User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 778 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 28 out of 778

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  1. Jul 22, 2013
    I've never understood the love given to this pile of prison cliches. Yes, the leads are good actors, but that doesn't make the movie much better. I read an Esquire poll once that listed this as one of the male voters' top 10 movies of all time, and after the listing, Esquire wrote (huh?) couldn't agree more.
  2. Dec 13, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. In my opinion this movie is really overrated. No real emotional scenes and the worst part of this movie is its "Happy End" in its pink colors. I hardly rate it 4/10. Expand
  3. Sep 28, 2011
    I don't like the Shawshank Redemption. It's a bunch of guys sitting around in prison listening to classical music. Most of them, with the exception of the protagonist, are murderers and scumbags. I don't feel any sympathy for them. Then you get to the end and there's some hokey fairytale ending where the two guys meet up on some sunny picturesque beach and it's all smiles and rainbows and **** What's to like?

    Now, that doesn't mean I can't enjoy movies with people who've done bad things. There are plenty of anti-heroes in good films, like "Leon" for example. Or, The Professional if you will. The film was originally titled Leon in France but then changed to The Professional when it came over to America. I guess because they figured that American audiences wouldn't be interested in seeing a movie titled Leon, they'd just miss out on what the film was really about.

    I think the difference in something like "Leon" is that while he's an assassin for hire, he's only going out and killing other drug dealers and corrupt cops and people who are as vile or worse. There's a code he follows. So it's like the lesser of two evils, you can relate with him because he's better then the people he combats. Same with Batman, he's a vigilante and thus a criminal, but he follows a code and commits violence against those even worse then he is. While in Shawshank... the convicts are imprisoned for committing crimes against innocent people, we assume. We don't really find out the specific circumstances, but it's generally understood that these people were not committing crimes against even worse human beings.

    So this aura of reverence and love for the film has always mystified me. I'm not going to say it's a bad film. The cinematography and acting all seem fairly competent. But it just didn't do anything for me. I felt bored by it. And ya know, listening to people hyping it up to be one of the greatest films ever made didn't help either. It's number one on IMDB's top 250 greatest, for God's sake. And there're plenty of people out there who'll tell you it should've won Best Picture over Pulp Fiction and Forrest Gump. Me, I'm of the opinion Forrest Gump rightfully deserved the award. Forrest Gump, now there was a film that really moved me and touched me deep down inside.

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.