Parents' Guide to

The Shawshank Redemption

By Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Gritty prison tale has positive messages, lots of profanity.

Movie R 1994 142 minutes
The Shawshank Redemption Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 43 parent reviews

age 15+

The Overall Header On The Shawshank Redemption

The amount of profanity in this movie is such a quantity it is said to have over 300+ words saying "Sh**" and "MotherF**ck*r". How good this movie is, is so adequate it was named the No.#1 best movie in the world with a rating of 9.3/10. Although this is for older teens, how much I highly recommend on why you should watch this movie is out of this world. Overall, it is: Rating: 9.3/10 Age: R=16-17+ years Quailty: 9.7/10 "it was made in the 90s'"
age 14+

Violence is present

The violence includes shootings beatings hanging. The language includes f s d a and more. Sex 2/5 Violence 4/5 Language 4/5 Drugs alcohol and smoking 2/5

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (43 ):
Kids say (166 ):

This is a movie that stands the test of time and still resonates with viewers. Call this the Stand by Me of prison stories. Stephen King, who penned Stand by Me, also wrote the short story on which The Shawshank Redemption is based. Here we have all the things that made Stand by Me such a satisfying experience: loveable characters, writerly flourishes, one-dimensional evil antagonists, enduring friendships, poetic justice, and a happy ending. This one is far darker and far more violent than Stand by Me and so ought to be reserved only for older teens. The story is slow to develop, and younger kids and children sensitive to the suffering of others may find this world a difficult one to sit with for the film's duration.

Having said all that, the film is satisfying but cloying. Andy is the minister of the healing power of hope. He educates the inmates on the healing power of Mozart. He builds a library. He asks Red why he stopped playing the harmonica. When Red replies that it's no use in prison, Andy looks at him soulfully and replies that "here's where you need it the most." Despite the somewhat unbelievable friendship between a white, upper-class banker and an African-American man in 1949, it's a valuable lesson that may seem inspired to kids who haven't heard this story before.

Movie Details

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