Review Date: November 10, 2001
Director: Frank Darabont
Writer: Frank Darabont
Producers: Niki Marvin
An amazing movie. Easily one of the best movies made during the 90s and definitely one of the top "prison" movies of all-time. Pretty much everything about this movie works and works extremely well! The film touches upon many subjects, including the ideas of hope, redemption, love, loneliness, justice, life/death, friendship, endurance, fear, patience, inspiration and so much more.
Watching this movie always makes me feel a million times better, and if that's not the greatest reason to watch a film, I don't know what is. Give it up to both Freeman and Robbins for completely engulfing their characters with heart, soul and the spirit of humanity. I appreciated the message in this film, I absolutely loved the way it ended, I surrendered to its pace, I enjoyed all of its characters, I thought it was wonderfully photographed, I loved the score and I could seriously watch this movie 10 times a year and not bat an eyelash the whole way through.
And what kind of banner year was 1994?? PULP FICTION, FORREST GUMP, THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL (one of my favorite romantic comedies of all-time) were all nominated for Best Picture. It's really too bad that most everyone got swept by that chocolate-lover, but no matter what the Academy deemed "better" that year, it goes without saying that SHAWSHANK has developed an even greater audience and following since that time, and is probably one of the most appreciated movies from the past twenty years (I usually NEVER hyperbolize any of my reviews (this is the BEST EVER...this is the WORST EVER...), but in this case, this film takes that cake and damn well, eats it too!).
Love it, watch it, get your own motivation from it and surrender to its spirit which gives anyone in the world hope to do whatever they dream to do in life. It's like I quoted back at the top of this review, you better "get busy living, or get busy dying". It don't get more black and white than that. Your choice.
A true cinematic inspiration.