User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 930 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 57 out of 930
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  1. Dec 30, 2010
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. So, so, so good. The adaptation of the Stephen King novel is so entertaining, filled with interesting dialogue and plot twists. A pretty much perfect prison film. Great performances by Robbins and Freeman. One moment really got to me: the moment when Andy crawls out of the sewer tunnel and stares up at the sky in the rain. Such a glorious moment of triumph, I wanted to stand up and scream "Yes!". This movie truly depicted that prison life in the fifties was just as hard for new prisoners as it is implied today. The movie didn't sugar coat Andy's prison life. A great movie full of great writing and performances that the first time you watch it, it will instantly be fortified as a great movie classic. Expand
  2. Nov 3, 2010
    10
    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.
  3. Sep 9, 2012
    10
    This is my all time favorite movie. Great story of redemption and justice.
  4. Sep 27, 2012
    10
    Shawshank Redemption is easily one of the best movies I have ever seen in my life. The movie has a great message to it, the acting and filming were fantastic.
  5. Jan 17, 2013
    10
    Very good movie. There are no words to describe how good this movie is.
  6. Apr 29, 2013
    10
    Before, I never understood why this movie was #1 on the imdb top 250s list, but now i understand why. This movie was a beautifully crafted story on friendship, redemption and hope. The storyline was really well-crafted, and putting in these unforgettable characters made it even better. From Red to Andy to Norton, they we're all just wonderful and enjoyable characters, especially Red andBefore, I never understood why this movie was #1 on the imdb top 250s list, but now i understand why. This movie was a beautifully crafted story on friendship, redemption and hope. The storyline was really well-crafted, and putting in these unforgettable characters made it even better. From Red to Andy to Norton, they we're all just wonderful and enjoyable characters, especially Red and Andy. The relationship between those two is what really holds the balance of the movie. And putting in characters such as Warden Norton and Captain Hadley makes the story riveting and (in a sense) dark. It's not like any other movie out there. Overall, it's a classic Stephen King story. Collapse
  7. Apr 14, 2013
    10
    The best. Astonishing. Superb. Well-acted, well-directed movie by one of my favorite directors was supposed to win much more awards. It deserved much more attention at the time but, no matter at all. Day by day people know it, understand it and realize it.
  8. Nov 12, 2013
    10
    "HOPE IS A GOOD THING. MAYBE THE BEST OF THINGS. AND NO GOOD THING EVER DIES"

    Casting was spotty, with Tim Robbins a great choice for the lead character, Dufresne. Robbins maintains viewer interest anytime he is the focus of attention, unfortunately a lot of the screen time is devoted to the narrator, “Red,” (Morgan Freeman) who drops pearls of cracker barrel wisdom a la Waylon
    "HOPE IS A GOOD THING. MAYBE THE BEST OF THINGS. AND NO GOOD THING EVER DIES"

    Casting was spotty, with Tim Robbins a great choice for the lead character, Dufresne. Robbins maintains viewer interest anytime he is the focus of attention, unfortunately a lot of the screen time is devoted to the narrator, “Red,” (Morgan Freeman) who drops pearls of cracker barrel wisdom a la Waylon Jennings’ narration of The Dukes of Hazzard. Morgan Freeman, while a decent enough actor in no way can stimulate my interest for very long with his bland, long-winded, homespun observations on the Dufresne character and prison life in general. I feel that Freeman’s performance was not strong enough to carry the amount of screen time assigned by the director. Bob Gunton, as Warden Norton the bible thumping hypocrite who runs Shawshank is a great asset to the film with his sly characterization of the unlikable tyrant. One of the best supporting roles I’ve seen lately was essayed by James Whitmore, as Brooks, the librarian at Shawshank. Brooks had a pet crow, much like the animal character Mr. Jingles Darabont used in The Green Mile. Brooks was released from Shawshank after about a half-century. Unfortunately, he was unable to adapt to life on the outside.
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  9. Nov 28, 2012
    10
    What to say about the "Shawshank Redemption"? I shouldn't really have to say anything because when most people hear about it, they already have a pretty good idea of how incredible it is. This movie is freakin' immaculate. Darabont and Co. have created not only the most inspiring film in ages, but one of the most emotionally significant films to date. The movie teaches things to us that weWhat to say about the "Shawshank Redemption"? I shouldn't really have to say anything because when most people hear about it, they already have a pretty good idea of how incredible it is. This movie is freakin' immaculate. Darabont and Co. have created not only the most inspiring film in ages, but one of the most emotionally significant films to date. The movie teaches things to us that we need to know - messages on hope, perserverance, and friendship - and it does it with marvelous eloquency. By far, one of the greatest films I have ever seen - a master work of art. Expand
  10. Nov 8, 2013
    10
    Such a strong narrative. All the ingredients of what makes a good drama in the right proportions. The goodness inside people in the most Godforsaken places, and the moral corruption some of us could suffer from if given power over condemned people.

    You have to make your own mind about Andy, whether he is innocent or not. He believes so, but all evidence points to the contrary. Robbins
    Such a strong narrative. All the ingredients of what makes a good drama in the right proportions. The goodness inside people in the most Godforsaken places, and the moral corruption some of us could suffer from if given power over condemned people.

    You have to make your own mind about Andy, whether he is innocent or not. He believes so, but all evidence points to the contrary. Robbins plays him in a subtle, laid-back manner. He's hard to figure out. Then there is Red, played by the masterful Freeman, who is in for the long haul and doesn't know if he is ever going to breathe free air again. These two characters make the heart and soul of the movie.

    There may be a message here. Without being overt, we sense as the years of these men's lives are wasted before our eyes, especially Andy since you can't really figure out if he is guilty or not. But the ways he finds to engage himself, do something good.

    There is plenty of humour and the drama never exceeds the limit where it might become painful. The action is sparse and is shown in an expository fashion. The tone is objective. And Freeman's voice guides you through every scene. The camera angles used, and the overall cinematography was genius. It was like being guided though a maze by an expert in the field. The dialogue was crisp and refreshing. The score quiet and unobtrusive. The world created, or in this case just the prison, seemed so real and complete. You could feel the inmates' emotions related to the place.

    All this may give the impression that it may be hard to sit through it, but quite surprisingly, like all great movies, despite the deep, absorbing discussions about life, the movie speeds through from scene to scene without effort. I had the feeling I have when I'm reading an especially engrossing novel I cannot put down. I guess this is what happens when the work of great directors, screenwriters and cinematographers fuses to deliver a product that exceeds anything that a single department could achieve at its best. This one did not just have effort put into it but also soul.
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  11. May 24, 2015
    10
    This movie is the best movie ever (in my opinion). It is not too long, great character development and was made brilliantly. This movie will age well. It may not be a classic to some people but it is.
  12. Sep 10, 2011
    9
    "Shawshank Redemption", a sensational movie containing a strong plot, powerful performances, and the ultimate theme of good and evil, is a masterpiece.
  13. Aug 27, 2010
    10
    This movie makes being cliche look badass, and is so well constructed on top of that, you pretty much have to give it credit as one of the movie masterpieces of our time. But seriously, it's not the greatest movie ever made *cough*imdb*cough*
  14. Jun 18, 2012
    10
    The Shawshank Redemption tells us about friendship and loyalty in a context where nobody can trust anyone because, as we know, in the prisons the fittest are the stronger ones. Our best friend today can be our worst enemy tomorrow. Moreover, it is one of those movies that makes clear how far an intelligent man can go. Only the most cynical can remain indifferent!
  15. May 2, 2011
    10
    One of my favorite movies of all time. One of the best feel good movies around and also a dramatic masterpiece. A nice break from the horror adaptations of Stephen Kings books.
  16. Dec 27, 2011
    10
    One of the greatest prison movies of all time (along with The Green Mile), and one of the greatest movies of all time in General. The performances are stellar, the plot is sensational and moving. The Shawshank Redemption is Morgan Freeman's masterpiece. As the cover says, "Fear can hold you prisoner, hope can set you free."
  17. Nov 14, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Bottom Line: #1-ranked masterpiece on IMDbâ Expand
  18. Jul 21, 2012
    10
    Epic win! Every time I watch it I still get nervous during the roof scene, the beatings, and the escape. This film pulls you into another place and time and it creates a memory that you can revisit. Perfection.
  19. Aug 25, 2010
    10
    its completely flawless!!! after watching this movie recently on my computer, i cried. i cried not because it was sad, but because it was suck a beautiful and perfect movie. i really dont see why it didnt get best picture, i will admit that forrest gump was a very good movie that i almost cried from watching (because it was sad), but its not better than shawshank. there was 1 thing thatits completely flawless!!! after watching this movie recently on my computer, i cried. i cried not because it was sad, but because it was suck a beautiful and perfect movie. i really dont see why it didnt get best picture, i will admit that forrest gump was a very good movie that i almost cried from watching (because it was sad), but its not better than shawshank. there was 1 thing that the movie didnt need (Brooks out of jail), but it did add a new and important theme, so i guess i take that back. yea, this movie is perfect Expand
  20. Aug 23, 2010
    10
    Banker gets two life sentences for killing his wife & her lover, quiet in jail, gets beaten up, makes friends with "fixer", does the books for the guards, upsets prison boss, prison boss makes things unpleasant....
    Terrific film which I had never seen all the way through. Quality acting throughout from all the cast (Clancy Brown is scary whatever he plays) & it really does drag you in from
    Banker gets two life sentences for killing his wife & her lover, quiet in jail, gets beaten up, makes friends with "fixer", does the books for the guards, upsets prison boss, prison boss makes things unpleasant....
    Terrific film which I had never seen all the way through. Quality acting throughout from all the cast (Clancy Brown is scary whatever he plays) & it really does drag you in from the start.
    It's funny, tragic & heart warming, very well written & a film you could go back to again & again.
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  21. Oct 7, 2011
    10
    Probably one of the best films I have ever seen in my young life. Giving this a 10 won't do it justice. The Shawshank Redemption is just pure story telling at its best. No wasted moments and no pause of time ,just absolute, pure narrative. The cast is perfect with Morgan Freeman as Red completely stealing the show with his soothing narration style while Tim Robbins gives out a really greatProbably one of the best films I have ever seen in my young life. Giving this a 10 won't do it justice. The Shawshank Redemption is just pure story telling at its best. No wasted moments and no pause of time ,just absolute, pure narrative. The cast is perfect with Morgan Freeman as Red completely stealing the show with his soothing narration style while Tim Robbins gives out a really great performance; a falsely convicted man who keeps it to himself. A film about hope and friendship in the toughest of situations, Shawshank is uplifting, provocative and awe inspiring. An absolute must watch. Expand
  22. Feb 3, 2011
    10
    I can see why people have voted this their all-time favourite movie. I was actually amazed that by the time the credits rolled at the end that I had been sitting there for over 2 hours. The time flied by very fast. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman were fantastic and were very convincing in their roles. Freeman's voiceovers throughout truly made me, as a viewer, understand what he and theI can see why people have voted this their all-time favourite movie. I was actually amazed that by the time the credits rolled at the end that I had been sitting there for over 2 hours. The time flied by very fast. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman were fantastic and were very convincing in their roles. Freeman's voiceovers throughout truly made me, as a viewer, understand what he and the other prisoners were feeling and going through. The story was adapted extremely well from Stephen King's novella and is a story in which many meanings can be taken from it. Easily a film that I will watch over and over again. Expand
  23. Feb 6, 2011
    10
    Wow. this movie is so good that i can't even describe it. How emotionally attached at the end of the film it almost made me cry. It is by far the best Morgan freeman movie ever. One of the greatest films of all time. They way that the director per-trades the way prison is is incredible. The way of how friendship is so powerful.
  24. Aug 11, 2012
    10
    This truly is a masterpiece. And not much more needs to be said than that. If you haven't seen this yet, you are missing out on one of filming's finest moments.
  25. Jul 25, 2012
    10
    A beautifully personal film with fantastic acting and a well crafted story makes this film deserved of all the praise it has received over the years. It really should have won Best Picture.
  26. Jul 6, 2011
    10
    Im not gonna claim this is the best movie ever made, but its close.
    The story sucks you in, and yes, it is quite a long movie but you really dont notice it at all. It grips you and doesnt let go until the very end.

    This is an absolute classic film and deserves to be seen by anyone even remotely interested in movies.
  27. Jan 9, 2012
    10
    The greatest movie set in a prison I've ever seen! Its full of courage from Tim Robbins to survive prison and no matter what the differences between him and Morgan Freeman and all the other prisoners, no matter what violence comes up, no matter their crimes, no matter what crazy or illegal things they have to do to survive prison, no matter what the warden does to Tim Robbins, togetherThe greatest movie set in a prison I've ever seen! Its full of courage from Tim Robbins to survive prison and no matter what the differences between him and Morgan Freeman and all the other prisoners, no matter what violence comes up, no matter their crimes, no matter what crazy or illegal things they have to do to survive prison, no matter what the warden does to Tim Robbins, together prison is awesome and they can redeem themselves. Movies like this show what would happen if prisoners accept people's differences and redeem themselves from their crimes and that's good thing because people don't need to act like idiots in prison. Despite the graphic violence in this movie in the beginning, Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman used friendship to forget prison and made each other good people and they were great people! Whoever does NOT like this movie is a bully and needs lighten up because this is a light-heart movie of teaching you the lessons of prison. Expand
  28. Aug 30, 2011
    10
    This movie is completely amazing, everything was perfect, and the ending, the way he escaped jail, just fantastic, original, awesome with great performances, Morgan Freeman just kicked ass in this film, Frank Darabont was able to write such an amazing story, so I' am very happy with the final result of this movie.
  29. Apr 6, 2012
    10
    Great movie with fantastic performances by Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. My all time favourite and a film that you will not easily forget. If ou really want a film whereas you gain a real connection to the characters than this is the film for you.
  30. Dec 15, 2011
    10
    Dear God what a film this, i watched this for the first time and the end was the best moment in a film ever. This film once again shows Morgan Freeman's immense talent.
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.