5 Morgan Freeman Movies You Should See At Least Once In Your Lifetime

From delivering gravitas as wise mentors to lending his iconic voice to powerful narrations, Morgan Freeman is a Hollywood legend. His career spans decades, captivating audiences with his rich baritone voice and undeniable presence on screen. Whether you’re a fan of his dramatic chops or his comedic timing, there’s a Morgan Freeman movie out there waiting to be rediscovered (or experienced for the first time). Join us as we delve into some of Morgan Freeman’s best movies, the films that solidified him as a true acting powerhouse. Our list was compiled based on the consensus among 10 expert and fan reviews. Let us know if we missed your favorite in the comments below!

The List: Best Morgan Freeman Movies, According to Experts

1. “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994)

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It is hard to think that “The Shawshank Redemption,” now considered to be a beloved classic, was lacking in sales at the box office. Forget box office success initially – this film is a testament to the power of word-of-mouth magic, according to Gold Derby. Based on a Stephen King short story, this cinematic gem eventually became a cable TV staple, captivating audiences with its tale of friendship and hope within the harsh walls of prison. Freeman’s soothing narration isn’t just there for pretty words – it earned him a well-deserved Best Actor nomination, one of the film’s impressive seven nods including Best Picture.

“The Shawshank Redemption” arguably launched Freeman into superstardom, according to Collider. While Tim Robbins takes center stage as Andy Dufresne, Freeman’s Red is the unsung hero. He portrays a man who thinks he has the prison system figured out, only to discover there’s more to life than just hustling contraband. The film brilliantly showcases Freeman’s acting prowess – his powerful narration seamlessly blends with his captivating on-screen presence. He masterfully conveys a range of emotions throughout the movie, from humor and wistfulness to despair and thoughtful reflection. Collider concludes by saying Freeman simply owns every scene.

One37pm joins the chorus, declaring the movie the undisputed champion of Freeman’s filmography. While other contenders might vie for the title, this heartwarming story is hard to beat. In prison, Andy finds solace and guidance in Red, a wise elder figure who helps him navigate the complexities of prison life. This film won’t disappoint.

2. “Batman Begins” (2005)

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Even though he wasn’t the star of the show, Morgan Freeman definitely deserves a spot on the list for his role in “Batman Begins,” according to Buddy TV. He suited up (figuratively speaking) as Lucius Fox, the brilliant scientist who cooked up all the awesome gadgets Batman needed to clean up Gotham’s streets.

Looper dives deeper into the movie’s significance. They credit Christopher Nolan with taking Batman back to his roots and giving him a darker, more realistic feel. This 2005 film wasn’t just about a superhero saving the day; it explored Bruce Wayne’s origin story. We see a young Wayne travel the world, honing his martial arts skills and even brushing shoulders with a mysterious league (with not-so-great intentions). Eventually, he returns to Gotham, determined to use his newfound skills and some seriously cool gadgets (courtesy of Lucius Fox) to fight crime as the Caped Crusader. Looper also hails this version of the Batman story as the most complex and emotionally satisfying one out of the entire superhero franchise.

High on Films also loves Freeman’s exceptional portrayal of Fox, a character who goes beyond the comics and becomes someone truly special in the film. With his expertise and unwavering belief in the fight for justice, Fox becomes a valuable asset in Batman’s crusade against evil.

3. “Million Dollar Baby” (2004)

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Buckle up for a knockout with “Million Dollar Baby,” a powerful drama that packs a punch according to Cinema Blend. This Clint Eastwood-directed masterpiece isn’t your typical sports flick; it’s a raw and personal exploration of redemption. The film boasts phenomenal performances by Eastwood, Hilary Swank, and of course, Morgan Freeman – a masterclass in acting that will leave you glued to the screen, even if the story takes a tragic turn. It’s a testament to the power of exceptional performances that a film this emotional can be such a captivating watch.

MovieWeb dives into the plot, detailing how “Million Dollar Baby” follows the journey of Mary Fitzgerald (Swank), an aspiring boxer determined to reach the top. She enlists the help of a gruff trainer (Eastwood) and Eddie Dupris (Freeman), the gym assistant. While the film features some boxing action, it delves deeper, focusing on the characters’ inner struggles rather than just the sport itself. The movie’s real strength lies in its heartfelt journey, further amplified by the exceptional acting and directing. MovieWeb also highlights Freeman’s unique role, where his “pseudo-narration” subtly progresses the story with a somber tone.

“Million Dollar Baby” finally landed Freeman that elusive Oscar! His portrayal of Eddie “Scrap-Iron” Dupris is the gritty heart of the film. Freeman embodies quiet dignity on the surface, but beneath it lies a fierce intensity. There’s a depth and complexity to Freeman’s characters that always keeps you engaged – you know there’s more than meets the eye. In “Million Dollar Baby,” Freeman showcases both his fierce determination and unwavering kindness, making him an unforgettable character (Collider).

4. “Se7en” (1995)

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In this grisly murder mystery film, Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt explore a dark narrative. Brace yourself for a chilling masterpiece – David Fincher’s “Se7en” is a dark and suspenseful thriller that will stay with you long after the credits roll, according to AL.com. This film isn’t just about catching a killer; it’s a plunge into the depths of human depravity. The story follows two detectives, a seasoned veteran on the brink of retirement (played by the magnificent Morgan Freeman) and a hotshot rookie (Brad Pitt). Their paths collide as they hunt down a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his twisted motives. AL.com considers Freeman’s performance career-defining, highlighting the film’s brilliance as both a thrilling detective story and a deeply unsettling exploration of evil.

One37pm argues that Freeman’s portrayal could have easily landed him another Oscar. He steps into the shoes of Detective William Somerset, a world-weary cop facing one last case before hanging up his badge. Partnered with a brash newcomer, they stumble upon a series of gruesome murders, each meticulously staged to represent one of the seven deadly sins. The detectives soon realize they’re on the trail of a cunning and dangerous killer (Kevin Spacey) who forces them to confront the darkest corners of the human psyche. One37pm simply puts it: with Freeman, Pitt, and Spacey sharing the screen, “Se7en” is a cinematic must-watch.

Boasting impressive scores on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, the film isn’t your typical whodunit. The killer’s identity is revealed early on, shifting the focus to a disturbing exploration of evil and the toll it takes on those forced to confront it. Roger Ebert himself awarded the film four stars, praising Freeman’s performance as the enigmatic heart of the story. Looper concludes by recommending “Se7en” to fans of dark and thought-provoking cinema, promising a disturbing yet undeniably captivating cinematic experience (Looper).

5. “Unforgiven” (1992)

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Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman have collaborated in several films. Now that’s what you call a rootin’ tootin’ good time (or maybe a rootin’ tootin’ contemplation on the nature of violence)! AARP spills the beans on Morgan Freeman’s personal favorite film – Clint Eastwood’s classic Western “Unforgiven.” Apparently, when Freeman got the chance to co-star with Eastwood, he jumped at it faster than a rattlesnake strike. Freeman portrays Ned Logan, Eastwood’s old gunslinging partner, in a nuanced performance that pushes Eastwood to reveal a surprising vulnerability. AARP highlights how Freeman’s acting chops draw out hidden depths in Eastwood, making “Unforgiven” a must-watch for fans of both actors.

AL.com dives deeper into the film itself, calling it a “dreary Western” (or perhaps an “anti-Western” for those in the know). Eastwood dons both the director’s hat and the spurs of William Munny, a retired outlaw lured back into the world of violence by one last job. AL.com hails this as Eastwood’s finest work, praising his performance as the conflicted Munny. The film also boasts stellar supporting turns by Gene Hackman (who snagged an Oscar for his troubles) and, of course, Morgan Freeman as the ever-loyal Ned Logan.

Finally, Cinemablend throws their hat into the ring, championing “Unforgiven” as a potential overlooked gem in Freeman’s filmography. He portrays Ned Logan, a sharpshooter and longtime friend to Eastwood’s Munny. Together, they join forces with a young gunslinger to track down a vicious gang. Cinemablend argues that “Unforgiven” might be Freeman’s best performance, even though it didn’t garner any major award nominations. Sharing the screen with legends like Eastwood, Hackman, and Richard Harris, Freeman more than holds his own. So saddle up, partners – “Unforgiven” is a cinematic journey you don’t want to miss.


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.


  1. I was disappointed that “Eastside High” was not among his top 5 movies. Most inner-city and neighborhood schools today still remind you of Eastside High, where a Morgan Freeman touch is needed to turn the schools around. I am just disappointed that the choices speak volumes of public regard for the outcomes at inner-city schools.

  2. Hands down my favorite movie that stole the Oscar from Morgan was Driving Miss Daisy! Jessica Tandy portrayed an excellent character, but Morgan played a perfect southern character. I truly believe Morgan did not receive his Oscar because those who voted were not familiar with the accuracy of his portrayal. I grew up in the south and witnessed the black dialect and humility expressed by Morgan. I will always believe he was robbed just because of the lack of experience of the voters.

  3. Also, in the list should be ‘Hard Rain’ and the ‘Contract’…Morgan Freeman with a twist…

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