man that is as breathtakingly offensive as it is earnest.
  35. Newsweek
    Reviewed by: David Ansen
    A lumbering, self-important three-hour melodrama that defies credibility at every turn.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 389 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 78
  2. Negative: 2 out of 78
  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. ThisI 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. Dec 30, 2013
    This film is Pander. Period.
    Basically, it starts and ends without questioning death penalty. Death penalty is barbaric for MY culture, and
    This film is Pander. Period.
    Basically, it starts and ends without questioning death penalty. Death penalty is barbaric for MY culture, and the behavior of the characters never seems realistic to me. The horrible system behind death row is depicted in a mitigate, sweetened way. There's no room for compassion in death penalty as shown in the film, and this film is basically offensive solely for the way the characters are behaving.
    Second: nothing is believable. Clearly is a fantasy drama, but still as the stereotyped characters (bad people are bad without a reason, they are simply mad. Good people are in fact not really good, but seam dumb and ataraxic, resulting in unlovable characters). The main character is basically a scary black giant who cries all the time. Very easy way to provoke reactions in the viewer is to show him something which he's unconsciously scared off while enforcing this unconscious fear with clever direction. Incidentally this unconscious fear is based on a black stupid strong man stereotype overlapped by the boogeyman figure. I'm a caucasian european man and i find this VERY offensive.
    The whole story, in the end, is based on emotional tricks. (the *spoiler* bad death scene is traumatic and unnecessary, at least as it is shown). Giving strong emotions to people based on meaningless story or characters is a cheat.
    This film is bad. I couldn't expect this since the reviews are so high. But i found this film ruffian, manipulative and ultimately ugly.
    Full Review »