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


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The Shawshank Redemption Reviews

Page 1 of 4
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 2/5

January 1, 2000
Jake Euker
F5 (Wichita, KS)

Why are these men in jail?

Full Review Source: F5 (Wichita, KS)

February 9, 2006
Leonard Schwarz
Palo Alto Weekly

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

May 20, 2003
Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine

Beaches for straight men.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 1.5/4

October 16, 2004
Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central

Drawn in straight, brutal lines.

Full Review Source: Film Freak Central | Original Score: 2/4

December 17, 2004


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

Full Review Source: Movieline

January 9, 2002
Steven Snyder
Zertinet Movies

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

Full Review Source: Zertinet Movies | Original Score: 4/4

March 5, 2003
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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 Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 1, 2000
James Berardinelli
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 1, 2000
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star

An unhurried, engulfing prison drama.

Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star | Original Score: 4/4

March 10, 2006
James Rocchi

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 Source: Netflix | Original Score: 3.5/5

November 7, 2002
Scott Weinberg

| Original Score: 5/5

July 27, 2002
Louise Keller
Urban Cinefile

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.

Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile

February 27, 2009
Mark R. Leeper

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

Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews | Original Score: 7/8

January 1, 2000
Rob Gonsalves

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

Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com | Original Score: 4/5

September 23, 2007
Heather Boerner
Common Sense Media

Gritty but comforting story of friendship.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 4/5

December 18, 2010
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

June 28, 2007
Jeffrey M. Anderson
San Francisco Examiner

Manages to be sentimental without sugar-coating.

| Original Score: 3/5

April 29, 2003
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

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

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Original Score: 3.5/4

September 27, 2004
Christopher Null

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

Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com | Original Score: 4/5

January 1, 2000
Page 1 of 4
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