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Showing 1-10 of 2,029 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 3,129 reviews
VINE VOICEon August 30, 2016
What could I possibly add to the hundreds of reviews done on this splendid movie that would be of interest or benefit to a reader? Only this: the last 20 minutes of this film are worth the whole of it; so beautiful in it's meaning that I have watched it over and over, because of how it affects me. A Friendship so special that it becomes the "bridge over troubled water" for one who has all but given up in despair across the miles from another whose sprit refuses to be broken or maimed and rises above it all; whole and seemingly unaffected by the horrific prison experiences.

The culmination of this unusual rapport between Andy Dufresne and Red Redding ends with keeping a promise made to an old friend while never dreaming that it will come to be when it was made. The writing in a "half way" room scratched above a table just right for completing a suicide tells yet another story of the difference inspiration can make; one life ends in death because there is no hope, one life goes forward because of the bond between two - provided by only one. And the remembered phrase coming back to give him strength - "Get busy living, or get busy dying."

The visuals and audio during this finale are what make it so fine; more poignant than any dialogue. Determined to keep his promise to his friend made while in prison, (almost as a deathbed promise) Red goes to the fragrant hay fields of Buxton seeking the rock wall and what is buried beneath by Andy. As he descends from an old red farm truck that has given him a ride to the area, it as though he has entered another world, one tranquil and peaceful; gravel crunching under his feet as he walks in the hot summer sun; corn and hay fields, bird voices, dense green foliage; untroubled life and sound is everywhere; and at long last the old rock wall that holds his salvation buried there.
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on August 14, 2015
I'm the 2436th person to review this movie. I first saw this movie on TV while at a girl's house I was dating. I came in at about 30 minutes into the movie but I was truly captivated by the movie and I never forgot it. More than 15 years later I saw it on DVD uncut and I liked it even more. Some things I'd forgotten about from the last time I had seen it. But one thing I will never forget is the brutality of that lead guard, played by Clancy Brown. This was a movie that wanted me to abolish maximum security prisons! The violence, the rape the intimidation the corruption! It didn't start with Attica (See My Review Of Against The Wall) but has been in existence since America's founding.

Tim Robbin's character had the worst luck of anyone in the world! He was at the crime scene but did not go into the room where his wife was cheating on him. He left bullets behind and then stupidly threw his gone into the river only to not have it be discovered. Had he kept his gun the ballistics would have proved that his gun was not the murder weapon. As it stands another killer did the murder and in essence got away with the crime. This led to Andy's (Robbin's Character) being convicted for a crime he did not commit.

I was amazed at the inner strength that Robbin's character Andy had. He was beaten, humiliated, raped and yet was able to still persevere without losing his mind. But that's what he had in abundance. He had a mind and he used it to outwit his enemies and friends too. In many ways his escape reminded me of the two fellows who escaped from prison a few months ago in New York. It was a tenacious desire to get one's freedom from the oppression of the Man! This is why I admired Tim Robbins and his character, Andy.

Redd was portrayed so well by Morgan Freeman that the story might just as well have been about him too. I'm glad that Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford were not cast in these roles. The film would have suffered I'm sure. But I will say this, the film might have done better at the box office had the title been different. Shawshank Redemption is not really a catchy title and may have turned women and some men off entirely to seeing the film. This is what at least one writer said. Despite this I give the film Four and a Half Stars. Leonard Maltin gave it Two and a Half out of Four Stars. I disagree with that but he may have been turned off by the length of the film.

The author Robert A. Berman in his fantastic book Fade In: The Screenwriting Process said something interesting. He said that he had read an article about films with bad titles. He said that almost every badly titled film did poorly at the box office. "The Shawshank Redemption, which did okay in theatres, might have done more business with a better title. I passed on seeing The Shawshank Redemption in the theatres. The title just turned me off." He went on to say that he saw it on Pay-For-View and liked it while adding that a good title can make a difference in box office sales. I concur with this observation. The title of this movie is nothing to write home about. This may have explained its average showing at the box office. Despite this, don't hold back from seeing this fine film. It's a true gem!

A. Nathaniel Wallace, Jr.
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on July 2, 2016
When the movie came out, I wasn't interested. Recently it was on TV and I caught part of it. I was intrigued so when it came on again, I taped it and after a few days finally watched the entire movie. I was shocked by how GREAT it really was and immediately bought the blu--ray version. The quality of the blu-ray is fantastic and the movie is even better! I can't believe I passed on this movie initially. If you haven't seen this movie, you are missing out on one of the best movies ever made. The movie, the acting, the script, the story of hope and especially the ending is incredible and it will make you smile. If you haven't already done this give the movie a chance, you won't regret it.
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on April 17, 2017
This movie seems to be slow-moving while you’re watching it, but it’s filled with life lessons that take a few days to process. The disturbing blurring of good and evil takes you through fascinating turns of banker Andy Dufresne’s 19-year prison sentence for a crime he did not commit. There is a happy ending, but only after Andy and his prison mate Red Redding (Morgan Freeman) entrench themselves in a corrupt prison hierarchy that manipulates every detail of the inmates’ lives, to the point that Red can’t piss without asking permission first.

The film is especially effective because of occasional respite from otherwise unrelenting oppression. The first instance is Andy’s risky decision to tell the Chief of the Guards that he is eligible for a tax break on a windfall inheritance. The Guard comes close to pushing Andy off of a rooftop work site for speaking up; the Guard’s sudden change of heart (driven by greed to get the tax break) marks a turning point that will eventually lead to Andy’s triumph. Slowly, the Warden and his staff give Andy special privileges because of his banking and tax expertise, leading to what looks like a win-win situation as the Warden receives media attention and major financial gain for a sham “Inside Out” prison rehab program. The Warden eventually becomes so dependent on Andy that he destroys a legitimate chance for Andy to be absolved. Meanwhile, Andy uses a literal and figurative rock hammer to chip away at the deeply flawed prison walls.

Happy endings are rare in movies like this, and this one leaves the viewer trying to figure out how Andy could triumph over a series of demons, beginning with the “The Sisters” team of rapists and later the sadistic Warden and Chief of the Guards who beat or execute anyone who threatens their complex system of rules. The most important trend seems to be each character’s belief in his own ability to succeed, despite no external evidence that success is possible. This weaves minor characters like Brooks and Tommy into an important theme, especially when Red follows the same path as Brooks and nearly reaches the same end, until he decides to keep his long-ago promise to Andy.

This was my first viewing of this movie, 23 years after it was released. I’m glad to have watched it later in life, after enough life failures to appreciate Andy’s metaphor for every person. A must-watch film if you also missed it earlier.
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on December 5, 2013
First of all, I hardly ever watch rated R movies, and would have eliminated this movie entirely on that fact had I not read other reviews. The reasons it was rated R, I believe, are some of the themes may be considered graphic, but for the most part, they did not show them. The insinuation itself may have been what made the rating go from PG-13 to R. I've watched many PG-13 movies that I would consider far more graphic, sexual, or violent than this one, and this one did not warrant an R rating on any of those grounds stand alone, much less together. But, they have their reasons for the rating, so I will leave it at that. I watched this with my teenage boys, and they loved it. The reaction to injustices, and the internal motivations to overcome the present, and the standing ground on good morals when the world around you is not, are the lessons that can be learned by kids watching this movie. Virtue regardless of circumstances, I believe, is the message that is very well said.
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on May 28, 2016
Never gets old this movie
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on March 19, 2017
I watched this movie for the first time about two weeks before I bought it. For some reason I thought it was a modern western shooter movie, I think the name gave me that impression. But, after finally watching it (a recording on my DVR) I couldn't believe how good of a movie it is. This movie is outstanding and the other day when I saw it in my recordings list I came straight to Amazon.com and bought it. Trust me, you will love this movie. If it is possible to give it a 10 star rating it would get 15!
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on September 14, 2013
By far, my favorite movie of all time. This movie had a deliverance that you wish were found in more films. Great story, great characters, great twists, great cast .. Everything can be found in this film. And I don't say that lightly.

The story unfolds in 1947 when banker Andy Dufresne(Tim Robbins) is convicted of murdering his wife and her lover, based on circumstantial evidence, and is sentenced to two consecutive life sentences at Shawshank State Penitentiary. Andy quickly befriends contraband smuggler Ellis "Red" Redding (Morgan Freeman), an inmate serving a life sentence. Red procures a rock hammer for Andy, allowing him to create small stone chess pieces. Red later gets him a large poster of Rita Hayworth, followed in later years by images of Marilyn Monroe and Raquel Welch. Andy works in the prison laundry, but is regularly assaulted by the "bull queer" gang "the Sisters" and their leader Bogs (Mark Rolston).

In 1949, Andy overhears the brutal chief guard Byron Hadley (Clancy Brown) complaining about taxes on a forthcoming inheritance and informs him about a financial loophole. After another vicious assault by the Sisters nearly kills Andy, Hadley severely beats Bogs resulting in Bogs being sent to another prison. Andy is not attacked again. Warden Samuel Norton (Bob Gunton) meets with Andy and reassigns him to the prison library to assist elderly inmate Brooks Hatlen (James Whitmore), a pretext for Andy to manage financial duties for the prison. His advice and expertise are soon sought by other guards at Shawshank and from nearby prisons. Andy begins writing weekly letters to the state government for funds to improve the decrepit library.

In 1954, Brooks is freed on parole, but unable to adjust to the outside world after 50 years in prison, he hangs himself. Andy receives a library donation that includes a recording of The Marriage of Figaro. He plays an excerpt over the public address system, resulting in his receiving solitary confinement. After his release, Andy explains that he holds onto hope as something that the prison cannot take from him, but Red dismisses the idea. In 1963, Norton begins exploiting prison labor for public works, profiting by undercutting skilled labor costs and receiving kickbacks. He has Andy launder the money using the alias "Randall Stephens".

In 1965, Tommy Williams (Gil Bellows) is incarcerated for burglary. He joins Andy's and Red's circle of friends, and Andy helps him pass his General Educational Development (G.E.D.) examinations. In 1966, after hearing the details of Andy's case, Tommy reveals that an inmate at another prison claimed responsibility for an identical murder, suggesting Andy's innocence. Andy approaches Norton with this information, but the warden refuses to listen. Norton places Andy in solitary confinement and has Hadley murder Tommy, under the guise of an escape attempt. Andy refuses to continue with the scam, but Norton threatens to destroy the library and take away his protection and preferential treatment. After Andy is released from solitary confinement, he tells Red of his dream of living in Zihuatanejo, a Mexican Pacific coastal town. While Red shrugs it off as being unrealistic, Andy instructs him, should he ever be freed, to visit a specific hayfield near Buxton to retrieve a package.

What happens next , you will just have to watch !

It's definitely WORTH THE WATCH if you haven't seen it.

In fact, I am most confident that you will enjoy this one.

More movies like this, please. I am a very satisfied customer.
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on December 1, 2011
We can get into discussions all day and night long on what's the best movie of all time really is. The Godfather and Toy Story, without question, are the best trilogies. Yet if you have to talk about a single movie that defines breaking the mole of true picture telling and movie making then The Shawshank Redemption takes the prize. Now, as a fan of Forrest Gump, I never questioned whether it should had won a Best Picture Oscar, nevertheless, after finally watching Shawshank I'm beginning to think otherwise. I've always enjoyed Stephen King films for their psychological thrill, this on the other hand has to be the most unique and fanastic piece of storytelling and character development in his career. Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins gives flawless peformances playing incarcerated inmates who develop a friendship behind bars. For 2 hours and 22 minutes this movie will have you captivated by the richness and cleverness of the film. Simply outstanding! And if you haven't seen it, I highly suggest you do.
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on September 8, 2016
A great screenplay by Frank Darabont (derived from a short novel by Stephen King that I haven't read, but imagine that some of the actual lines are found). The casting is simply perfect (including Morgan Freeman's brief narrations). This movie will take you on a roller coaster of emotion (especially gut-wrenching lows for me). It's interesting to me that this movie took so long to be recognized as one of the best films of the modern era. I felt that way when I first saw it in 1995, and this was the third time I've seen it, and it still feels like one of the best movies I seen.
Caveats: The R-rating still applies, and the violence in the movie is palpable.
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