Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 835 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Wrongly convicted, Andy Dufresne (Robbins) is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in in Maine's Shawshank prison for the murders of his wife and her lover. Set in the 1940's, the film shows how Andy learns to get by in the brutal confines of prison, even earning the respect of hisWrongly convicted, Andy Dufresne (Robbins) is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in in Maine's Shawshank prison for the murders of his wife and her lover. Set in the 1940's, the film shows how Andy learns to get by in the brutal confines of prison, even earning the respect of his fellow inmates, most notably the longtime convict "Red" Redding (Freeman). Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    100
    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."
  2. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    90
    Central to the film's success is a riveting, unfussy performance from Robbins. Freeman has the showier role, allowing him a grace and dignity that come naturally.
  3. There are times when The Shawshank Redemption comes dangerously close to sounding one of those "triumph of the spirit" notes. But most of it is eloquently restrained. [23 Sept 1994, p.C3]
  4. As the uptight banker, Robbins does some of his subtlest acting to date. As his hardened but resilient friend, Freeman is simply miraculous, giving the role so much depth, dignity, and good humor that you feel that you've known this man forever. [27 Sept 1994]
  5. 88
    If the film is perhaps a little slow in its middle passages, maybe that is part of the idea, too, to give us a sense of the leaden passage of time, before the glory of the final redemption.
  6. 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.
  7. Speaking of jail, "Shawshank"-the-movie seems to last about half a life sentence. The story, chiefly about the 20-year friendship between Freeman and Robbins, becomes incarcerated in its own labyrinthine sentimentality.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 173
  1. 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
    "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.
    Expand
  2. 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 filmingShawshank 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. Expand
  3. 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 ifOne 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. chw
    Jul 18, 2014
    10
    The Shawshank Redemption is a very excellent film that is written and directed by Frank Darabont, the man behind The Green Mile and TheThe Shawshank Redemption is a very excellent film that is written and directed by Frank Darabont, the man behind The Green Mile and The Walking Dead, and based on a short story by Stephen King. Expand
  5. 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 MorganDear 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. Expand
  6. SophieB
    Oct 7, 2007
    10
    This is my favourite movie of all time. I absolutely adore it.
  7. QuinnC.
    Nov 25, 2007
    0
    Freeman is 'red' freedom character searching for nothing but to pace his life in prison. Robins is a robin hood who does more Freeman is 'red' freedom character searching for nothing but to pace his life in prison. Robins is a robin hood who does more strength than the hero, he becomes a prisoner, also a librarian, teacher, friend, and smart banker who reads books. These two characters start off and end off by learning how to live trying and die trying. I do not enjoy a film that drags on, bores, and tells a message with bad wording, a bad script, and badly done lesson, that prisoners get the rights to do many things than sit in a rotting cell and eat disgusting food all day. Expand

See all 173 User Reviews

Trailers

Related Articles

  1. The Least Deserving Best Picture Winners Since 1990

    The Least Deserving Best Picture Winners Since 1990 Image
    Published: February 22, 2011
    With this year's Oscars rapidly approaching, we look back at ten best picture winners from the past two decades that seem like questionable choices today, and see which great films were snubbed as a result.