The Shawshank Redemption ★★★

It's essentially Screenwriting 101: The Movie, which bothers me far more now than when I last watched it 10 years ago. Plays every moment so safe, so measured, so down the middle, it's a wonder that it doesn't come off borderline insulting, or at least boring at its 2+ hour runtime. But Freeman is tailor-made for the role of Red, and to a lesser degree, Darabont and Robbins are also appropriately suited to the material. Neither sensational, nor dull; its biggest virtue is the lack of pretension, but with that comes an absence of genuine ambition and a bland aftertaste. I wasn't itching to cut it off though, so it must be doing something right.