The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

9.5 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great story, great acting


Movie Info

Movie Name: The Shawshank Redemption

Studio: Castle Rock Entertainment

Genre(s): Drama

Release Date(s): September 23, 1994

MPAA Rating: R


Only guilty man in Shawshank

Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sentenced to prison for life for the murder of his wife and lover. Proclaiming his innocence, Andy meets Red (Morgan Freeman) a long-timer who can get anything. Faced with a cold and controlling warden (Bob Gunton), Andy gives up trying to prove he is innocent and just decides to survive prison life. His arrival at Shawshank Prison changes Shawshank forever and starts a legend.

The Shawshank Redemption adapted a short novel from Stephen King’s 1982 book Different Seasons (where it was called “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption”) was directed by Frank Darabont and became a sleeper hit. Failing at the box office the movie barely broke even, the movie was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor (Morgan Freeman), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score. The movie (and Pulp Fiction) tragically lost to the overrated Forrest Gump but has gone on to be recognized to be one of the best films of the 1990s.



The movie looks fantastic. The movie has great cinematography and a perfect score. It is very subtle and manages to make a movie set in a prison seem big and gothic. Despite being prisoners, it seems like a complete world for the characters. It is a bit difficult to realize how much time has really passed since making the actors age the number of years they are in there can be difficult. The movie does the best it can with sets and props to give an idea on change.



What helps the smart script is all the great actors in it. Morgan Freeman (in his typical “narrator” role) is perfect as the long time prison man Red and Tim Robbins gives a great and subtle performance as the tragic Andy Dufresne. Bob Gunton harkens to villains like Nurse Ratchet from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest…you just love to hate him. There are also nice performances by James Whitmore as Brooks who is “rehabilitated” and teaches a sad lesson to the other prisoners.

The Shawshank Redemption seems to always be on TV, so sit down and check it out. I was one of the few who saw it in the theater before all the hype and burned out a bit on it for a while after multiple viewings.  It is worth checking out again.  If you can’t find it on TV, pick up a nice Blu-Ray copy and see how great this modern classic looks. It almost makes you want to hang out in prison…ok maybe not far, but it is really an enjoyable film.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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