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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 1 May 2005
In 1999, Channel 4 compiled the Top 100 movies of the last century, as voted by the British movie-going public. I'm sure a few eyebrows were raised when The Shawshank Redemption was a surprise entry at number 4. A decade on from its' release, it has grown in justification of its place amongst the likes of The Godfather, Gone With The Wind, Casablanca to name but a few. Director Frank Darabont's screen adaptation of Stephen King's novel, however, did not set the box-office alight, like those films mentioned, upon its' release in 1994. But it's also interesting to note that on its' 10th anniversary, critics and the public voted it the best film never to win an Academy Award. It just goes to show that however many accolades are bestowed upon a film, that doesn't make it what it is. Shawshank is a powerfully moving story that touches every human emotion, from tragedy, despair, fear to humour, friendship and perhaps the most prominent message of the film - hope.
When Banker Andy Dufresne is sent to Shawshank penitentiary, on a double life-sentence, for the brutal murder of his estranged wife and her lover, his own life could be deemed to be over. The first few years of his sentence are the toughest, but forming a friendship with Red, 'the man who knows how to get things on the inside', plus financially advising the prison warden and the guards on accumulating illegal funds, his life becomes bearable at the most.
I won't praise the film anymore than other reviewers have already done, but if anyone were to reward Shawshank anything less than 5-stars, then they haven't watched the film carefully. The DVD comes with a range of special features, most notably the interviews with cast and crew, which is a bonus. Thomas Newman's musical score only adds to the emotion of the film, in parts it is deeply touching. The ending, as many would agree, is nothing less than uplifting.
Supported by a fine cast of character actors, Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman exchange some excellent dialogue between themselves, both giving what maybe the performances of their careers. How Freeman was never awarded the Best Actor Oscar in 1995 is astounding, but since then both Robbins and himself, thankfully, have not gone overlooked by the Academy.
It is a film that deserves a classic status, and offers an important message to anyone who maybe in their darkest of hours, when there is nowhere to turn - that their is light at the end of the tunnel. Life without The Shawshank Redemption, would be meaningless.
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on 6 March 2003
The Acting is faultless, the storyline is so well directed, you become captivated by this truly brilliant masterpiece. A good Hollywood film, with a tangible narrative, impressive acting, and finds its origins in a Stephen king novel is challenging to come across, however The Shawshank redemption indisputably wins the challenge. Once the film has began, you become totally involved emotionally and mentally to this work of genius. At times the film is so extraordinary shocking it takes your breathe away. The film deals with disdainful, corrupt, cruel prison offices and closeness and love of friendship. Although its over 2 hours long, you just cant move away from the Television screen, as if you have been super glued to youe seat regardless of what is going on around you. Shawshank is so well written, that only towards the end of the film do you fully understand it...
I am not going to give a review of the film in fear of spoiling it for you... just buy it
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on 24 November 2001
The Shawshank Redemption is simply one of the best films ever made.It has everything-good plot,superb acting,perfect casting and a great ending.The film is never dull and keeps you riveted throughout-Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman are superb!
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on 13 May 2008
One of the bestest films I have ever seen!!!

Superb movie, superb story, ultimate acting... I even liked the villain in this movie!... hats off to the lovely people who created it... its a shame it didn't win the deserved oscar....

Must see atleast ten times in life!!!
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on 18 September 2003
I particularly like this re-release for The Shawshank Redemption. Almost everybody knows the storyline by now, but what gave this DVD 5 stars was its excellent documentary by Mark Kermode, shown on TV 2 years ago. His simialrly styled documentaries for The Excorsist, French Connection, Blade Runner and Alien deserve to be extras on DVD - I thought so at the time, so I'm delighted that Shawshank's one is included here.
People will say wait next Xmas for the 2 disk Special Edition, but do you really want all those extras that, the more you see of them, reminds you that this film is just a product rather than a religion it appears to be today. For these reasons I urge you to buy this smaller release for its simplicity and sincerity.
Thanks, now you can go to the 'No' option on the 'was this review helpful to you?'!!
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on 30 October 2012
If you're reading this review, you probably know that The Shawshank Redemption is a great film. (It's probably my all-time favourite). You might be interested to hear exactly what you get in this set, though.

Despite the product image saying "2 discs", this is actually a 4-disc set. One barebones Blu-Ray disc, with just the movie; three DVDs. The three DVDs appear to be identical to the three released in the Special Edition DVD set back in 2004, so if you've got that set and are unsure whether to sell it off and upgrade, fear not: you can.

The transfer is superb. The steelbook is nice. There are no foreign language audio options or subtitles but there are English HOH subtitles on both the Blu-Ray and the DVD.
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on 27 March 2016
Fantastic film. My son and I watched this last night and he thoroughly enjoyed it (his first time) and I cried buckets! You can see why it is IMDb's No 1 film. The quality of the Blu Ray is also brilliant. The film looks like it was filmed recently. Sound and picture quality excellent. I'm glad I went for blu ray now. You can tell a good film when you go to watch it so many years later and it has not aged one bit. It really does come across as a latest release in every way!
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on 14 August 2016
Undoubtedly one of my favourite ever movies!
Shawshank is renounced for it's gripping story and superb acting.
The movie follows Andy Dufresne, a banker who finds his wife cheating with a golf pro. His hastily departure to prison sets the audience up for a rollercoaster of emotions.
Never have I had so much empathy for a character. It's a crime not to have this movie as part of your DVD collection.
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on 10 March 2014
Quite possibly. The story is maybe the cleverest ever, especially for the full circle "redemption" closing, and the acting by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman could not be better. Along with The Green Mile (Stephen King excelling himself again, these two stories eclipsing any horror masterpieces of his that you might mention), Forrest Gump and Cloud Atlas (yes 3 Tom Hanks films!) and perhaps American Beauty and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, plus of course Dead Man's Shoes, I cannot recall anything in the same class. Movie taste like music taste is subjective, many people will disagree with me and have their own favourites, but to me this is quality right off the scale.

{SPOILER WARNING}.........Added 24 April 2016.........

I truly love this film, and have seen it again yesterday for what must be at least the 5th time, but this time the whole thing fell apart at the end for me. Why? Because the escape scene is full of massive flaws. And I never felt them on other viewings but they were clear as day:

1) How, over 20 years with that little rock hammer, did he manage to scratch slowly away without being seen by routine guard patrols?

2) If he did it all at night-time (when there would still be patrols all the way through the night), when did he get a normal amount of sleep so as not to arouse suspicion around irregular sleep patterns?

3) To clarify point 1, he would have been scratching away from inside the tunnel most of the way, which creates noise plus a flipping great hole in the wall easily seen by a guard, at some point........after all it's 20 years we're expected to believe!

4) How did he manage to put the poster back up over the tunnel entrance from behind?

5) After crawling through the long sewer pipe, where were the smart clothes and shoes and how did they not get ruined? In the scene, he is not wearing smart clothes as he crawls and is not carrying a bag or anything.

6) Where were the all the crucial documents as he crawled out?

7) How did he have any money to travel to the banks?

8) As he hammers with a rock on the sewer pipes with each thunderclap, a) where did the rock come from and b) it is still too loud to not be noticed as he would have hit it a lot of times.

So my perception of the perfection of this movie is now tarnished, and therefore the best film ever made - in my opinion - is Dead Man's Shoes, which I probably thought was better all along anyway!
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on 2 July 2016
A modern day Count of Monte Cristo based film. Watched this TV before buying it on DVD. A great watch, great performance by Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins (Merlin from Top Gun).

If you liked watching Lockup staring Stallone, and read the Count of Monte Cristo, then you would will like this film.
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