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Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

Tim Robbins
Morgan Freeman
Bob Gunton.
Frank Darabont.
Frank Darabont.
Running Time
143 minutes

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

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

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.


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.

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

Reviewed by Ian Nathan

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Average user rating for The Shawshank Redemption
Empire Star Rating

A Beautiful Movie

I'm a bloke, but I couldn't help but cry at the end of this film. One of the greatest ever made, undoubtedly the best never to win any Oscars whatsoever. I know Forrest Gump came out in the same year, and Pulp Fiction, and Gump was a deserved winner, but this is still outstandingly good. ... More

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Posted by JoKeRJaMeZ at 18:27, 22 April 2009 | Report This Post

It unbelievable that the average user rating is 4 star!

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

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



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

Shawshank the redeeming movie


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

Great movie! ... More

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

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

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

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

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

The greatest film ever made ... More

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


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


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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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


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

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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


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

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

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

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



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

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