34. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Director: Frank Darabont
Screenwriter: Frank Darabont
When you spend the bulk of your life in prison, there's usually just one thought on your mind: freedom. Blue skies and fresh air can't come soon enough for Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a banker serving two life sentences for the murders of his wife and her lover. With the help of fellow inmate Ellis "Red" Redding (Morgan Freeman), Andy gets a rock hammer and a series of pin-up girl posters and, over the years, digs his way out. Red, on the other hand, waits to be paroled. And when that day comes he knows exactly where he'll find his old friend Andy: the melodic Mexican beach town of Zihuantanejo.
Violating his parole, Red makes his way across the border and, on an abandoned beach that's as beautiful as he imagined it to be, he finds his old friend, who has clearly been waiting for this moment, they shake hands—as free men. —JW