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The Green Mile
Academy Award® Nominee
Set on Death Row in a Southern prison in 1935, The Green Mile is the remarkable story of the cell block’s head guard (played by Tom Hanks), who develops a poignant, unusual relationship with one...  View more >

Starring Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse...  View more >

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Reviews Summary


Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
The Green Mile is for anyone who enjoys seeing a movie which touches you and gives credence that miracles are indeed wondrous. This rendition of Stephen King's novel is for those King afficianados who admire the way the master spins a yarn and how a director can make it visual. It is for those who enjoy the wholesomeness of Tom Hanks--can this guy make a BAD movie? Duncan's John Coffey characterization is moving. The movie evokes emotions of laughter, anger, sadness, and grief. Bring a box of Kleenex. Well worth seeing!

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
probably one of the best movies this year.will allow you to believe in miracles!a long 3 hour movie but, worth it!

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
If you are Constant Reader (and you know who you are), this is a "must see". A story as only Stephen King can tell it. The character development is incredible. Kudos to the casting director for matching the actor to the character. Tom Hanks - excellent as usual. Michael Clark Duncan - if he doesn't get Best Support Actor nomination - I'll be surprised. This big man is worth seeing on the big screen.

If you've seen the commercials and read the book, you're probably wondering about Mr. Jingles - he's in there!

p.s. Take some tissues. Not that it's an overly sad movie, just very emotional.

Jan 25, 2000
First of all... I really liked it. Tom Hanks' latest film is just another prime example of how he has developed into a tremendous actor. While we may have enjoyed his previous films Splash, Turner & Hooch, Dragnet, Money Pit and the ever not-so-popular Joe and the Volcano, they are not of the same caliber as Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Private Ryan, and now The Green Mile. The Green Mile is a flashback story of a prison guard who supervised a "death row." His flashback story touches on the uniquely personal yet strange relationships that develop between the guards and death row inmates. The depression setting era adds to the true brutality and horror of the death sentence... not in an effort to dissuade a person from supporting the death penalty, but rather show the "executions" from both a revenge or retaliation perspective and also from a brutal and possibly unjust perspective.

The Green Mile is named after the long green corridor between the cells. Tom Hanks, as head guard Paul Edgecomb, shares his memories of the inmates who resided along the green mile. One inmate in particular is John Coffey, played by Michael Clarke Duncan, convicted of murdering two young girls. Hanks and the other guards (who are all excellently portrayed in this film) witness a few "miracles" along the green mile and struggle with Coffey's role in these "miracles."

The film is almost three hours in length, but to remove even a minute would do this film an injustice. This film is based upon a Stephen King novel, but if you are not too hyped on his work, you will be pleasantly surprised at how "mellow" this film adaption is compared to some of his others. The way these memories of death row inmates are shared is very personal and the audience member is drawn into a brief understanding of how it must feel to be a guard for death row. While an audience member might start to warm up to an inmate, you are quickly reminded of the reason for their incarceration.

Bottom line... while you may find The Green Mile a bit long (as most miles seem to be), I promise that you will enjoy each and every step along the way.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Green Mile combines the blood-chilling and the heart-warming in such a way that I was almost speechless after the 3 hours flew by. Tom Hanks is so believable in this role, it's like seeing him for the first time. This is a big-screen experience a movie afficionado MUST NOT MISS.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Stephen King reaffirms to all that he is one of the century's great and prolific storytellers. Three hours is "a lot of story-telling time" but necessary for character development and script resolvement. Acting superbly reflects King's quirky imagination and appetite for the "undigestable"! He brings horror to new highs!

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
As a Stephen King fan, I loved this movie. As a movie fan, I loved this movie. The audience I saw this with paused in silence, watching the closing credits, for longer than any movie I can recall. (I think everyone was impressed.)Michael Clarke Duncan, as John Coffey, the giant prisoner, will get an Oscar nomination, and the movie itself may get a best picture nomination. Hanks is also worthy of consideration.

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
If you want to see a good movie about prison inmates, rent "The Shawshank Redemption" instead of seeing this movie. The price is better, the popcorn is unlimited, and the story is more gripping. "The Green Mile" has good acting, but 3 hours for this drama is about 1 hour too much. Everyone will be talking about it, so see it so you can join in the conversation. If you're a crier, bring plenty of tissues.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
At least on the face of it, this was a movie about the interaction between prisoners and guards on death row. It was highly authentic in demonstrating what the real issues are, and it turns out that the real issues are not at all about categories such as prisoners and guards. The movie showed real violence as opposed to James Bond plastic violence, and real issues as opposed to watered down preaching either pro or con capital punishment. But, amazingly, it was not ponderous or depressing, and was distinctly uplifting. This is the kind of movie that I would want my kids, late teenagers or older, to see, since it makes the viewer want to do better in life and to open his or her eyes to possibilities not previously considered.

A fine film for those who don't want to live on junk food.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Absolutly Incredible!

If this movie dosen't at least get a nomination for best picture, the entire Acadamy should be shoved in the "quiet Room" for a few days! (you'll understand if you see the film.)

This movie looks at both hard, realistic issues, and Miricals with the same honest open eyes. And does both topics full justice!

Tom Hanks was great! and the rest of the cast more than caried there own weight!

A solid 5 STARS out of 5

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Myself, my husband and my eleven year old son saw the movie and we all loved it. My husband was brought to tears which I've never seen happen.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Excellent movie. While Tom Hanks was fine in this movie, the real suprise was Michael Duncan, who I believe gave the performance of the year as prisoner John Coffey. I highely recomend this movie. Just make sure you use the restroom before you see it. It's a long one! :-)

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
I'd say "stay away," but I know there are many Steven King fans out there. For me, who is not a King fan, the movie was:
1. too long by at least an hour
2. ridiculous for its supernatural premise
3. overdone in the many-too-many scenes of men peeing
4. not a fit vehicle for the stellar acting talents of Tom Hanks

I'll be surprised -- and disappointed -- if the film wins any academy awards

Wait to rent it. That way, you can at least take a break at the halfway point

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
An above average interpretation of Stephen King's book of the same name. Reasonably faithful to the book. Good story!

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Cinema is the only art form, that I know of, that willfully tries to recreate what is found in other art forms, especially the novel. Sometimes the movie succeeds where the novel fails by retelling the story on its own visual terms. On the other hand, we all know the feeling when a movie utterably fails to capture the richness and variation in plot and character that reside in a good novel. (That goes for most John Grisham movies, in my opinion). Rare indeed, like precious gems, are those movies that both honor and succeed upon the original work, without trying to exactly copy it. "L.A. Confidential" comes to mind. Even more elusive is the movie that not only honors but captures scene for scene and nuance for nuance everything that the original novel's author intended. Francis Ford Coppolla tried to hit the mark with "The Great Gatsby" and never even came close. But Paul Darabont, in writing and directing "The Green Mile," has scored a perfect bullseye in adapting Stephen King's bestselling "serial novel" to the big screen.

Darabont, and one of the greatest casts, led by Tom Hanks and Michael Clark Duncan, ever to appear on film, have crafted a film that takes the viewer into a world where awful horror and healing grace exist side-by-side. The movie may even succeed in compelling the viewer to become an emotional participant in the sometimes agonizing, other times ecstatic, affairs of the characters. And there is enough humor, dramatic irony, and melodramatic payoffs to keep any ticket-buyer entertained for its muscular, nonfat three hour length.

I have always felt that today's arguable master of horror, Stephen King, is at his best when he uses horror to make us contemplate the choices that we make as individuals and as a species. Of such unspeakable horror, from the rape and murder of our most innocent to the cold-blooded incineration of our condemned, we are capable of as humans. And yet, equally human and unique to our species is our innate capacity for goodness, and how that goodness can transform us into something noble and worthy. That's what King's novel said to me, and that's the essence that Darabont captured in this perhaps greatest of all screen adaptations. The movie works because King chose to paint pictures with words, rather than intellectualize, in order to tell his story. And it works because Darabont made the equally fortunate decision to be faithful to those pictures and yet create a work that stands on its own merits.

Ultimately, history will decide what place "The Green Mile," the movie, will take in the art of filmmaking. It surely has all the elements to be considered one of the missing films in the American Film Institute's 100 greatest of the 20th century. It's definitely worthy of extensive examination as an example of filmaking, from novel to film. The movie's denouement may be a little too long, and perhaps, too literary for its medium, but that's a minor nitpick, in an otherwise triumphant film that leaves anyone it touches profoundly affected by the evil and good that men do.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
This Movie was one of the best movies I have seen in 1999. It was long 3 hours but it is well worth it. Just make sure you take a box of tissue along...once again Stephen King did not let me down . :-)

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Tom Hanks is brilliant in everything he has ever done. The Green Mile is not his fault. It should be called the Endless Mile because it is a cross between Sally Field in Places In The Heart and Tinkerbell tossing her cookies. A film that needs to put in special effects to substantiate a plot is a writer with writer's block. Someone could have had a good film on their hands but some awful demon took over. This film has so many flaws. Stay away. The writing is horrible. The actors are terrific. The storyline is ridiculous.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Wow ! Eight "see nows" and one "good" at the time of my review, speaks for itself! How often is there applause in a theater as the credits roll?

The book was great, rates as one of Stephen's top shelf works, up there with "The Stand, Dead Zone & Salem' Lot. The movie does too, even if you're not a "fan". The acting & directing is superb.

This will be one of the movies of the decade. I'm tempted to go see it again and I never watch movies twice.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
For those that love King this movie is a delightful departure from his usual. I feel that even those that dont normaly like King will like this movie as it is not his usual horror. This movie caused me to take a closer look at myself as a human being and I feel that it will do the same for most viewers. All in all I would say this movie deserves to be seen in the theatre.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Feb 6, 2000
This one is a MUST SEE...especially if you don't have a really big TV at home (in case you were waiting for the rental version). If you like the way King writes you will really like this one. It follows the book closer than any other movie I have seen that had a book come out before the film.

See this one and don't worry about the 3+ hours...you won't even know the time...until it's over...then WOW!!
[--- See Now! ---]by  
Feb 6, 2000
The Green Mile is a well made, and well acted movie that I would recommend you see at the theater. The colors and camera shots make this film worth paying the extra money for. I saw it at the matinee, but told my brother it would have been worth the $7 you have to pay, and he agreed.

This movie has the same kind of "feel" to it that Shawshank Redemption had, although it doesn't measure up to Shawshank. The 3 hour length of this movie is a tad bit too long, but the movie does succeed in holding your attention the entire time. I've been to hour and a half movies that seemed much longer than this one.

**** out of *****.
[--- See Now! ---]by  
Feb 6, 2000
This movie is great entertaiment. You would expect nothing less from a movie with Tom Hanks. While Mr. Hanks is good its the rest of the cast that makes this movie great. From the prisoner John Coffey (played by Michael C. Duncan) to the despicable and sadistic guard Percy Wetmore (played by Doug Hutison)the roles are performed as well as any I've seen. This movie will receive several Oscar nominations.
[--- See Now! ---]by  
Feb 15, 2000
There were so many mixes of emotions in this movie. I thought it was a moving story, great characters and a real tear jerker.
[--- See Now! ---]by  
Feb 20, 2000
I don't know why people out there are saying "Wait for the rental". I bet they are the same people who thought the blair witch was brilliant.

This movie was intense, sad, yet remained humorous in otherwise unhumorous situations. It was kind of twisted in the Steven King kind of way, without being grotesque or horrific. And yes it isn't exactly realistic. Its a movie people...its a Steven King movie...its not suppose to be. Out there on the edge is what he was trying to do with this film.

I saw the movie in a packed theater. Not a single person, not even the men, left with dry eyes.

Its kind of like "who wants to be a millionaire", that game show. There is a life line called ask the audience. they poll the audience, and they give the answer they think is right, and based on what most of the audience chose, the player makes his or her final answer, and the answer that won the majority of the audience's vote is 98% right. The majority here is, this movie is a must see. Is that my final answer? Yes that is.
[--- See Now! ---]by  
Mar 1, 2000
Let me just add another "See Now". The story stays true to the book in most ways, the actors all played their parts well, and the message of hope, revenge and the burden a "gift" can be were well presented.

See it now, then see it again. It's that good.
[--- See Now! ---]by  
Mar 2, 2000
The best movies dealing with the supernatural are all successful at one thing - disguising the fact that they deal with the supernatural. "The Green Mile" is a film where the unexplained rests at the core - but somehow isn't the center of the story. There are many dramatic elements here, and director Frank ("The Shawshank Redemption") Darabont is careful in not letting one particular aspect of the story upstage another.

The story is told in flashback, where an elderly man confides to his dear friend - letting her in on a secret that has haunted him for years. During the Great Depression, Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) was a death row prison guard in the heart of the South. With the exception of a urinary infection he was suffering from at the time, things were running fairly smoothly. Then one day, a new inmate arrives. He is a giant of a man, yet his ominous size houses a harmless, timid personality. ("You keep the lights on at night? I get scared of the dark," he tells the guards.) The man's name is John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), and he was convicted for the murder of two little girls. He certainly doesn't seem the murdering type, but being found with the bloody bodies draped over his lap, and the fact that he is a black man in the deep South doesn't put him in a very favorable spot. Despite his situation, there is a calm, gentleness about him - he isn't angry at those who have imprisoned him, but seems to accept the conditions that have overtaken his life.

We are also introduced to several other characters, including Brutus Howell (David Morse), Edgecomb's benevolent second-in-command who carries the same philosophy regarding handling the inmates, the prison warden (James Cromwell), a good man whose decency derives from spending long hours at his sick wife's bedside, Eduard "Dell" Delacroix (Michael Jeter), another inmate who developes a bond with a curious mouse who just won't go away, "Wild Bill" Wharton (Sam Rockwell), the rambunctious new arrival who actually looks like he'd have fun in the electric chair, and the slimy Percy Wetmore (Doug Hutchison), whose connections could get him any job he wants in the state, but who stays on as a death row guard so that he may "see one cook up close."

The film is based on the novel by Stephen King, and while there are elements of the supernatural here, they are only part of the story. A good deal of time is spent observing the day-to-day happenings on death row - things such as the guards wiping down the electric chair and running rehearsals of the next day's execution (which includes an inspired cameo from Harry Dean Stanton as the would-be inmate.)

The performances are so clearly defined, they add to the movie's texture. Tom Hanks, playing a character probably a tad more benevolent than a typical death row guard, does an excellent job of showing the conflict residing between his obligation to his job and his own fear of hell by having to execute one of God's true miracles. The personalities of the inmates blast their way out of the performances as well, whether it be the genuine innocence of Eduard Delacroix or the half-giddy, half-poisonous venom of "Wild Bill" Wharton. And of course the sleazy Percy Wetmore, embodied perfectly by Doug Hutchison. The temptation would be to portray the character as a buffoon, but Hutchison creates a hatred that slithers between the bricks of the cell block. Yes, he's a weasel, but he's also downright frightening at times. Rarely do you see a worthless, bile-filled character as memorable as this one.

Even after a second viewing, I still wonder whether the movie really needs the introduction and the conclusion. It seems to me that the messages being sent arrive clearly within the flashback itself, and thus wouldn't need to be reiterated. I suppose Darabont's decision to keep those scenes in is a nod to the storytelling brilliance of Stephen King. With all the film adaptations of his work, I get the feeling that Darabont holds the author's words closer to his heart than other filmmakers. In any event, what he has done is a cinematic
triumph - a movie that pays homage to its source while maintaining a life of its own.

--Michael Brendan, "Mad Dog" Film Reviews (www.maddogreviews.com)
May 15, 2000
A wonderful movie that will have you glued to the screen.

Marvelous performances from everyone and enough variation in characters and plot to keep most people happy.

The storyline was a little strange but acceptable because that's one of the reasons we go to the movies, to see weird and wonderful things. And, of course, it was from the pen of Stephen King, a writer who has proven many times with the likes of 'Stand By Me' 'Shawshank Redemption' and 'Misery' that he can really deliver a great story aka movie.
9/10
Oct 5, 2003
"The Green Mile" is set in a prison in the 1930's on death role. But according to the movie, there's life coming out of that section of the prison, even if we didn't see it. Tom Hanks plays a prison guard who befriended a large man, played by Michael Clarke Duncan. Despite the fact that he's a big man he had the emotions of a child and the power to heal. He is sentenced to die in the murder of two children. Hanks didn't believe that the large man killed the children. The film is based on the novel by Stephen King. "The Green Mile" is one of the best film that came from a King book.
Oct 13, 2012

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