Dead Man Walking

Dead Man Walking

Tim Robbins (1995)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Sean Penn gives a chilling and mesmerising portrayal of sociopathy, as Matthew Poncelet, a trailer trash multiple killer on death row with no sense of remorse. His sparring partner is Susan Sarandon, in an Oscar-winning performance as Sister Helen Prejean, the real-life nun who became Poncelet's spiritual adviser during his final countdown, and whose book about the experience was the inspiration for the film. Sarandon's nun is a sort of social worker with faith, whose sexually charged chats with Penn, and her meetings with his family and the families of his victims, take us into the heart of the debate about capital punishment. Director Tim Robbins's refusal to make a clear judgement on the issue is frustrating, some may say perverse. Is he taking a deliberately ambiguous stance, or can't he make his own mind up?


A nun befriends an unrepentant killer on Death Row and tries to influence the condemned man to change what remains of his life, despite opposition from his victims' angry parents. Fact-based drama, starring an Oscar-winning Susan Sarandon alongside Sean Penn, Robert Prosky and Raymond J Barry. Written and directed by Tim Robbins.

Cast & Crew

Sister Helen Prejean Susan Sarandon
Matthew Poncelet Sean Penn
Hilton Barber Robert Prosky
Earl Delacroix Raymond J Barry
Clyde Percy R Lee Ermey
Mary Beth Percy Celia Weston
Helen's mother Lois Smith
Chaplain Farley Scott Wilson
Lucille Poncelet Roberta Maxwell
Sister Colleen Margo Martindale
Director Tim Robbins
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourGuidance: Contains violence, swearing and brief nudity. Available on: video and DVD