Movie Review: The Green Mile (1999)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1999 movie starring Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan.

Synopsis: As he awaits his execution, prison guards notice inmate John Coffey, who was convicted of raping and murdering two young girls, possesses mystical powers that give him the ability to read minds, heal the sick and even bring the dead back to life. As he willingly uses his powers to help them, they begin to wonder how a man with God-given abilities could have committed such a heinous crime.


This is one of my wife's favorite movies. However, it had been a while since either of us took the time to watch it and, when I sat down with her last night, I realized I didn't remember too much about it. After seeing it again, I once again understand why she likes it so much.

I think the thing I found most fascinating about this is the mystery behind John Coffey (Duncan). He is a convicted child rapist and murderer facing the electric chair. But, even without his special abilities, it is something that would be very hard to believe. Yet, at the same time, there are times in the movie when he does show a bit of a mean streak. Other times, he would try to help with such brute force, it would make a theory about him accidentally killing the girls plausible.

His powers were also intriguing because it was hard to tell what their limits were. Throughout the movie, he does everything from heal the sick to take control of someone's mind. Had he not been so mild-mannered, it could have made him a very dangerous individual, especially when coupled with his large size.

Another thing that really stands out about this film is the ending. A lot of films like this one are very predictable. This one, however, left a lot of doors open until the very end. Would he be executed? Would some new evidence exonerate him? Or, would the prison guards simply look the other way and let him escape? It's one of those things that keeps you watching even though the ending is a little drawn out and a bit hard to watch once the truth is revealed.

Final Opinion

As I said before, there is a reason why this movie is one of my wife's all-time favorites. If you haven't taken the time to watch it, I recommend it.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 02/07/2018, StevenHelmer
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