The Green Mile 4K Review: A Miraculous Film

The Green Mile faced lofty expectations when it was released in December of 1999. Stephen King’s serial novel, on which it was based, had deservedly received praise from critics when it hit bookshelves throughout 1996, while the film boasted the likes of Frank Darabont, fresh off The Shawshank Redemption (which had gained popularity since its release), an in-his-prime Tom Hanks (who dominated the 1990s) and a buzz-worthy performance from Armageddon star Michael Clarke Duncan.

I remember reading an article in Entertainment Weekly that dubbed the flick “unquestionably the best picture of the year” before it even released — a moniker found on the back of the film’s DVD cover.

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Yet, when The Green Mile opened, the pic took a back seat to the artsier American Beauty, the critically praised The Cider House Rules, and the flashier The Sixth Sense come award season. The flick picked up four Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture and another for Michael Clarke Duncan’s extraordinary performance, and earned nearly $300 million worldwide, but didn’t quite match the level of expectation that preceded its release.

Too bad, because the picture is quite magnificent. Even at a bladder busting three hours, Darabont keeps the pace moving at a nice clip, introducing new elements to keep your attention in check. Performances are stellar across the board with Hanks anchoring the film with his typical customary grace, but it’s Duncan who steals the show as John Coffey. The actor is riveting in every scene he is in right up until the emotionally charged finale.

Also on hand is David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, James Cromwell, Michael Jeter, Barry Pepper, Patricia Clarkson, and, of course, Sam Rockwell — terrifying as Wild Bill.

The Green Mile deserves more recognition than it gets. I call it a classic, which might be a bit of an overstep, but it’s certainly one of those films I always get an itch to watch. If you’re so inclined to check out the film, make sure you pick up the 4K release that arrived earlier this month. Predictably, the pic looks glorious in the format. David Tattersall’s cinematography pops, while the new Dolby Atmos sound mix packs quite the punch, even for a film that’s relatively quiet throughout.

Extras are carried over from the Blu-ray release — a few featurettes, some deleted scenes, a commentary by Darabont (which is excellent), a few screen tests, and some trailers. Still, the 4K transfer more than makes up for the lack of new content and makes this release a worthy purchase for fans of the film.

SCORE: 9/10

As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 9 equates to “Excellent.” Entertainment that reaches this level is at the top of its type. The gold standard that every creator aims to reach.

Disclosure: The publisher provided a copy for our The Green Mile 4K review.


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