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The Green Mile (1999)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 132
Fresh: 105 | Rotten: 27

Though The Green Mile is long, critics say it's an absorbing, emotionally powerful experience.


Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 33
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 10

Though The Green Mile is long, critics say it's an absorbing, emotionally powerful experience.



liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 806,238

My Rating

Movie Info

Director Frank Darabont, who made an acclaimed feature film debut with The Shawshank Redemption (1994), based on a Stephen King novel set in a prison, returns for a second feature, based on King's 1996 serialized novel set in a prison. In 1935, inmates at the Cold Mountain Correctional Facility call Death Row "The Green Mile" because of the dark green linoleum that tiles the floor. Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) is the head guard on the Green Mile when a new inmate is brought into his custody: John

Jun 13, 2000

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All Critics (133) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (105) | Rotten (27) | DVD (34)

Much of the three-hour movie takes place in the prison, but the resonant characterization, expansive plotting, and judicious use of exterior locations and flashbacks turn the walls into windows.

April 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

To more than a few viewers, this one will feel like a life sentence.

August 24, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine | Comments (14)
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The supernatural elements carry an undeniable emotional charge, but the solution to the underlying murder mystery is disappointingly tidy and trite.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Three long hours of wind, an exercise in titanic self-importance intent on passing off klunky rhetoric as poignant drama.

April 25, 2003 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Comments (2)
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie taps into a vein of Dickensian sentiment, nightmare and idealism, ribaldry and tragedy that give it that part-dark, part-shining fairytale quality that imbues most King tales and all three of Darabont's features.

January 1, 2000
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Green Mile often grabs, and generally holds, one's attention through the long journey.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Thoughtful, intelligent movie for older teens.

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

...despite the clichés and stereotypes, the film's cast manages to lift it from the depths of the commonplace and make watching it enjoyable.

December 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

How many blockbusters deal with that kind of grief?

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

Though the film drifts off down some long blind alleys, when Darabont exercises discipline the result is highly effective.

August 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Dotted with many fine moments, clotted with a few flabby ones.

February 14, 2008 Full Review Source:

Overextending its welcome, Frank Darabont's film is the most commercially popular adaptation of a Stephen King novella, but it's also a slow, often dull prison drama.

February 5, 2008 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Although The Green Mile is a satisfying and affecting movie, it's not The Shawshank Redemption -- not by a long shot.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Comments (3)
Combustible Celluloid

One of the best prison films ever made.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat | Comment (1)
Film Threat

Mr. Jingles was robbed! (no mouse-Oscar)

January 1, 2005 Full Review Source: | Comments (2)

This movie is being described as inspiring? To me it just seems morbid, melancholy, sad, and far too long.

December 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Looking Closer | Comments (8)
Looking Closer

Of all the movies based on King novels, The Green Mile ranks near the top -- but below Darabont's first, The Shawshank Redemption.

June 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

Darabont explores the range of human kindness and cruelty as he lovingly and patiently sculpts his large cast of characters against magnificent scenery.

February 17, 2003 Full Review Source:

Hanks and the other guards' acting is impeccable as would be expected, but Duncan and his fellow prisoners are also disturbingly real.

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online
Film Quips Online

A deeply racist movie, though clearly none of the filmmakers thinks so... By the picture's end, we are asked to grasp electrocution as in some way an act of benevolence.

January 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks | Comments (27)
Nick's Flick Picks

Suffice it to say you must be willing to buy some pretty incredible stuff if you want to enjoy this experience.

October 21, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

Its emotional rewards outshine its faults.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

Audience Reviews for The Green Mile

Stephen King's hypothetical update about the inner life of the Roman centurions who famously are chosen to kill an innocent man gets a devoted treatment by Frank Darabont and friends well worth your time. A great cast is quietly aided by ... the wonderful Mr.Jingles.
September 11, 2012

Super Reviewer

As long as the film is, you can easily sit through it, and by the end of the film, it will feel like you were in the prison with these characters in real time. Tom Hanks is fantastic as a prison guard who can clearly see that their newest death-row inmate is innocent. However, once you are sentenced there is no going back. Once a miracle is found in this man (John Coffey), he begins to cure things that are worth it, and let be punished the ones who deserve it. As amazing as this film is, all around, there is one question I still find myself wondering throughout all of these types of films. Why and how? These questions are never answered, but are shown in a way that makes you not even care. This film is beautifully written and perfectly cast. Michael Clarke Duncan delivers the performance of his career. There are scenes in this film that will make you quiver, and there are scenes that will keep you on the edge of your seat until you cry. My only complaint is that they had such an amazing premise, and over three hours to tell it, but I feel like they didn't explore the most important part enough. "The Green Mile" is nothing short of a masterpiece, with just a few unanswered questions, and for me, it does hurt the film a bit. Overall, it is a breathtakingly powerful film!
September 9, 2012
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

An ex-prison officer recounts the time during the Depression when a gentle giant with a remarkable gift for healing was on Death Row for the murder of two little girls. I've made no secret of my complete lack of respect for Stephen King and his work, but Frank Darabont made a fine job of adapting another of his prison bound stories The Shawshank Redemption and here he has shown his cinematic ability once more. His measured direction skillfully sidesteps schmaltz and presents a nicely judged comic drama with a supernatural slant that manages to survive the rather ridiculous premise. In fact it is a success despite the source material rather than because of; the mystery aspect is contrived and unconvincing and the supernatural element silly and almost unnecessary. The joy of this film is in the characters and performances, making for a story that's both in turn funny and touching, thinly veiling a message about the grotesque practice of capital punishment. It's really well paced considering its mammoth length, never growing tiresome and only the rather trite attempt at seeming profound for the epilogue rang hollow. Not quite as good as Shawshank, but still easily one of the best of a largely woeful bunch of King adaptations.
May 31, 2012
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Despite its length, Frank Darabont delivers a passionate and emotionally thrilling film, which brings its viewers right to the heart of the story. Starring Tom Hanks, Michael Clark Duncan and James Cromwell, and based on the Stephen King story, "The Green Mile" tells the story of a prison guard and his death row team in the middle of the great depression and the mystical and magical going ons that take place when a new prisoner arrives.

Darabon'ts follow up to the public hit and continued moviegoers favourite, "The Shawshank Redemption", is again set in a prison, but this time the focus is on the screws, rather than the prisoners. Running at a little over three hours, the film is long, there is no denial, but it is worth the wait to see a powerful emotional piece of cinema, which the "Mile" most certainly is.

With a good adaptation from King's original novel, the story itself is excellent, providing intertwining and entertaining ideas. However what really shines through is the characters, and their portrayals by the outstanding cast.

As always Tom Hanks provides a fantastic portrayal, but Michael Clarke Duncan and David Morse are the real shine throughs, playing their respective characters beautifully.

Michael Clarke Duncan plays his role of John Coffey beautifully, causing tears to flood from practically all soft centred viewers, in many moments of this beautiful film. Whilst the cinematography itself is nothing special, the film has a certain cinematic shooting quality, a special tint which adds to the mystical themes and feel of the entire film itself.

Though it took him five years in between his first film and this one, it was worth the wait. Frank Darabont has produced a wonderfully inspiring film, fantastic acting as always from a brilliant cast all round, and one which not one actor or actress ever lets down.
May 30, 2012
Adam Kelly

Super Reviewer

    1. Warden Hal Moores: What in the blue fuck was that? There's puke all over the floor. God, that smell. That smell won't come out for another 5 years that what I'm betting. And that asshole, Wharton is singing about it.
    2. Paul Edgecomb: Did he carry a tune, Hal?
    3. Warden Hal Moores: Ok, boys. But, what the hell happened?
    4. Paul Edgecomb: An execution sir. A successful one.
    5. Warden Hal Moores: How in the name of Christ can you call that a success?
    6. Paul Edgecomb: Eduard Delacroix is dead. Isn't he?
    7. Warden Hal Moores: Something to say, Percy?
    8. Percy Wetmore: I didn't know the sponge was supposed to wet.
    9. Warden Hal Moores: How many years Percy have you been pissing on the toilet seat before someone told you to put it up?
    – Submitted by Christopher S (3 months ago)
    1. John Coffey: I'm tired, boss. Tired of being on the road, lonely as a sparrow in the rain. I'm tired of never having a buddy to be with, to tell me where we's going to, coming from or why. Mostly, I'm tired of people being ugly to each other. I'm tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world every day. There's too much of it. It's like pieces of glass in my head, all the time. Can you understand?"
    – Submitted by Lilly P (12 months ago)
    1. John Coffey: People hurt the ones they love. That's how it is all around the world.
    – Submitted by Adam O (15 months ago)
    1. Paul Edgecomb: I've done some things in my life I'm not proud of, but this is the first time I've ever felt in real danger of hell.
    – Submitted by Adam O (15 months ago)
    1. Paul Edgecomb: I just can't see God putting a gift like that in the hands of a man who would kill a child.
    – Submitted by Adam O (15 months ago)
    1. John Coffey: I helped Del's mouse become a circus mouse. Gonna live in a mouse city. Down in...
    – Submitted by Adam O (15 months ago)
View all quotes (30)

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