The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont, based on the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.
The movie tells the story of banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murder of his wife and her lover, despite his claims of innocence. Over the course of his 19-year imprisonment, he befriends a fellow inmate, Red (Morgan Freeman), and finds himself coping with his newfound life behind bars.
The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Robbins), Best Supporting Actor (Freeman), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Darabont), winning Best Cinematography and Best Sound Mixing. It became the highest-grossing film of 1994, grossing over $58 million in the United States.
Movies Like The Shawshank Redemption
So, if you are a fan of the movie, we have 15 profound movies like The Shawshank Redemption. Browse through the list and find your best watch for today.
1. The Green Mile | 1999 | 8.5 IMDB
The Green Mile is a 1999 American fantasy crime drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont, based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Stephen King. The film tells the story of Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks), a death row corrections officer at Cold Mountain Penitentiary, who witnesses the execution of John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), a black man convicted of the rape and murder of two white girls.
The film also features supporting performances from David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, and Michael Jeter. The Green Mile was a commercial and critical success, grossing over $286 million worldwide and receiving four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.
2. Escape from Alcatraz | 1979 | 7.7 IMDB
Escape from Alcatraz is a 1979 American prison thriller film directed by Don Siegel and starring Clint Eastwood, Jack Thibeau, and Fred Ward. The film is based on the 1962 escape of three prisoners from the maximum-security prison on Alcatraz Island.
The film was a box office success, grossing over $43 million against a budget of $4 million. It received positive reviews from critics, with many praising Eastwood’s performance.
3. Cool Hand Luke | 1967 | 8.2 IMDB
Cool Hand Luke is a great film about a man who just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Luke is a loner who doesn’t seem to care about anyone but himself. But when he is sent to a prison camp, he starts to care about the other inmates. He starts to care about the warden and the guards. He even starts to care about the woman who visits him. This film is a must-see for any fan of prison films.
4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest | 1975 | 8.7 IMDB
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a 1975 American drama film directed by Miloš Forman, based on the 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. The film stars Jack Nicholson as Randle McMurphy, a criminal who is sentenced to a psychiatric hospital. There, he clashes with the tyrannical Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher).
The film also features an ensemble cast, including William Redfield, Brad Dourif, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, and Scatman Crothers. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was a critical and commercial success, winning five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Nicholson), and Best Actress (Fletcher).
5. The Great Escape | 1963 | 8.2 IMDB
If you are looking for a great movie like The Shawshank Redemption, you should definitely watch The Great Escape. The Great Escape is a 1963 American epic war film directed by John Sturges, starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough. The film is based on the true story of the largest Allied prison break from a German POW camp during World War II.
The Great Escape was a massive box office success, grossing over $12 million in its initial release. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and is considered one of the greatest war films ever made.
6. The Intouchables | 2011 | 8.6 IMDB
The Intouchables is a 2011 French buddy comedy-drama film directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano. It stars François Cluzet and Omar Sy. Nine weeks after its release in France on 2 November 2011, it became the second biggest box office hit in France, just behind The Da Vinci Code, with a total of $446.8 million.
The film was voted the event of 2011 in France with 52% of the votes in a poll by Fnac and Télérama. The film has received several award nominations.
7. Forrest Gump | 1994 | 8.8 IMDB
Forrest Gump is a 1994 American comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, and Sally Field.
The story depicts several decades in the life of Forrest Gump (Hanks), a slow-witted but kind-hearted man from Alabama who witnesses and unwittingly influences several defining historical events in the 20th century in the United States.
The film was a commercial success, grossing over $677 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1994, and winning the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Visual Effects.
8. Scent of a Woman |1992 | 8.0 IMDB
Yet another great watch for the fans of ‘The Shawshank Redemption. This time, the leading role is played by Al Pacino, who portrays a retired army officer who is blind. When he is asked to chaperone a teenage student on a weekend trip, he takes the opportunity to teach the boy a few life lessons.
The film also features Chris O’Donnell, James Rebhorn, and Gabrielle Anwar. The scent of a Woman was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $180 million worldwide and receiving three Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.
9. The Pursuit of Happyness | 2006 | 7.5 IMDB
The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 American biographical drama film directed by Gabriele Muccino and starring Will Smith as Chris Gardner, a homeless salesman. The screenplay by Steven Conrad is based on the best-selling autobiography of the same name written by Gardner with Quincy Troupe.
The film was released on December 15, 2006, by Columbia Pictures. For his performance, Smith was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Actor.
10. King of Devil’s Island | 2010 | 7.5 IMDB
King of Devil’s Island is a 2010 Norwegian historical drama film directed by Marius Holst. The film is based on the true story of the escape of a group of boys from the notorious Bastøy Prison Island in 1915.
The film stars Stellan Skarsgård, Benjamin Helstad, and Trond Espen Seim. King of Devil’s Island was nominated for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
11. Brubaker | 1980 | 7.4 IMDB
Number 11 on our list of great movies like The Shawshank Redemption is not other than Brubaker. This is a 1980 American prison drama film directed by Stuart Rosenberg, starring Robert Redford, Yaphet Kotto, and Morgan Freeman. The film is set in 1954 and is based on the true story of Warden Henry Brubaker (Redford), who is appointed to a newly created position at Wakefield State Prison in Arkansas.
Brubaker attempts to reform the corrupt and brutal prison but faces opposition from the prison’s warden, who is more interested in preserving the status quo. Brubaker is ultimately successful in his reform efforts, but at a cost to his own sanity and safety.
12. Animal Factory | 2000 | 7.3 IMDB
Animal Factory is a 2000 American crime drama film directed by Steve Buscemi, based on the novel of the same name by Edward Bunker. It stars Willem Dafoe, Edward Furlong, Steve Buscemi, Danny Trejo, and Mickey Rourke.
The film tells the story of a young man (Furlong) who is sent to prison and befriends a veteran convict (Dafoe). The two men form a bond and the older man protects the younger man from the violence and sexual assaults that are commonplace in prison.
13. Papillon | 1973 | 8.0 IMDB
Papillon is a 1973 American crime drama film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, based on the best-selling autobiography by the French convict Henri Charrière. The film stars Steve McQueen as Henri “Papillon” Charrière and Dustin Hoffman as Louis Dega, two prisoners who form an unlikely partnership in an escape attempt from the infamous Devil’s Island penal colony.
The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won three, for Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
14. The Dark Knight | 2008 | 9.0 IMDB
The Dark Knight is a 2008 American superhero film directed, co-produced, and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the second installment of Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy and a sequel to 2005’s Batman Begins, starring Christian Bale and supported by Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Morgan Freeman.
In the film, Bruce Wayne / Batman (Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Oldman), and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Eckhart) form an alliance to dismantle organized crime in Gotham City but are menaced by an anarchistic mastermind known as The Joker (Ledger), who seeks to undermine Batman’s influence and create chaos.
15. The Prisoner of Azkaban | 2004 | 8.3 IMDB
The Prisoner of Azkaban is the third installment of the Harry Potter film series, based on the novel of the same name by J.K. Rowling. The film was directed by Alfonso Cuarón and stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger.
The Prisoner of Azkaban was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $796 million worldwide and becoming the highest-grossing Harry Potter film at the time. The film won the BAFTA Award for Best Production Design and was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Art Direction.
Movies Like The Shawshank Redemption: Some Honorable Mentions
Here are some other movies that share some similarities to the blockbuster movie The Shawshank Redemption. If you have already watched the above 15 most similar ones, you may want to check these two as well.
1. The Hurricane | 1999 | 7.3 IMDB
The Hurricane is a 1999 American biographical sports drama film directed by Norman Jewison and starring Denzel Washington as Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a middleweight boxer who was wrongly convicted of murder.
The film also features John Hannah, Deborah Kara Unger, Liev Schreiber, and Dan Hedaya in supporting roles. The Hurricane was a commercial and critical success, grossing over $75 million worldwide and receiving three Academy Award nominations, including Best Actor for Washington.
2. Unbroken | 2014 | 7.3 IMDB
Unbroken is a 2014 American biographical sports drama film directed by Angelina Jolie and based on the 2010 non-fiction book by Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. The film stars Jack O’Connell as Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian, and the United States Army Air Forces officer who was captured and tortured by the Japanese during World War II.
Unbroken was a commercial success, grossing over $115 million worldwide. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but O’Connell’s performance was praised.
So, which movies on the list did you like the most? What other movies similar to The Shawshank Redemption would you suggest? Let us know in the comments below.