100

Empire

A thumpingly good ode to friendship, hope, wit, wiles and wisdom, brimming with crackling characters and topped with the most twisteroo of twists since "The Crying Game."
Full Review
90

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
It's the no-bull performances that hold back the flood of banalities. Robbins and Freeman connect with the bruised souls of Andy and Red to create something undeniably powerful and moving.
Full Review
88

Christian Science Monitor

By David Sterritt
As the uptight banker, Robbins does some of his subtlest acting to date. As his hardened but resilient friend, Freeman is simply miraculous, giving the role so much depth, dignity, and good humor that you feel that you've known this man forever. [27 Sept 1994]
Full Review
88

Chicago Tribune

By Michael Wilmington
This is a movie with every facet shining in place, every word charged and resonant. [23 Sept 1994]
Full Review
88

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
If the film is perhaps a little slow in its middle passages, maybe that is part of the idea, too, to give us a sense of the leaden passage of time, before the glory of the final redemption.
Full Review
88

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
Whitmore's Brooks is a brilliantly-realized character, and the scenes with him attempting to cope with life outside of Shawshank represents one of the film's most moving -- and effective -- sequences.
Full Review
75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Peter Stack
Some of "The Shawshank Redemption'' comes across as outrageously improbable. Yet the film keeps pulling you back with its sense of striving humanity slowly turning the tables against evil.
Full Review
75

USA Today

By Mike Clark
Kudos go to the great Thomas Newman, whose score contributes as much as either lead to what is finally a two-character movie, though one well-performed by all. [23 Sept 1994]
Full Review
70

TV Guide

A crowd-pleasing story that has little to do with the messy complexities of reality.
Full Review
67

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
Shouldering a laconic-good-guy, neo- Gary Cooper role, Robbins never quite makes emotional contact with the audience.
Full Review
80 out of 100
Universal acclaim
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.