User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 931 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 57 out of 931
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  1. Dec 19, 2014
    10
    What happens with "the Godfather" happens with "The Shawshank Redemption". Must watch it before and you die and it's impossible that you'll hate this one.
    Morgan Freeman brings to the audience possibly the best performance of his career.
    With Roger Deakins' cinematography and Thomas Newman's score, this might be the best prison-drama inthe history of cinema. Absolutely remarkable.
  2. Feb 3, 2015
    10
    What movie has love, murder, hatred, friendship, corruption. hope, hopelessness, suicide, revenge, injustice and justice all wrapped in a fantastic 2 1/2 hour adventure? Best movie ever!!
  3. Mar 7, 2015
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The greatest movie i have ver seen. it hits so many emotions . love , struggle and pain. One of the best movies of all time. Don't deprive yourself of the pleasure of watching such a stellar movie. Go now and watch this movie if you have never seen it. Perfect casting, amazing story, emotional performances. Just perfect. Expand
  4. Mar 19, 2015
    10
    Before I start, I have to say whatever I say doesn't speak enough to how good this movie is. The story...thank you so much Mr. Stephen King, you have literally influenced millions who have seen this to pursue life in a different way. (not going into it to avoid any spoiler)

    If you haven't seen this and your friends have probably teased and bullied you for not watching it... they are so
    Before I start, I have to say whatever I say doesn't speak enough to how good this movie is. The story...thank you so much Mr. Stephen King, you have literally influenced millions who have seen this to pursue life in a different way. (not going into it to avoid any spoiler)

    If you haven't seen this and your friends have probably teased and bullied you for not watching it... they are so right because not watching this is hindering your next step in a more mature life. People, it's not that Morgan Freeman is in it (YES He's famous for a reason and this is one of them) but the plot is the greatest element of this movie as all movies should be.

    I'll cut to the music score first as I am a music kinda guy, and of course as one of the greatest movies of all time the music itself heavily impacts the movie. You really won't be disappointed unless you're very into movies that have a lot action and splitting plot twists.

    This is a straightforward movie that has no BS and it shows that humanity is still alive in a world that refuses to have any. This is okay i guess to watch alone but I like watching movies with friends as you might quote this movie for a very long time. However, don't invite that annoying person that ruins movies. Let him watch it alone
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  5. Mar 25, 2015
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. How does this movie score an 80? Are you kidding me? Apparently these '' Critics '' aren't fans of Astonishing Nostalgic masterpieces. This movie will always be the G.O.A.T. Simply because of the power of friendship and hope outweighs everything. Expand
  6. Apr 30, 2015
    10
    The greatest movie based on a novel by Stephen King, its an emotional story about the triumph of the human spirit with lots of depth in story its one of those rare movies were innocence prevails even when in prison where you face your redemption, a movie that shouts for freedom and is as exhilarating and suspenseful since the day its release, standing among films from Citizen Kane to theThe greatest movie based on a novel by Stephen King, its an emotional story about the triumph of the human spirit with lots of depth in story its one of those rare movies were innocence prevails even when in prison where you face your redemption, a movie that shouts for freedom and is as exhilarating and suspenseful since the day its release, standing among films from Citizen Kane to the Godfather its a rare screen gem that is not to be missed!
    A A+ film with lots of valuable life lessons and an important certified masterpiece, with lots of great performances
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  7. Apr 10, 2015
    9
    Enquanto demoro pra assistir tantos filmes dos anos 80/90, The Shawshank Redemption (Um Sonho De Liberdade) chamou-me diversas vezes para uma visita, seja em canais de redes sociais ou por críticas positivas de amigos. Um Sonho De Liberdade é uma estória de amizade, amizade do meu contato com a obra e de amizade entre Dufresne e Red, dois tipos de personagem tão conhecidos quantoEnquanto demoro pra assistir tantos filmes dos anos 80/90, The Shawshank Redemption (Um Sonho De Liberdade) chamou-me diversas vezes para uma visita, seja em canais de redes sociais ou por críticas positivas de amigos. Um Sonho De Liberdade é uma estória de amizade, amizade do meu contato com a obra e de amizade entre Dufresne e Red, dois tipos de personagem tão conhecidos quanto complexos. Dufresne tão presente nas películas mais recentes, esguio, introvertido e ousado (ou imprevisível). Red, o desacreditado em viver e se sentir livre, mas disposto a questionar. A química dos dois personagens é tão crível quanto romântica; em parte credencio a intensidade dessa relação em mais uma atuação irretocável de Morgan Freeman. Além destes personagens destaco o ritmo do filme, carregado por um drama clássico, porém completamente livre das amarras de um título homogêneo, enquanto emociona, Um Sonho De Liberdade provoca o riso, a tensão e provoca as mais diversas teorias nos espectadores. Expand
  8. Apr 17, 2015
    10
    Not my favourite movie, but I have to admit... it is the best movie ever! And don't tell me "godfather" and that kind of movies because this is the most incredible story of friendship and redemption. I love Frank Darabont and for me, all of his movies are the best ever. The Mist, Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption are 3 movies that any director wanna do.
  9. Apr 19, 2015
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.

    One writer on IMDB made the comment that the best movies "touch the soul." Shawshank Redemption achieves greatness, indeed perfection, not because of special effects or action or violence or any semblance of distraction. It achieves greatness because it touches the soul with a straightforward cinematic experience filled with brilliant dialogue, exemplary performances and a message of hope in the midst of the darkest of times. It is a message that resonates deeply and grows more intense with each subsequent viewing of the film.

    The first time I viewed Shawshank Redemption I didn't find it to be anything special. Sure, stars Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman were good BUT their performances weren't anything special...or so I thought at the time.

    Frank Darabont directs Shawshank Redemption with a gentle, guiding hand allowing the actors to discover the essence within their characters. Some actors, undoubtedly, would not be up to the task. Robbins and Freeman, however, are not "some actors." They are consummate actors and masterful in their portrayals here.

    Based upon Stephen King's novella, Darabont creates a film that never buys into the drama of its story, instead choosing to present the lives of the characters involved without histrionics. I have long felt, in fact, that the film may even improve upon the novella by bringing it into focus and providing it with a pacing that allows a more explicit character development.

    I have noticed that many of my favorite films are ensemble pieces, and while Robbins and Freeman shine here it is actually the entire cast that brings this story to life with such grace and beauty. Supporting performances by the likes of James Whitmore, William Sadler, Gil Bellows and others who take what could be caricatures and give them in-depth personalities and thoughts and feelings.

    Thomas Newman's score is supremely divine and changes along with the characters. It further enhances Darabont's pacing, as well. There are so many memorable scenes in Shawshank Redemption, however, the closing scene is certainly among one of the best closing scenes ever witnessed.

    It is hard to fathom that a "prison" movie could be a source of tremendous hope, light and inspiration. Yet, to call Shawshank Redemption a prison movie is to minimize its greatness. It is a brilliant film, a study of humanity in all its wonder AND it happens to take place within the confines of a prison.

    Moving, brilliant, inspirational, hopeful and empowering are all words that describe "The Shawshank Redemption." With outstanding performances from its ensemble cast and a work of tremendous cinematic poetry by director Frank Darabont. "Shawshank Redemption" creates a stellar vision that teaches, challenges, inspires and evokes a wide array of emotions and thoughts that serves to remind us that in the darkest moments of our lives there is always a light that shines within.
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  10. Apr 19, 2015
    9
    US Lawyer is sent to Shawshank prison for life, charts his experiences, friendships and influences on the prison whilst maintaining his innocence.

    This movie is based on a novella by Stephen King, but don't let that put you off. It's not a horror film, rather a thumpingly good ode to friendship, hope, wit, wiles and wisdom, brimming with crackling characters and topped with the most
    US Lawyer is sent to Shawshank prison for life, charts his experiences, friendships and influences on the prison whilst maintaining his innocence.

    This movie is based on a novella by Stephen King, but don't let that put you off. It's not a horror film, rather 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. Found guilty of killing his unfaithful wife and her lover in a fit of passion, sullen accountant Andy Dufresne (Robbins, casting off his goofball image to display more layers than the proverbial onion) is shipped to the gothic wind-swept corridors of the Shawshank State Prison for life. It is here the movie gracefully unfolds. With a beautifully rounded script, writer/director Darabont conjures up a spellbinding personal odyssey stretching through the years from 1946 to 1967.

    If you don't love Shawshank, chances are you're beyond redemption. :D
    Expand
  11. Apr 23, 2015
    9
    With a legion of titles like Pet Sematary, Firewalker, Sleepwalkers, Maximum Overdrive, and Children of the Corn, it's reasonable not to expect much from Stephen King-inspired motion pictures. Adaptations of the prolific author's work typically vary from mildly entertaining to virtually unwatchable. There are a few notable exceptions, however; two of which (Stand by Me, Misery) wereWith a legion of titles like Pet Sematary, Firewalker, Sleepwalkers, Maximum Overdrive, and Children of the Corn, it's reasonable not to expect much from Stephen King-inspired motion pictures. Adaptations of the prolific author's work typically vary from mildly entertaining to virtually unwatchable. There are a few notable exceptions, however; two of which (Stand by Me, Misery) were crafted by widely-respected director Rob Reiner. While The Shawshank Redemption is not a Reiner movie per se, it is a production of Castle Rock Pictures (Reiner's film company), and ranks among the best filmed versions of any King stories to date. (This statement has not changed since I first wrote it in 1994.)

    Filmed on location in a disused Ohio prison, The Shawshank Redemption is set in a place of perpetual dreariness. What little color there is, is drab and lifeless (lots of grays and muted greens and blues), and there are times when the film is a shade away from black-and-white (give credit to cinematographer Roger Deakins, a longtime Cohen brothers collaborator). It's ironic, therefore, that the central messages are of hope, redemption, and salvation.

    First time feature director Frank Darabont helms a fleet of impressive performances. Tim Robbins, as Andrew Dufresne, plays the wrongly convicted man with quiet dignity. Andy's ire is internal; he doesn't rant about his situation or the corruptness of the system that has imprisoned him. His unwillingness to surrender hope wins him the admiration of some and the contempt of others, and allows the audience to identify with him that much more strongly.

    Ellis Boyd Redding (Morgan Freeman), or "Red" as his friends call him, is the self-proclaimed "Sears and Roebuck" of the Shawshank Prison (for a price, he can get just about anything from the outside). His is the narrative voice and, for once, the disembodied words aid, rather than intrude upon, the story. Serving a life sentence for murder, Red is a mixture of cynicism and sincerity - a man with a good soul who has done a vile deed. His friendship with Andy is one of The Shawshank Redemption's highlights.

    Unfortunately, following a solid two hours of thought-provoking drama, the movie deflates like a punctured balloon during its overlong denouement. The too-predictable final twenty minutes move a little slowly, and writer/director Darabont exposes a distressing need to wrap up everything into a tidy little package.

    "Salvation lies within," advises Warden Norton at one point. It is the presentation of this theme that makes The Shawshank Redemption unique. Prison movies often focus on the violence and hopelessness of a life behind bars. While this film includes those elements, it makes them peripheral. The Shawshank Redemption is all about hope and, because of that, watching it is both uplifting and cathartic.
    Expand
  12. May 6, 2015
    9
    With a legion of titles like Pet Sematary, Firewalker, Sleepwalkers, Maximum Overdrive, and Children of the Corn, it's reasonable not to expect much from Stephen King-inspired motion pictures. Adaptations of the prolific author's work typically vary from mildly entertaining to virtually unwatchable. There are a few notable exceptions, however; two of which (Stand by Me, Misery) wereWith a legion of titles like Pet Sematary, Firewalker, Sleepwalkers, Maximum Overdrive, and Children of the Corn, it's reasonable not to expect much from Stephen King-inspired motion pictures. Adaptations of the prolific author's work typically vary from mildly entertaining to virtually unwatchable. There are a few notable exceptions, however; two of which (Stand by Me, Misery) were crafted by widely-respected director Rob Reiner. While The Shawshank Redemption is not a Reiner movie per se, it is a production of Castle Rock Pictures (Reiner's film company), and ranks among the best filmed versions of any King stories to date. (This statement has not changed since I first wrote it in 1994.)

    Spanning the years from 1947 through 1966, The Shawshank Redemption takes the "innocent man in prison" theme and bends it at a different angle. Instead of focusing on crusades for freedom, the movie ventures down a less-traveled road, concentrating on the personal cost of adapting to prison life and how some convicts, once they conform, lose the ability to survive beyond the barbed wire and iron bars. As one of the characters puts it: "These [prison] walls are funny. First you hate them, then you get used to them, then you start to depend on them."

    Filmed on location in a disused Ohio prison, The Shawshank Redemption is set in a place of perpetual dreariness. What little color there is, is drab and lifeless (lots of grays and muted greens and blues), and there are times when the film is a shade away from black-and-white (give credit to cinematographer Roger Deakins, a longtime Cohen brothers collaborator). It's ironic, therefore, that the central messages are of hope, redemption, and salvation.

    First time feature director Frank Darabont helms a fleet of impressive performances. Tim Robbins, as Andrew Dufresne, plays the wrongly convicted man with quiet dignity. Andy's ire is internal; he doesn't rant about his situation or the corruptness of the system that has imprisoned him. His unwillingness to surrender hope wins him the admiration of some and the contempt of others, and allows the audience to identify with him that much more strongly.

    Unfortunately, following a solid two hours of thought-provoking drama, the movie deflates like a punctured balloon during its overlong denouement. The too-predictable final twenty minutes move a little slowly, and writer/director Darabont exposes a distressing need to wrap up everything into a tidy little package.

    "Salvation lies within," advises Warden Norton at one point. It is the presentation of this theme that makes The Shawshank Redemption unique. Prison movies often focus on the violence and hopelessness of a life behind bars. While this film includes those elements, it makes them peripheral. The Shawshank Redemption is all about hope and, because of that, watching it is both uplifting and cathartic.
    Expand
  13. May 9, 2015
    9
    With a legion of titles like Pet Sematary, Firewalker, Sleepwalkers, Maximum Overdrive, and Children of the Corn, it's reasonable not to expect much from Stephen King-inspired motion pictures. Adaptations of the prolific author's work typically vary from mildly entertaining to virtually unwatchable. There are a few notable exceptions, however; two of which (Stand by Me, Misery) wereWith a legion of titles like Pet Sematary, Firewalker, Sleepwalkers, Maximum Overdrive, and Children of the Corn, it's reasonable not to expect much from Stephen King-inspired motion pictures. Adaptations of the prolific author's work typically vary from mildly entertaining to virtually unwatchable. There are a few notable exceptions, however; two of which (Stand by Me, Misery) were crafted by widely-respected director Rob Reiner. While The Shawshank Redemption is not a Reiner movie per se, it is a production of Castle Rock Pictures (Reiner's film company), and ranks among the best filmed versions of any King stories to date. (This statement has not changed since I first wrote it in 1994.)

    Spanning the years from 1947 through 1966, The Shawshank Redemption takes the "innocent man in prison" theme and bends it at a different angle. Instead of focusing on crusades for freedom, the movie ventures down a less-traveled road, concentrating on the personal cost of adapting to prison life and how some convicts, once they conform, lose the ability to survive beyond the barbed wire and iron bars. As one of the characters puts it: "These [prison] walls are funny. First you hate them, then you get used to them, then you start to depend on them."

    Filmed on location in a disused Ohio prison, The Shawshank Redemption is set in a place of perpetual dreariness. What little color there is, is drab and lifeless (lots of grays and muted greens and blues), and there are times when the film is a shade away from black-and-white (give credit to cinematographer Roger Deakins, a longtime Cohen brothers collaborator). It's ironic, therefore, that the central messages are of hope, redemption, and salvation.

    First time feature director Frank Darabont helms a fleet of impressive performances. Tim Robbins, as Andrew Dufresne, plays the wrongly convicted man with quiet dignity. Andy's ire is internal; he doesn't rant about his situation or the corruptness of the system that has imprisoned him. His unwillingness to surrender hope wins him the admiration of some and the contempt of others, and allows the audience to identify with him that much more strongly.

    Ultimately, the standout actor is the venerable James Whitmore, doing his finest work in years. 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.

    Unfortunately, following a solid two hours of thought-provoking drama, the movie deflates like a punctured balloon during its overlong denouement. The too-predictable final twenty minutes move a little slowly, and writer/director Darabont exposes a distressing need to wrap up everything into a tidy little package.

    "Salvation lies within," advises Warden Norton at one point. It is the presentation of this theme that makes The Shawshank Redemption unique. Prison movies often focus on the violence and hopelessness of a life behind bars. While this film includes those elements, it makes them peripheral. The Shawshank Redemption is all about hope and, because of that, watching it is both uplifting and cathartic.
    Expand
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. 90
    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.
  2. Gripping...compelling.
  3. 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.