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The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.

Directed by:

Frank Darabont

Rating: 10/10

Running Time: 137 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United States

Tim Robbins stars as Andy Dufresne, a successful young banker who is sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife and her lover. Andy is sent to Shawshank prison, a dour and depressing place where brutality from both guards and other prisoners is commonplace. Andy makes friends with Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman), a lifer who has already spent many years inside. Red specialises in smuggling items into the prison for the other prisoners. Red soon discovers that Andy is a most unusual prisoner, although at first it seems to do him little good – he is brutalised by other prisoners

He starts to get both other prisoners and guards on his side when he offers to help one of the most notorious guards with a tax problem in exchange for bottles of chilled beer for everyone in his work party. From then on, Andy always seems to be working on one thing or another. He improves the prison’s tiny library, and helps those prisoners who want to study. He also handles the guards’ tax returns, and even helps the swindling Warden (Bob Gunton) cook the books. Over the years, he gains the respect of most of the other prisoners and guards. More importantly, he never loses hope for the future – a hope he tries to pass on to the other prisoners. He never stops believing in life’s possibilities, but to make the most of them he needs to be free.

Based on the Stephen King (non-horror) novella “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption”, this is a simple story of hope made remarkable by the interaction between the two lead characters. Both Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman do a fine job in terms of making their roles genuine and appealing, and also in the way they work so well together. The production values throughout are outstanding, but this is not a “fancy” film. Rather, it sticks to the story it is telling without resorting to flashy tricks to grab the audience’s attention. Although there is violence, some of it extreme, it is necessary to show the kind of place the prison is and is certainly not gratuitous. The main theme is hope, not despair, and the violence serves only as a backdrop to that message. Unashamedly a feelgood movie, by the end one is wishing only that it would continue for a few more moments.

It's Got: A simple story told with poignancy.

It Needs: To continue the story just a little longer.

DVD Extras Seeing the sub-plots separately and watching how they develop is particularly interesting. Extras: Theatrical trailer, Interviews, Biographies, Sub-plots DVD Extras Rating: 5/10

Alternatives:

Birdman of Alcatraz, The Green Mile, The Hurricane

Summary

This is a simple and touching tale graced with great depth and commitment. An uplifting must-see movie.

34 Comments

  1. nitesh
    Posted August 2, 2009 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    this is one of the greatest movie i had watched in my lif and i really apprechiate the way the actors acted in the movie and the director directed this movie …its really cool and shows the sadness of the prision life this movie also shows how hard the life can be 4the prisoners..

  2. Hello
    Posted August 10, 2009 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Shawshank Redemption is a staggering piece of work by Frank Darabont who did an exceptional job in adapting Stephen King’s 1982 novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption to his first film. With the film containing amazing cinematography and sound effects with astounding cast members, it is no surprise that the film was nominated for seven Academy Awards.

  3. noob
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    worst movie ever

  4. efg
    Posted September 9, 2009 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    First!

  5. boobalan
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Epic work!!

  6. Posted November 5, 2009 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    EPIC
    😀
    😀
    😀

  7. Jdubz
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    in my top 10 films of all time!!

  8. danny
    Posted November 9, 2009 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    this movie made me realize how much i love being gay

  9. David Graham
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    I think this is one of the greatest films ever made, there’s something about this film, maybe it’s the connection with your life and the characters life, I had a profound attachment to this film that go’s beyond any film ever done for me, Brilliant storyline, it’s got a remarkable music score, you really have to watch and feel and listen too it. outstanding work.

  10. Siddharth
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Very good movie.Especially the message that one should never lose HOPE. Also the message that there are certain things which nobody can take away from oneself and that is HOPE and MUSIC.

  11. Posted December 16, 2009 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    this was such a good film, amazing-

  12. alex
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    i love man

  13. jeremy
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    the movie’s a great life metaphor. life prison’s are worse than the physical ones. you get trapped and institutionalized in the box you put yourself into, you see yourself just as big as that box if not a lot smaller. hope knows no limits, knows no bounds. it really all boils down to two things, get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’. great inspring movie!

  14. laura cee
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    ive watched this movie so many times now and i still love it and find something new every time. it is a really great movie to be doing a film study on and i am loving writing a review on it ! all positive ofcorse. !
    tim robing is a gud looking man

  15. anonymous
    Posted June 5, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    one of the best movie ever..

  16. Pk
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Best movie of all times…. Byfar i have watched it 21 times & i am as eager to see it again for 22nd time… Brilliant performances. Especially by Morgan Freeman. Fantastic background score. Above all its the vocal narration by Morgan that is just best…. Hope is a wonderful thing…..

  17. ck
    Posted August 3, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    one of theawesome movie ever made in history of earth

  18. ck
    Posted August 3, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    one of the awesome movie ever made in history of earth

  19. Emila
    Posted August 14, 2010 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Nice review.
    I also like this movie very much. I can feel the strength Andy gives me through this touching film. No matter what trouble we are in, we can not give up the hope,the belief.

  20. LIL BILLY
    Posted August 18, 2010 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    it made me feel so good wen the man got raped the whole movie pretty much turned me on

  21. yup yup
    Posted September 10, 2010 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    dude that is messed up

  22. Posted October 25, 2010 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    this movie made my cry so i brought some choclate and rubed my man boobs to make me feel better and iam a big tank

  23. Posted November 2, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    cool film freaky bro!

  24. Posted November 2, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    The film shows you how institutionalistion really effects the prisoners lives. It is shown in the film using the characters of Brooks and Red. Hope is also a major theme of the film. Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.

    Does anyone know why this film is so powerful?
    Cause it’s so cool, and wick and all that other cool stuffs! By the way, I is a surfer doode man! Yo!xxx

  25. Posted November 2, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    I love the film! It’s flabbergasting darling!
    I love u surfer doode, you are wicked!
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  26. David
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    I know this movie came out almost 2 decades ago but Just right now at 2 Am November 4th 2010 I just watched this movie for the first time…

    I am still in tears. This is one of the best movies I have EVER watched it made me so happy that it made me cry.. I NEVER cry on movies..

    Something about this one really hit hard in me this is hands down my favorite movie of all time now!

    I have been moved to tears by movies before it is so sad.. BUT NEVER! AND I MEAN NEVER! Made so happy that I cry..

    Thank god I took the time to watch this.. My friends have been telling me about it for years and just now I took the time.. And I don’t regret a single second of it!

    BEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME!

  27. Posted February 20, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    I never saw such a simple man doing simple things that simply enables him break out of prison, simply!. Quite an inspiring movie. I really loved it.

  28. Prison born
    Posted April 7, 2011 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    That was quite a piece of work, sad and forthcomming simultaniously

  29. fagatron
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    This film is gay, just like all of you.. lololoololoololoolololo HOMOS

  30. jail piece
    Posted February 29, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    wow great film LOVED IT

  31. cadavrer
    Posted April 29, 2012 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    The movie sends an important message, but to get to its meaning you have to refrain from oversentiments, or else you can be only able to cry at the happy-end and miss the main message. Get serious: Life sucks, criminals walk free whilst mainly innocent or pretty repented people are kept jailed without a parole or a pardon. And in the real life things are pretty harder than in this sentimental movie. Most of them inmates are innocent, and the prosecutors, legislators, guards and lawyers are in fact those who need to be jailed instead. This movie helps discover the new world – world we are living in, without the masquerade of false goodness.

  32. BIG JOHN
    Posted October 5, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    #Deadly

  33. LIL JOHN
    Posted October 5, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    #Wopper

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