4 - The Shawshank Redemption
When it opened in theaters, The Shawshank Redemptioncould not really be called a success. It
broke even, but that’s about it.
However, once it hit home video, word of mouth spread like wildfire. The Stephen King penned story about a wrongly convicted man and his eventual escape quickly became one of the most popular films ever. With 733,419 votes on IMDB.com (more than any other movie), it’s the number one rated film.
What makes it so good, so inspirational? The incredible performances from Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, and a top supporting cast certainly help; the brilliantly written script by director Frank Darabont has never hurt it; and the twisty you’ll-never-see-it-coming plot definitely contributed to its popularity. But the main reason why The Shawshank Redemptioncontinues to inspire is that justice is served. Andy Dufraine, wrongfully convicted, receives pure, sweet justice at the end of the movie, but not in a way that is tainted or ugly. He’s the ultimate underdog, and when he spectacularly triumphs over his captors, it makes you want to stand up and cheer.
There’s so much injustice in this world and in our own lives. The Shawshank Redemption is a brief respite from that, one of those inspirational films you want to see over and over and over again.
~ Evan Derrick