The Green Mile (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Green Mile1999

The Green Mile (1999)



Critic Consensus: Though The Green Mile is long, critics say it's an absorbing, emotionally powerful experience.

The Green Mile Photos

Movie Info

Director Frank Darabont, who made an acclaimed feature film debut with The Shawshank Redemption (1994), based on a Stephen King novel set in a prison, returns for a second feature, based on King's 1996 serialized novel set in a prison. In 1935, inmates at the Cold Mountain Correctional Facility call Death Row "The Green Mile" because of the dark green linoleum that tiles the floor. Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) is the head guard on the Green Mile when a new inmate is brought into his custody: John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), convicted of the sadistic murder of two young girls. Despite his size and the fearsome crimes for which he's serving time, Coffey seems to be a kind and well-mannered person who behaves more like an innocent child than a hardened criminal. Soon Edgecomb and two of his fellow guards, Howell (David Morse) and Stanton Barry Pepper), notice something odd about Coffey: he's able to perform what seem to be miracles of healing among his fellow inmates, leading them to wonder just what sort of person he could be, and if he could have committed the crimes with which he was charged. The Green Mile also stars James Cromwell as the warden; Michael Jeter, Sam Rockwell, and Graham Greene as inmates awaiting dates with the electric chair; and Harry Dean Stanton as a clever trustee. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Michael Jeter
as Delacroix
Sam Rockwell
as Wharton
Mark C. Miles
as Orderly Hector
Rai Tasco
as Man in Nursing Home
Edrie Warner
as Lady in Nursing Home
Dabbs Greer
as Old Paul
Paula Malcomson
as Marjorie Detterick
Christopher Ives
as Howie Detterick
Evanne Drucker
as Kathe Detterick
Bailey Drucker
as Cora Detterick
Brian Libby
as Sheriff McGee
Brent Briscoe
as Bill Dodge
Bill McKinney
as Jack Van Hay
Rachel Singer
as Cynthia Hammersmith
Scotty Leavenworth
as Hammersmith's Son
Katelyn Leavenworth
as Hammersmith's Daughter
Bill Gratton
as Earl the Plumber
Dee Croxton
as Woman at Del's Execution
Rebecca Jane Klingler
as Wife at Del's Execution
Gary Imhoff
as Husband at Del's Execution
Van Epperson
as Police Officer
David E. Browning
as Reverend at Funeral
Michael Duncan
as John Coffey
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Critic Reviews for The Green Mile

All Critics (134) | Top Critics (43)

The simple fable can't stand such scrutiny. More pivotally, the weight given to each moment lends The Green Mile a ponderousness that works against the emotions the story seems to want to plug into.

December 10, 2019 | Full Review…

Much of the three-hour movie takes place in the prison, but the resonant characterization, expansive plotting, and judicious use of exterior locations and flashbacks turn the walls into windows.

April 8, 2011 | Full Review…

Thoughtful, intelligent movie for older teens.

December 28, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

How many blockbusters deal with that kind of grief?

October 18, 2008 | Full Review…

To more than a few viewers, this one will feel like a life sentence.

August 24, 2008 | Full Review…

The supernatural elements carry an undeniable emotional charge, but the solution to the underlying murder mystery is disappointingly tidy and trite.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Green Mile


A brilliant moving film with great actors based on a Stephen King story.

Dean King
Dean King

Super Reviewer


Some of the supporting characters are a little two-dimensional, but 'The Green Mile' is an incredibly effective prison drama with terrific performances and a script that deals with grief in an innovative and emotionally resonant way.

Liam Gadd
Liam Gadd

Super Reviewer


The Green Mile is an amazingly soulful movie that features strong acting from an incredible cast. Frank Darabont directs another prison movie with style and humanism. He rarely directs films, but when he does they are usually knockouts (including the Shawshank Redemption & The Mist). Michael Clarke Duncan gives a simply wonderful performance here that rightfully got nominated for an Oscar. The fact that he died prematurely makes this even more of a heart-wrenching story to me. Tom Hanks is his reliably likable self and the rest of the cast is made up of good character actors. I thought most of the characters in this film were memorable. It's really hard to explain to someone without giving details away, but for first-timers this film will surprise you. The 3 hour run time seems long, but this film could not have been better paced. I never found myself checking the time. This is a classic that deserves to be seen.

Josh Lewis
Josh Lewis

Super Reviewer

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