• R, 2 hr. 22 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:    Frank Darabont
  • In Theaters:    Sep 10, 1994 Wide
  • On DVD:    Jan 27, 1998
  • Columbia Pictures

The Shawshank Redemption Reviews

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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

It wanders down subplots at every opportunity and ignores an abundance of narrative exit points before settling on the aforementioned finale.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Jake Euker
F5 (Wichita, KS)
February 9, 2006

Why are these men in jail?

Leonard Schwarz
Palo Alto Weekly
May 20, 2003

The Shawshank Redemption continually abandons plausibility in order to celebrate the triumph of hope over despair, of decency over cruelty, of justice over injustice.

| Original Score: 1.5/4
Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine
October 16, 2004

Beaches for straight men.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central
December 17, 2004

Drawn in straight, brutal lines.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4

January 9, 2002

In truth it's the purest Hollywood hoakum--a sunny, heart-tugging hymn to that old chestnut, the indomitability of the human spirit.

Steven Snyder
Zertinet Movies
March 5, 2003

The Shawshank Redemption is most memorable thanks to its ingenious surprises.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

If the film is perhaps a little slow in its middle passages, maybe that is part of the idea, too, to give us a sense of the leaden passage of time, before the glory of the final redemption.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
James Berardinelli
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

The Shawshank Redemption is all about hope and, because of that, watching it is both uplifting and cathartic.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star
March 10, 2006

An unhurried, engulfing prison drama.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
James Rocchi
November 7, 2002

By blanketing the prison experience with a sepia-tone haze of nostalgia and placing it in a time that's part history, part Normal Rockwell, the film provides a trip through the belly of the beast that isn't too icky...

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Scott Weinberg
July 27, 2002

| Original Score: 5/5
Louise Keller
Urban Cinefile
February 27, 2009

I love this film. It's a story about hope and dreams and one whose emotional impact is as great as the Pacific Ocean is blue.

Mark R. Leeper
January 1, 2000

This is a film with excellent production values almost without exception.

Full Review | Original Score: 7/8
Rob Gonsalves
September 23, 2007

It's an old-school melodrama at heart, sturdy and forthright and upstanding, but without a whisper of complexity or wit.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Heather Boerner
Common Sense Media
December 18, 2010

Gritty but comforting story of friendship.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
June 28, 2007

A passing reference to 'The Count of Monte Cristo' offers a partial clue to what makes this movie compelling.

Jeffrey M. Anderson
San Francisco Examiner
April 29, 2003

Manages to be sentimental without sugar-coating.

| Original Score: 3/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
September 27, 2004

The Shawshank Redemption sprawls out over a leisurely 142 minutes, operating with the same unflagging patience of its protagonist.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Christopher Null
January 1, 2000

It is able to sustain itself throughout its duration and to keep you enraptured with its remarkably hopeful story.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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