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Tom Hanks is a death row prison guard in 1935 Louisiana and Michael Clarke Duncan is a hulking new inmate.

His gentle giant of a prisoner, who’s scared of the dark and appears to possess amazing healing powers, calmly waits to walk ‘the green mile’ to the electric chair in this drama based on the Stephen King story.

Good versus evil may be one of the oldest stories in the book, but here nothing is quite as it seems. The movie delivers plenty of suspense, while paying equal attention to fleshing out its characters.

Sadistic guard Doug Hutchison and snarling inmate Sam Rockwell make their scenes crackle with malicious intent. Clarke Duncan is perfectly cast and Hanks proves again that, when it comes to playing sensitive heroes, he has few equals.

His performance, plus the supernatural intrigue, electrifying tension and, not least, a pivotal pet mouse, make this enthralling viewing.