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Wick's Review

Created Jan 19, 2008 03:07PM PST • Edited Feb 26, 2011 02:45PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Perfect 5.0

    Ultimate male bonding, pungent dialogue, and charismatic performances make this a classic fairytale for grown men. Tim Robbins’ steely, understated banker-behind-bars buddies up with Morgan Freeman’s laconic, decent con to form a duo for the ages.

  3. Perfect 5.0

    Tim Robbins’ name is first in the credits, but Morgan Freeman is the moral and narrative center of the movie. In one of his best performances, Freeman evolves from relatively young and kicky, to near elderly and even more wizened (if that’s possible).

    The supporting actors – other than extras, there are no female roles – are uniformly terrific, from the motley array of cons to the venal and sadistic prison officials.

  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Perfect 5.0

    [set high to not drag down the overall Acting rating, even though there are no female characters]

  6. Female Costars Perfect 5.0

    [set high to not drag down the overall Acting rating, even though there are no female characters]

  7. Male Costars Perfect 5.0
  8. Really Great 4.5

    Outstanding period piece, created for the screen with great aplomb by Frank Darabont.

  9. Direction Really Great 4.5

    Well constructed and paced, Darabont uses the almost 2 1/2 hour running time to great effect, time and again setting up situations, then satisfyingly resolving them well down the road.

  10. Play Perfect 5.0

    The dialogue retains more than a whiff of novelistic flare, but not so much as to detract from dozens of memorable lines and exchanges.

  11. Music Perfect 5.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0

    The prison should get top billing as a living presence in the movie. It comes across as grand as a medieval castle. The rest of the visual details create a rich tableau of the 1940s.

  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.2

    When rape is the only sex in a movie, the Sex scoring words alone can’t convey what you will see. Rape is, of course, violence delivered through sex, so you have to combine Sex and Violence to gain the full picture. Thus, I judge The Shawshank Redemption to be a Violently Fierce and Sexually Titillating (didn’t go higher because of the admirably discreet way the rapes were suggested rather than shown).

  15. Sex Titillating 2.0
  16. Violence Fierce 2.1
  17. Rudeness Salty 2.5
  18. Glib 1.6

    Isn’t it amazing that with all the beatings to the face, Robbins never loses so much as a tooth.

  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.9
  20. Biological Glib 2.0
  21. Physical Natural 1.0


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