Slant Magazine calls it over-rated and says,
the film's naïve sentimentality undermines serious issues of violence, rape, manhood, and male bonding. Indeed, after the Sisters are silenced, Darabont cranks up the unilateral act of hero worship: prison goes from being "mean and scary" to, well, "cute." Andy writes letters in order to get books into the prison library, starts doing everyone's taxes, and wins the hearts of guards and prisoners alike. Someone should bake a pie. Oh, wait, they do!Roger Ebert has a positive review.