Embrassing to say that I don't think I've ever sat through this from start to finish. It's one of those films where I've come in half way through when channel flicking and so have seen the end several times. Unsurprisingly, there is so much more to see from the beginning and many more revelations that make events a little more poignant come the final scenes. I generally tend to like prison films so this was always going to be captivating, but it's moving storyline definitely makes this one of the best out there. At times you wonder where the film is going because there is more focus on the character relationships than any potential escape attempt, but this is because its been subtly adapted to create that surprise element at the end, which is far more powerful than if it centred on the escape attempt throughout. Admittedly with the arrogance of the warden at the start of the film, suggesting how nobody ever escapes the confinement, it kind of sets the challenge for the prisoners and so you do get a big hint at what's about to unfold, but the journey in getting from A to B in this one is one of the best constructed you'll see. The style of having Morgan Freeman's character narrate over the top of the film works well, and there are various sub character stories running throughout, which divert ones attention from anyone plotting to break free. I have to admit, all these years I actually thought the main character was guilty of his crimes, so it just goes to show what sitting down and watching a film from beginning to end can reveal. For me, it's a great film, but I'm just not sure it's action packed enough to become totally obsessed with regular repeat viewings. Having said that, for anyone who hasn't seen it, or hasn't seen it all the way through, don't make my mistake of thinking you know it all - it's not considered one of the best films ever for nothing.