The Shawshank Redemption Reviews

October 1, 2019
Cinematic alchemy of a kind that's all too rare, propelled by a supremely talented cast, a sumptuous score by Thomas Newman and a first-rate script and direction from first-timer Frank Darabont.
September 22, 2019
A tough, complex story [told] with clarity, compassion and considerable dramatic force.
September 23, 2016
In the lead roles, both Robbins and Freeman are outstanding, layering their performances with snippets of individuality: Their small, daily sustenances and minor triumphs are wonderfully inspiring.
September 22, 2015
This is an engagingly simple, good-hearted film, with just enough darkness around the edges to give contrast and relief to its glowingly benign view of human nature.
January 16, 2013
Simply marvelous entertainment.
June 15, 2011
Freeman, who is simply a great actor, a man who has never struck a false note in his career, both narrates this tale and anchors it with his authoritative playing.
June 28, 2007
A testament to the human spirit...
June 28, 2007
A passing reference to 'The Count of Monte Cristo' offers a partial clue to what makes this movie compelling.
June 24, 2006
...a throwback to the kind of serious, literate drama Hollywood used to make.
Top Critic
September 24, 2004
It's a simple story elegantly, cleverly told, not to mention expertly acted.
September 14, 2004
Freeman, in particular, is exceptional. His performance is so unshowy it can easily go unnoticed, but it's the soul of Shawshank.
May 20, 2003
Without a single riot scene or horrific effect, it tells a slow, gentle story of camaraderie and growth, with an ending that abruptly finds poetic justice in what has come before.
May 12, 2001
It's the no-bull performances that hold back the flood of banalities.
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.
January 1, 2000
Thanks to fine performances and beautiful photography, you get that inspirational jump-start frame after frame.
January 1, 2000
It's a devoutly old-fashioned, spiritually uplifting prison drama about two lifers who must break their emotional shackles before they can finally become free men.
January 1, 2000
It wanders down subplots at every opportunity and ignores an abundance of narrative exit points before settling on the aforementioned finale.
January 1, 2000
The Shawshank Redemption is all about hope and, because of that, watching it is both uplifting and cathartic.
September 10, 1994
With his gift for rapt pauses, for caressing just the right syllable, Freeman can make a speech like that sound like one of the philosophical nuggets of the ages.