Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Tim Robbins
Morgan Freeman
Bob Gunton.
Directors
Frank Darabont.
Screenwriters
Frank Darabont.
Running Time
143 minutes

LATEST DVD REVIEWS
Grey Owl
1 Star Empire Rating
Glengarry Glen Ross
5 Star Empire Rating
Ghost In The Shell
4 Star Empire Rating
Child's Play
3 Star Empire Rating
Westworld
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Glengarry Glen Ross
5 Star Empire Rating
Goldfinger
5 Star Empire Rating
Calvary
5 Star Empire Rating
Ipcress File, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Jules Et Jim
5 Star Empire Rating

The Shawshank Redemption
Cracking Stephen King tale with Tim Robbins and Morgan at their impressive best


submit to reddit


Plot
US Lawyer is sent to Shawshank prison for life, charts his experiences, friendships and influences on the prison whilst maintaining his innocence.


Review
This movie is based on a novella by Stephen King, but don't let that put you off. It's not a horror film, rather 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. Found guilty of killing his unfaithful wife and her lover in a fit of passion, sullen accountant Andy Dufresne (Robbins, casting off his goofball image to display more layers than the proverbial onion) is shipped to the gothic wind-swept corridors of the Shawshank State Prison for life. It is here the movie gracefully unfolds. With a beautifully rounded script, writer/director Darabont conjures up a spellbinding personal odyssey stretching through the years from 1946 to 1967.

Dufresne, all the while protesting his innocence, slowly overcomes the hellfire tortures of the prison system - an unblinking range of beatings, rapings and abject humiliations - while managing to inspire his fellow inmates to lift their degraded horizons. Among them is Red (Freeman, in a matchless supporting role), the lifer who can, given time, provide virtually anything. And for reasons best known to himself, Dufresne requires 40s starlet Rita Hayworth, provisioned in poster form.

The mood swings rigorously through every emotion as the cranky, wiseguy and downright crazed array of criminals bare the brunt of the turbulent life within the doomy Shawshank catacomb. Then it gets really mean, gearing up for its injury-time shockers. Dufresne, a whiz with figures, is bullied into running the warden's (Gunton) petty accounting scams, giving him the chance to execute his and the film's final, greatest miracle.

If you're miserable enough to look for gripes then, yes, it does drift on too long and who needs prison buggery again? Yet the ending has such poetic completeness you're too busy contentedly chuckling to worry about sore behinds. This may have confounded American audiences - it flopped big-time on planet Yank - but a more divine movie experience you will not find this side of Oscardom. Spread the word.


Extras

Shawshank Redemption, The Shawshank Redemption, The
Released: 18 May 1998
Peppered with the usual notes on production and actor profiles, all eloquent if brief, this does boast excellent filmed interviews with cast and makers, adding real insight to the processes at work.


Verdict
If you don't love Shawshank, chances are you're beyond redemption.


Reviewed by Ian Nathan


Related Reviews

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Shawshank Redemption
Empire Star Rating

It unbelievable that the average user rating is 4 star!

Truly stunning film. Watch it, love it, own it. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by andy399 at 21:50, 10 April 2009 | Report This Post


THE BEST PRISON MOVIE EVER

A BRILLIANT FILM. IT'S CRIMINAL THAT TIM ROBBINS WASNT NOMINATED FOR AN OSCAR. A LONG FILM, BUT NEVER BORING. BY THE WAY IAN NATHAN, IM PRETTY SURE ANDY DUFRESNE WAS A BANKER, NOT A LAWYER. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by WiseGuy101 at 03:59, 05 February 2009 | Report This Post


Shawshank the redeeming movie

BEST MOVIE EVER ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Hamsterwalt at 11:31, 27 September 2008 | Report This Post


Great movie! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ARmy2510 at 08:46, 26 September 2008 | Report This Post


Doubt I can add anything that hasn't been said before ...so I'll just leave my 5 stars and be off! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by SkullKassidy at 12:32, 11 August 2008 | Report This Post


Doubt I can add anything that hasn't been said before ...so I'll just leave my 5 stars and be off! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by SkullKassidy at 12:32, 11 August 2008 | Report This Post


The greatest film ever made ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by willchadwick at 12:28, 13 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

I watched this movie when I was felling quite sad and wanted to get myself even more bored by watching a prison movie. It was not what I expected Shawkshank may start out a little weak, but picks up from there and makes use of every second of film. My brother's seen this movie twice, unfortunatly I've only seen it once, but tend to revisit Andy Dufrene in prison soon.   All in all a great movie that will lift your spirits.   Fear can keep you prisoner Hope Can set you fr... More

Posted by Paap28 at 20:31, 28 April 2008 | Report This Post


RE:

Shawshank's a brilliant film. It can restore hope in any one, and does it beautifully. Definately one of my top favourite films of all time. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by CocoIndiana at 22:29, 04 April 2008 | Report This Post


Truely the greatest human story ever

If you cant like this film chances are you only watch porn! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bryancarr at 14:13, 05 February 2008 | Report This Post


Greatest Movie Ever Made

And I do not take that phrase likely. For some, its a good film about a guy escaping from prison. To others, It's a film riddled with symbols, where to many Dufresne can be seen as Jesus. Awsome ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Pobster at 18:54, 16 January 2008 | Report This Post


RE: The Shawshank Redemption

Great Movie, Great Great Movie 8.5/10 ... More

Posted by scarface666brooksy!! at 08:31, 06 January 2008 | Report This Post


RE: The Shawshank Redemption

Saw this one at the movies in 1995. Bought the video then the DVD. Have watched it various times and used it as a class text in lessons with senior pupils. Young people especially seem to love it. A truly lovely film, warts and all. Flawless performances from everyone, recognising that some (Bob Gunton) are playing 'types' who aren't meant to have anything but stereotypical qualities. Boggs was a bastard but I still felt pity when he was dragged screaming back to his cell. Sure there are innume... More

Posted by BooRadley at 12:17, 04 January 2008 | Report This Post


RE: The Shawshank Redemption

L: Mason Verger A sequel, k 2: This Time Noking Around, He Gets The Chair/quote] uite an amusing review but wrong on all counts. I watched this again only last week (first time for Mrs Jonson who thought it was wonderful) and I enjoyed it as much as I did some 10 years ago when I first saw it. Fabulous film and worthy of it's regular Top 10 mentions. I think the warden and guards are far more scary in the book though especially the scene when he asks him if he trusts his wife. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jonson at 07:25, 03 January 2008 | Report This Post


RE: The Shawshank Redemption

From /i]magazine: Sacred Cows Reputations reassessed: The Reaper reads his charge sheet on everyone's favourite prison buddy movie Based on Stephen King's novella, yworth And The Shawshankemptionappallingly entitled movie was initially faintly praised by critics. Roger Ebert gave it a polite three-and-a-half stars, others lazily regurgitated the production notes about the triumph of the human spirit. At 142 minutes, it did mediocre business at the box office. It stars Tim&n... More

Posted by Mason Verger at 16:32, 29 December 2007 | Report This Post


RE: The Greatest Prison Movie Ever

One of my favourite movies. I love the scene on the roof:  "Do you trust your wife?". Morgan Freeman has never been better than he is in this movie. ... More

Posted by Diggler at 12:05, 10 December 2007 | Report This Post


RE: The Greatest Prison Movie Ever

A classic.   A lesson in near flawless movie making. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by shool at 11:31, 10 December 2007 | Report This Post


The Greatest Prison Movie Ever

The greatest film of all the Stephen King adaptations and possibly the greatest of all time next to Pulp Fiction and Goodfellas, this film defies belief ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by scarface666brooksy!! at 07:29, 12 November 2007 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

L: mdbrownlee Its a happy ending, and yet i cry every time. whats wrong with me!? sp; exactly! nothing wrong with happy ending when done well. (like when there's a twist in a film). Shawshank is wonderful. I picked up a copy in hmv for €5. A bargain! Think i might watch it tonight. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by eoin81 at 11:57, 15 October 2007 | Report This Post


RE: The Shawshank Redemption

THIS MOVIE!! g Prison break fan and for some reason i never saw this film before and just loved it straight away. ... More

Posted by Topher182 at 10:25, 15 October 2007 | Report This Post


RE:

its on TV all the time, and so it should be. Its fantastic. Espcially the ending, where Morgan Freeman finds that letter under the tree and then goes to Mexico to meet Andy on the beach. Its a happy ending, and yet i cry every time. whats wrong with me!? but seriously, everyone should see this film ... More

Posted by mdbrownlee at 18:30, 14 October 2007 | Report This Post


One of the greats

Plot: Andy Dufresne is wrongfully imprisoned for life in Shawshank prison, where he befriends inmate Red, and soon becomes popular with everyone in the prison, including the warden and his accomplices.   Most people who love this film know the story. It was unpopular at cinemas but soon found love as a DVD, as word of mouth got round that this really was something special. But what made this modern classic gain the popularity and respect that it now receives at every turn? No film poll... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by swordsandsandals at 14:19, 05 October 2007 | Report This Post


Just watched it again last night, one of the best. Superb. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by FortWilliamLoyal at 08:21, 16 August 2007 | Report This Post


AMAZING

THE BEST FILM EVER ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by michael at 22:19, 02 July 2007 | Report This Post


AWSOME!

SEE ABOVE! THAT IS ALL I NEED TO SAY! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JokerJr at 18:25, 31 May 2007 | Report This Post


Previous pageMore user comments

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Hateful Eight - The Story So Far
We delve into the short but tangled history of Quentin Tarantino’s latest

Gallery: Unseen Star Wars Poster Concept Artwork
JW Rinzler takes us through a history of the franchise in jaw-dropping art

The Future Of Film: Lasers Will Save 3D (If Your Cinema Is Big Enough)
Big will be beautiful in the brave new world of frickin' laser beam projection

The Bond Girls Who Made It Big
The actresses who overcame the curse of 007 to forge successful careers

The Future Of Film: A Woman Will Direct Star Wars
No longer a men’s club, Hollywood is going to start opening its doors...

The Empire Podcast #130: Interviews With Rosamund Pike, Lee Child And Antoine Fuqua
The Gone Girl star, Jack Reacher author and The Equalizer director pop in for a chat

The 50 Greatest Voice Performances In Movies
Who has the most talented tonsils in town?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)