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The Shawshank Redemption
Year:
1994
Country:
USA
Genre:
Crime, Drama
IMDB rating:
9.3
Director:
Frank Darabont
Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne
Morgan Freeman as Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding
Bob Gunton as Warden Norton
William Sadler as Heywood
Clancy Brown as Captain Hadley
Gil Bellows as Tommy
Mark Rolston as Bogs Diamond
James Whitmore as Brooks Hatlen
Jeffrey DeMunn as 1946 D.A.
Neil Giuntoli as Jigger
Brian Libby as Floyd
David Proval as Snooze
Joseph Ragno as Ernie
Jude Ciccolella as Guard Mert
Joe Ragno as Ernie
Storyline: Chronicles the experiences of a formerly successful banker as a prisoner in the gloomy jailhouse of Shawshank after being found guilty of a crime he did not commit. The film portrays the man's unique way of dealing with his new, torturous life; along the way he befriends a number of fellow prisoners, most notably a wise long-term inmate named Red.
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Reviews
Graceful, intriguing Tim Robbins triumph
The Shawshank Redemption is in a league with Casablanca as a movie you can watch over and over, catching different nuances each time and bringing your own life experiences each time you watch it. Tim Robbins gives the performance of his career and this is the movie for which Morgan Freeman should have won an Oscar (a shame he had to wait for Million Dollar Baby.) There are many twists and turns and I defy anyone to watch the ending without tears running down their face. In fact, the entire last third of movie is filled with marvelous scenes. If there is any drawback to this movie, it is that it is a shade too long, meaning it's often butchered when it is shown with commercials on TV. Rent this, or better yet, buy it to get the full thrust of it. Definitely on my personal top 10.
2006-03-16
A bit overrated, but still an amazing film
It's times like these that almost tempt me to grab Jigsaw off the shelf. It's been almost a month since I saw a film that was flatout bad; the worst review I've given in weeks was a 6/10 to Flightplan. This film obviously didn't break my streak.

I went into it knowing next to nothing, only that IMDb has it ranked as the second best movie of all time, that it was based on a story by Stephen King, and that it took place in a prison. Needless to say, it blew me away. I wont say a thing about the plot, just so that others who've yet to see this film have a chance at the same experience as me. I will say this though: It has some of the most subtle and unexpected twists you will ever see. One in particular stands out above the rest.

Not much can be said about the actors that hasn't been said. Morgan Freeman gives one of the best performances of his career, and even though I've only seen 2 or 3 other Tim Robbins movies, I'm sure the same can be said for him.

Though I don't agree with the multitudes of people that call this the best movie ever made, it was still a very good, very well made, very entertaining and almost heartbreaking film.

9/10
2006-05-21
The absolute GREATEST movie of all time.
My life is forever changed due to this movie. It is a movie of hope, "redemption", and friendship. It shows a deep growing friendship between two prisoners, Andy and Red. They each are shown growing through their distinct hardships at Shawshank prison. As time passes, hope wanes but a flame burns bright in Andy. His hope and unrelentless nature carry over to his friend Red.

As Red's long stay in prison comes to an end he sees the light at the end of the tunnel. Andy has left it for him to see the way to freedom, and he follows it.

This film parallels my life and leaves me wondering if my advice will help somebody see the light. For some of those people time will tell. As for now I'll be patient to wait and see. Don't end up like Brooks, there will always be someone to help you out. There is someone out there that cares for you. Thank you Andy Dufresne, your hope is the flame of my life.
1998-10-21
As succinct as I can be
Occasionally you go into a cinema and all the films you wanted to see were full. As you've come this far and you're a bit of a film fan you go to see a film you've heard nothing about. I did this 6 years ago, with expectations low and a boredom threshold to match I sat and waited to be disappointed. 2 hours later I walked out of the cinema a different person, before I had not been moved by a film, I didn't care if : Indiana Jones made it, Sonny Corleone got wacked, Fred married Ginger, ET got home. Before, films were either plot driven or character driven, they were action or comedy, sad or happy, a few came along that combined a number of facets that I enjoyed, respected or challenged how I viewed an issue or a person.

Shawshank was different, there were characters I believed, not just one or two but virtually all. Throughout the first hour I was gripped the full range of emotions were explored, the second hour building on the characters was even more powerful, some characters came and went but ultimately this was a story of 2 people: Red and Andy. I have never seen a film that so eloquently and beautifully illustrates friendship and hope.

This has become the benchmark by which I judge all movies. I am pleased that I am not alone in feeling this way. I am glad that it did not win oscars as I feel individual endorsement is stronger than any vested interest award ceremony, I relish telling everyone this is my favourite film. I have seen it many times and will see it many more.

2000-04-23
One of my all time favorites.
This film is really an amazing movie timeless.

One of my all time favorites.

About the long-can write something in a movie.

Masters said everything I needed There is not yet aware of the movie and I watched it for people to watch I would like to invite.

Than You.

Shawshank Redemption is a very moving story about hope and the power of friendship. The cast is first rate with everyone giving a great performance. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman carry the movie, but Bob Gunton and Clancy Brown are perfect as the Warden Norton and prison guard captain Hadley respectively. And James Whitmore's portrayal of an elderly inmate Brooks is moving. The screenplay gives almost every actor at least one or more memorable lines through out the film. As well as a very surprising "twist" near the end that almost knocked me out of my chair. If you have not seen this movie rent it or better yet buy it. As I bet you'll want to see this one more than once.
2013-07-18
A beautifully crafted tale that underlines subjects that have been forgotten in modern films- friendship,hope, freedom
This film is a modern classic. Why? Because it simply includes everything which builds a great story, and that is all films really are, storytelling.

The concept of story telling can very easily be lost and forgotten in an industry that can sell cinema tickets by using special effects and employing world super stars like Tom Cruise. That may well be the easy option, but films that rely on pretty faces and big budgets will never be remembered. It is films like Shawshank that will lodge themselves into people hearts, and will be passed down by many generations.

This is because everyone that watches this film becomes a part of it. You are there, in that prison, suffering when Andy does, smiling when Andy does. Tim Robbins plays this part so well it could be classed in one of the best lead parts in a film ever. He is simply superb. Plus, Morgan Freeman, well, would we expect anything less from a man with such talent?

It is this relationship, between Andy(Robbins) and Red(Freeman) which really strikes me as a breathe of fresh air, as if i had been hit in the face by a strong wind. We are trapped in a society where relationships only seem meaningful and deep when the two people involved are having sex. Hollywood have molded this preconception that characters with a relationship must sleep together. Shawshank, for once, tells the tale of two men, who by the end of the film have a very strong relationship, but have not gone down the Brokeback mountain road of madness. Their friendship is portrayed free of sex, yet is portrayed so powerfully that you are emotionally taken back by the ending. Personally i nearly cried at a friendship so pure yet so meaningful.

The plot is also perfectly timed. I am someone that is usually quite critical if the speed of a film moves too fast or if it drags on. Shawshank gives you a mixture of paces, but also keeps the story turning and turning, as if it has a heart beat, pumping more and more of the story line, unwinding the plot before your open jaw.

Another subject i would like to comment on is the swearing. Again, i am normally quite critical of films that have swearing in, just to look cool, or higher the rating. Swearing in that context seems unnatural, and therefore disjointed. However the swearing in Shawshank seemed totally natural, and all part of the atmosphere of the prison.

Finally, i think everyone should see this film. This is a pure, yet thrilling tale of hope, friendship and belief. The story is executed brilliantly, with intense characteriztion from both sides of the spectrum- you become Andy, and go through his struggles with him, and you hate the warden and his captain with a passion.

I guarantee, by the time those credits gracefully slide up the screen, you jaw will be open, your mind will be blown, and your heart will be broken into pieces. This is a truly unforgettable masterpiece.
2006-07-21
One of the Greatest Films of All Time.
And I truly mean that. When I first saw this film, I was blown away.With superb acting, superb story, perfect emotion and tone, and an incredible twist ending that still amazes me, this film is completely and utterly perfect. The film speaks of hope, and the film's two main characters debate throughout the movie about it. One character believes that, in prison, hope is dangerous, and that it should not be used because it will simply make life tougher. Another character believes that hope is needed, because it helps you to keep pushing for a better tomorrow when one does not appear to be in sight.

While very engaging and immensely entertaining, this film would not be held to such high regards if not for the twist ending, which is one of the greatest movie endings of all time, in my opinion. If the ending is merely average, this film would simply be considered good, possibly great, but not the masterpiece that it is today. And, watching it repeatedly makes the film even better, because experiencing the events that occur within the story makes the ending even greater.

I can't speak for everybody, but this is a film that I can watch over and over again, and love it more each time I watch it. And, while I simply talked about the ending this entire review, that is not all that makes this film incredible. However, I will not waste any more of your time talking about how wonderful this film is. And please do not waste any of your own time. Find a way to see this movie as ASAP. It will be time well spent, and you will certainly see it multiple more times.
2013-04-28
Superb prison buddy story - but sadly unimportant film
If you simply see this as a straightforward storytelling prison film, then it is excellent (10/10) because it truly gets you involved in its main character. It is an extremely enjoyable and compelling experience with a heartfelt and well-acted buddy-story at its core. It delicately--and sometimes brutally--juxtaposes Andy Dufresne's (Tim Robbins) good-natured character with the harshness of prison life, projecting so much heart in doing so.

However delightful as it is, The Shawshank Redemption has no allegories and no statements to make and it brought nothing new to cinema in either style or substance. It had no revolutionary ideas or approaches - it's only a very safe buddy-story. A damn good one, but still just that. So it can impossibly be a film that will be remembered or studied, because what will it be remembered for? Friendship? Huh, neat. I therefore don't think it's entirely deserving of being considered the #2 greatest film of all time on IMDb.com.

But moving on and looking past that, it is possibly one of my all-time favourite films for the feelings it leaves. Sure, it often jerks you for tears just a bit too purposely, but this is forgivable because emotion is crucial to a prison story. On top of that, it never falls prey to predictable sappiness - probably because of its content which is devoid of sentimental romance and instead fills you up with a tragic friendship. It is so well-sewn together by a feel-good narrative by Morgon Freeman that it is impossible not to enjoy this film.

9/10
2006-08-13
Some birds aren't meant to be caged.
The Shawshank Redemption is written and directed by Frank Darabont. It is an adaptation of the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. Starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, the film portrays the story of Andy Dufresne (Robbins), a banker who is sentenced to two life sentences at Shawshank State Prison for apparently murdering his wife and her lover. Andy finds it tough going but finds solace in the friendship he forms with fellow inmate, Ellis "Red" Redding (Freeman) . While things start to pick up when the warden finds Andy a prison job more befitting his talents as a banker. However, the arrival of another inmate is going to vastly change things for all of them.

There was no fanfare or bunting put out for the release of the film back in 94, with a title that didn't give much inkling to anyone about what it was about-and with Columbia Pictures unsure how to market it, Shawshank Redemption barely registered at the box office. However, come Academy Award time the film received several nominations, and although it won none, it stirred up interest in the film for its home entertainment release. The rest, as they say, is history. For the film finally found an audience that saw the film propelled to almost mythical proportions as an endearing modern day classic. Something that has delighted its fans, whilst simultaneously baffling its detractors. One thing is for sure, tho, is that which ever side of the Shawshank fence you sit on, the film continues to gather new fans and simply will never go away.

It's possibly the simplicity of it all that sends some haters of the film into cinematic spasms. The implausible plot and an apparent sentimental edge that makes a nonsense of prison life, are but two chief complaints from those that dislike the film with a passion. But when characters are this richly drawn, and so movingly performed, it strikes me as churlish to do down a human drama that's dealing in hope, friendship and faith. The sentimental aspect is indeed there, but that acts as a counterpoint to the suffering, degradation and shattering of the soul involving our protagonist. Cosy prison life you say? No chance. The need for human connection is never more needed than during incarceration, surely? And given the quite terrific performances of Robbins (never better) & Freeman (sublimely making it easy), it's the easiest thing in the world to warm to Andy and Red.

Those in support aren't faring too bad either. Bob Gunton is coiled spring smarm as Warden Norton, James Whitmore is heart achingly great as the "Birdman Of Shawshank," Clancy Brown is menacing as antagonist Capt. Byron Hadley, William Sadler amusing as Heywood & Mark Rolston is impressively vile as Bogs Diamond. Then there's Roger Deakins' lush cinematography as the camera gracefully glides in and out of the prison offering almost ethereal hope to our characters (yes, they are ours). The music pings in conjunction with the emotional flow of the movie too. Thomas Newman's score is mostly piano based, dovetailing neatly with Andy's state of mind, while the excellently selected soundtrack ranges from the likes of Hank Williams to the gorgeous Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart.

If you love Shawshank then it's a love that lasts a lifetime. Every viewing brings the same array of emotions-anger-revilement-happiness-sadness-inspiration and a warmth that can reduce the most hardened into misty eyed wonderment. Above all else, tho, Shawshank offers hope; not just for characters in a movie, but for a better life and a better world for all of us. 10/10
2010-07-24
Without a doubt one of the best movies of all time
When I saw that the Shawshank Redemption was #1 on the top 250 movies of all time, I thought "Yea, I could understand that". I don't necessarily agree that it's absolutely the best, but it is so good that it makes sense that a forum of popular consensus for film rankings would rank it at the top.

It is the story of Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins and his time at Shawshank Prison. It is a perspective of what it is to be human and to have hope for the future even in the face of insurmountable adversity.

It's funny, because I don't really think that any one particular thing stands out as spectacular. The performances are very good, but nothing really noteworthy. The characters all serve the story beautifully, but none of them really stand out from the others. Frank Darabont is great, the shots are exactly what they should be. Almost the entire film is shot at the prison, adding to the feeling of isolation and routine.

And yet, we are captivated from the outset. Morgan Freeman could read a Sears catalogue and I'd pay to hear it, his narration breathes life into every scene that it's spoken over. The real beauty of this film is it's story, mostly about Andy and Red (Robbins and Freeman), but it's the way that each character contributes symbiotically to the development of the story that is the absolute mastery.

Stephen King's novella "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" was the short story that was used as the basis for the film and it serves as evidence that King is not just a master of horror, but a true literary genius. Sure, he doesn't use as many fifty cent words as histories other great masters, but does anyone tell as good a story? King always gives his writing such distinct atmosphere and energy that you can't help but get swept away. The Shawshank Redemption is no different.

If there is a film by which other films should be judged, this is as good as it can get. Powerful, engaging, visceral, despairing, a masterfully woven dialogue of what it means to be human. It's one of those journeys of the human spirit that just makes you feel happy to be alive.

An amazing story translated beautifully to the screen. A masterpiece, 10/10.
2011-06-18
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