The Shawshank Redemption Review


Out of all the movies on my Spring Break Watchlist, this was the one I probably needed to watch the most.  It was always the movie that was most shocking to people when I mentioned I’d never seen it, especially given this hobby of mine.  It wasn’t that I hadn’t wanted to necessarily; I had just never gotten around to it.  Well I did today, and let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint.

The Shawshank Redemption is about a man (Tim Robbins) wrongly convicted of murder who is sent to Shawshank Prison.  There he meets all kinds of people, most notably Red (Morgan Freeman).  The movie is about their story that takes place throughout their time in the prison.

IMDB users have voted this the best movie of all time.  Naturally, I went in with high expectations.  The movie didn’t let me down.  Everything in this movie is incredible.  The characters are well written, interesting, and you get attached to them very quickly.  That is definitely a testament of the acting, all of which is spot on.  The story is gripping and takes some twists and turns that I didn’t see coming and earns every one of them. It makes its 2 hour and 20 minute runtime fly by.  There wasn’t a moment that I was bored or uninterested. It held my attention the whole time, quite a feat for a drama.  It’s thought provoking and puts you through a wide array of emotions.  Pretty much everything you could want in a movie is in this one.

There isn’t a whole lot wrong with it, at least in my eyes.  Some people may argue that it glorifies prison life, which I was starting to agree with for a while.  But then I realized that the message of hope and life in the movie is so much stronger than that.  The prison could be a metaphor for most of our lives.  Most of us get into a routine or a rut in our lives and just start going through the motions.  We should all start to follow what may be one of the greatest movie quotes of all time, “Get busy living, or get busy dying”.  That’s a message most people should take note of. Not because they are locked in a prison, but rather because so many are locked in a prison of their own lives. The message behind this movie of making sure we our living our lives because you only get one and you never know what tomorrow holds is the main reason this movie is so great.

Is it the best movie of all time? To me, that’s impossible to say.  There are so many movies and so many differences that are impossible to compare.  I’m comfortable saying this is the best prison drama ever made.  And I’m even more comfortable saying it easily makes it into my personal favorite top 15 or 20 movies, mostly due to the message (even though that is definitely not the only good thing about it).  It is a movie that everyone can enjoy and everyone should watch. The Shawshank Redemption gets a score I only give every now and then, but one it certainly deserves, a 5/5.

Let me know what you think of this incredible movie in the comments.