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The Green Mile
1999 - R - 188 Mins.
Director: Frank Darabont
Producer: Frank Darabont
Written By: Frank Darabont
Starring: Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, James Cromwell, Barry Pepper, Patricia Clarkson, Michael Jeter, Sam Rockwell, Graham Greene, Doug Hutchison, Harry Dean Stanton, Gary Sinise
Review by: John Ulmer
   
I have found many prison movies overrated. `The Shawshank Redemption' was good, perhaps great, but not the best movie ever (according to the average IMDb.com user, the film is number two on the list of the best movies ever). It was actually quite a rip-off of `Escape From Alcatraz,' but that's a different story. What I'm saying is that prison movies tend to be overrated. But `The Green Mile' with Tom Hanks was a very nice surprise.

Tom Hanks plays a prison guard in the depression-era. He isn't just any prison guard, however. He is a guard on `The Green Mile,' which houses criminals on death row. He is under the employment of James Cromwell, and is husband to Bonnie Hunt.

And then, one day, a huge giant named John Kofe – `like the drink, only spelled different' -comes into the prison, and miracles start to happen. I won't tell you what happens regarding any of the miracles and such, but I will tell you to look out for the mouse.

The acting in `The Green Mile' is excellent. Tom Hanks does a great job in his role, quipping a southern accent and a prison ward cap. Michael Clarke Duncan brings John Kofe to life: a sweet, innocent giant. Irony at its best, considering the man is about eight feet tall.

The movie plays with the audience's emotions. At times you want to laugh; at times you want to cry; at times you want to cheer. But at all times you can't help but participate in the film.

The film is long at times - clocking in at over a whopping three hours - but I don't have a problem with that. I'm not in any rush. I came to watch a movie, and that's what I'm going to do. I'm not one of those people that complain about the length of time a film has. If I don't feel like watching a movie, then why did I even go see a movie in the first place?

`The Green Mile' was adapted to the screen by Frank Darabont, who brought us `The Shawshank Redemption.' Between the two, I'm not sure which I like better. They are both very good movies.

If you haven't seen this movie, I highly recommend it. It is easily one of the most enjoyable movies I have seen in a long time.
 
Movie Guru Rating
An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant. An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant. An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant. An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant. An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant.
  4.5 out of 5 stars

 
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