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The Green Mile Review: A Captivating Journey of Compassion and Redemption


The Green Mile is a 1999 American fantasy drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont, based on Stephen King’s 1996 novel of the same name. The movie stars Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb, an elderly prison guard who takes care of John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), a giant African-American inmate in 1935 Louisiana State Penitentiary. It is set on death row at Cold Mountain Correctional Facility and follows the story of Edgecomb's life-changing encounter with Coffey. The themes explored throughout this movie include justice, morality, mercy and redemption – all important aspects to consider when looking back at such a profound cinematic experience. Symbols also play an important role in conveying these themes; many of them are represented through objects like keys or stones that are meaningful to the characters in different ways.


Main Characters

Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) is the main protagonist of The Green Mile. He is an elderly prison guard at Cold Mountain Correctional Facility and has worked there for many years. His job entails overseeing death row inmates, including John Coffey, a giant African-American man with mysterious powers who is convicted of murdering two young girls. Paul quickly begins to question whether or not John really did commit this heinous crime, and he finds himself developing a deep bond with him over time as he gets to know him better.

John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan) is one of the most important characters in The Green Mile. Despite his intimidating size and strength, he has a gentle soul that shines through from the moment we meet him on death row. As Paul comes to understand more about his unique abilities – like being able to heal people – it becomes clear why everyone around them refers to him as ‘The Miracle Man’. It isn’t until later in the movie that viewers get glimpses into John's past which help explain why he ended up where he did despite having so much potential for good deeds throughout life.

Other important characters include Percy Wetmore (Doug Hutchinson), an arrogant new correctional officer whose hatred towards prisoners leads him down a dangerous path; William Wharton (Sam Rockwell), an unruly inmate who tests Paul's patience; Eduard Delacroix (Michael Jeter), another inmate on death row with whom Paul forms a strong friendship; and Melinda Moores (Patricia Clarkson), wife of Warden Hal Moores (James Cromwell). Each character serves their own purpose in helping move along the plot while also providing insight into some of the moral dilemmas presented within The Green Mile universe.

Plot Analysis

Paul’s Journey: As the main protagonist of The Green Mile, Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) is a prison guard at Cold Mountain Correctional Facility who gradually develops a bond with John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), an African-American inmate on death row. Paul’s journey in this movie is one of redemption and understanding as he comes to terms with his own prejudices when it comes to John. He begins to see him not just as a prisoner, but also as a human being worthy of compassion and mercy. In turn, this helps him come full circle in his own life by learning that justice does not always mean punishment; sometimes it means giving someone the chance for a second chance to make things right.

The Miracle of John: Throughout The Green Mile, there are hints dropped about how special John Coffey really is – from his ability to heal people miraculously with just the touch of his hands, to his prophetic visions about upcoming events that no one else can see coming. These moments serve as reminders that although he may be confined within the walls of Cold Mountain Prison, there is still something larger at work inside him than what meets the eye. Ultimately these scenes help drive home the theme that we all have untapped potential deep down inside us if only we take time to recognize it and nurture it properly.

Dark Undertones of The Movie: While much attention has been given throughout The Green Mile towards themes such as justice and morality, another important aspect worth noting is its dark undertones which include racism and bigotry found both within and outside prison walls alike. This serves not only as an important reminder for viewers regarding why certain social issues should never be taken lightly or ignored entirely but also acts as an effective tool in creating tension during key moments throughout this movie which makes them even more impactful upon viewing them unfold onscreen.


The Significance of The Movie

The human-animal bond is a prominent theme in The Green Mile, and John Coffey’s connection to the mouse Mr. Jingles serves as an excellent example of this. Not only does it demonstrate the power of friendship between two unlikely companions, but it also helps us understand more about John’s character – his gentleness towards animals speaks volumes about his true nature despite being falsely accused of murder.

Death and justice are two major themes explored throughout the movie, with Paul Edgecomb having to grapple with questions such as “what is fair punishment?” when dealing with prisoners on death row. This is particularly highlighted during the climactic scene where he ultimately chooses mercy over revenge by deciding not to execute John even though he has been sentenced to death for his crimes.

Finally, The Green Mile explores how empathy and kindness can be transformative forces in our lives through its depiction of multiple characters who learn important lessons after showing compassion towards one another at difficult times. For example, Percy Wetmore learns that cruelty will never bring him any real satisfaction while Eduard Delacroix discovers that friendship can exist even among those who were once considered enemies – both valuable lessons which may lead them down different paths going forward from hereon out.


The Visuals: The Green Mile is a visually stunning movie that was beautifully shot by cinematographer David Tattersall. Every scene is carefully crafted to evoke the appropriate emotion from viewers, from the dark and dreary atmosphere of Cold Mountain Correctional Facility to the warmth and brightness of Paul Edgecomb’s home. In addition, each character has been given enough detail to make them feel real without being over-the-top or unrealistic. From John Coffey’s menacing size to Eduard Delacroix’s energetic demeanor, it becomes clear why this movie won an Academy Award for Best Picture in 2000 – its visuals are simply breath-taking!

The Cast: Along with Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb, The Green Mile features an impressive cast of actors whose performances help bring each character to life onscreen. Michael Clarke Duncan shines as John Coffey while Doug Hutchinson gives a terrifyingly convincing portrayal of Percy Wetmore. Sam Rockwell also deserves recognition for his performance as William Wharton which perfectly captures the unruliness and defiance that one might expect from such a troublesome inmate. Finally, Patricia Clarkson brings sensitivity and warmth into her role as Melinda Moores which helps soften some of the harsher moments throughout this movie experience.

Conclusion: All in all, The Green Mile is an emotionally captivating film about justice, mercy and redemption that may have you questioning your own beliefs after watching it unfold onscreen. Between its powerful visual elements combined with great performances by its stellar cast – not forgetting Stephen King's original source material – this cinematic classic remains timeless even 20 years since its release in 1999; leaving viewers with much food for thought regarding what really matters when making decisions between right or wrong at any point in our lives today



The Green Mile is a timeless classic that has made a lasting impact on popular culture for its powerful themes and messages about justice, mercy and redemption. As one of the most successful Stephen King adaptations to date, it has become an iconic movie for all ages to enjoy over two decades since its release in

The story revolves around Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks), a correctional officer at Cold Mountain Prison who develops a unique bond with John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), an African-American inmate on death row. Through their interactions, viewers are presented with moral dilemmas regarding how far someone’s sense of justice should go; ultimately leading to the conclusion that sometimes punishment isn't always necessary - instead giving people second chances can help them make things right in life again.

The cast of this movie also deserves recognition: Michael Clarke Duncan shines as John Coffey while Doug Hutchinson gives an electrifying performance as Percy Wetmore - each actor bringing something special to their respective characters which helps move along the plot while also providing insight into some of the deeper issues explored throughout The Green Mile universe. Moreover, David Tattersall’s cinematography adds another level of beauty and emotion into this cinematic experience; making every scene feel real without being too over-the-top or unrealistic in any way.

All considered, The Green Mile is truly a masterpiece that will continue to captivate audiences for years to come due its ability to take us on journey full of lessons about kindness and empathy – topics that have never been more relevant than they are today!

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