35 best Prison Movies

List of the best 35 Prison Movies movies Liked by both Critics and Audience. Total 35 Titles and 6704 Views.

1. The Shawshank Redemption(1994)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Crime Release Date:
Country: USA Language:English Rating:R
Description:Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.
Director: Frank Darabont
Stars: Tim Robbins , Morgan Freeman , Bob Gunton , William Sadler
Tags: Plot Twist Friendship Between Men Violence Courtroom Escape From Prison Cult Film Police Brutality Prison Escape Revenge Betrayal First Person Narration Friendship Voice Over Narration Innocence
9.30    91%    98%  

2. The Green Mile(1999)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Fantasy|Crime Release Date:
Country: USA Languages:English | French Rating:R
Description:The lives of guards on Death Row are affected by one of their charges: a black man accused of child murder and rape, yet who has a mysterious gift.
Director: Frank Darabont
Stars: Tom Hanks , David Morse , Michael Clarke Duncan , Bonnie Hunt
Tags: Black Comedy Cult Film Nonlinear Timeline Great Depression Neo Noir Based On Novel Family Relationships Racism Social Injustice Revenge Betrayal Insanity Serial Killer Good Versus Evil Compassion Blockbuster
8.50    80%    94%  

3. American History X(1998)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Crime Release Date:
Country: USA Language:English Rating:R
Description:A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did.
Director: Tony Kaye
Stars: Edward Norton , Edward Furlong , Beverly D'Angelo , Jennifer Lien
Tags: Violence Tough Guy Cult Film Racism Revenge Neo Nazi Friendship Politics Voice Over Narration
8.50    83%    96%  

4. A Clockwork Orange(1971)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Sci-Fi|Crime Release Date:
Countries: UK| USA Language:English Rating:X
Description:The head of a gang of toughs, in an insensitive futuristic society, is conditioned to become physically ill at sex and violence during a prison sentence. When he is released, he's brutally beaten by all of his old adversaries.
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Malcolm McDowell , Patrick Magee , Michael Bates , Warren Clarke
Tags: Black Comedy Coming Of Age Based On Book Violence World War Two Cult Film Police Brutality Dystopia Family Relationships Satire Revenge Betrayal Insanity Friendship Politics Blockbuster
8.30    89%    93%  

5. The Great Escape(1963)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|War|Adventure|Thriller|History Release Date:
Country: USA Languages:English | German | French | Russian Rating:AP
Description:Allied P.O.W.s plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.
Director: John Sturges
Stars: Steve McQueen , James Garner , Richard Attenborough , James Donald
Tags: World War Two Escape From Prison Prisoner Of War Escape Plan
8.20    93%    95%  

6. The Bridge on the River Kwai(1957)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Adventure|War|History Release Date:
Countries: UK| USA Languages:English | Japanese | Thai Rating:PG
Description:After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.
Director: David Lean
Stars: William Holden , Alec Guinness , Jack Hawkins , Sessue Hayakawa
Tags: World War Two Prisoner Of War British Military Japanese Military
8.20    94%    93%  

7. Cool Hand Luke(1967)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Crime Release Date:
Country: USA Language:English Rating:PG
Description:A man refuses to conform to life in a rural prison.
Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Stars: Paul Newman , George Kennedy , J.D. Cannon , Lou Antonio
Tags: National Film Registry Tough Guy Escape From Prison Based On Novel Prison Escape Boxing Friendship
8.10    100%    95%  

8. In the Name of the Father(1993)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Biography|History Release Date:
Countries: Ireland| UK| USA Language:English Rating:R
Description:A man's coerced confession to an IRA bombing he did not commit results in the imprisonment of his father as well. An English lawyer fights to free them.
Director: Jim Sheridan
Stars: Alison Crosbie , Daniel Day-Lewis , Philip King , Emma Thompson
Tags: Based On Book Violence Courtroom Gangster Based On True Story Nonlinear Timeline Police Brutality Family Relationships Tragedy Friendship Politics Voice Over Narration
8.10    94%    95%  

9. Papillon(1973)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Biography|Crime Release Date:
Countries: France| USA Languages:English | Spanish Rating:R
Description:A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.
Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Steve McQueen , Dustin Hoffman , Victor Jory , Don Gordon
Tags: Violence Tough Guy Escape From Prison Betrayal Blockbuster
8.00    82%    90%  

10. Bronson(2008)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Action|Biography|Crime Release Date:
Country: UK Language:English Rating:R
Description:A young man who was sentenced to 7 years in prison for robbing a post office ends up spending 30 years in solitary confinement. During this time, his own personality is supplanted by his alter ego, Charles Bronson.
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Stars: Tom Hardy , Kelly Adams , Luing Andrews , Katy Barker
Tags: Violence Based On True Story Nonlinear Timeline Insanity Voice Over Narration
7.10    76%    74%  

11. Empire of the Sun(1987)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|War|History Release Date:
Country: USA Languages:English | Japanese | Mandarin Rating:PG
Description:The story of young English boy who lives with his parents in Shanghai during World War II. After the Pearl Harbor attack, the Japanese occupy the Shanghai International Settlement, and in the following chaos Jim becomes separated from his parents.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Christian Bale , John Malkovich , Miranda Richardson , Nigel Havers
Tags: Coming Of Age World War Two Prisoner Of War U.S. Army Betrayal Friendship
7.80    71%    90%  

12. Escape from Alcatraz(1979)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Crime|Biography|History Release Date:
Country: USA Language:English Rating:PG
Description:A dramatization of the one possibly successful escape from the notorious prison.
Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Clint Eastwood , Patrick McGoohan , Roberts Blossom , Jack Thibeau
Tags: Violence Tough Guy Based On True Story Based On Novel Prison Escape
7.60    95%    85%  

13. Rescue Dawn(2006)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Adventure|Biography|War Release Date:
Countries: USA| Luxembourg Languages:English | Lao | Vietnamese Rating:PG-13
Description:A US Fighter pilot's epic struggle of survival after being shot down on a mission over Laos during the Vietnam War.
Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Zach Grenier , Marshall Bell , Christian Bale , Toby Huss
Tags: Friendship Between Men War Crime Survival Violence Based On True Story Prisoner Of War Vietnam War Martial Arts Friendship
7.30    91%    74%  

14. A Prophet(2009)

Original Title: Un prophète
Runtime: Genres:Drama|Crime Release Date:
Countries: France| Italy Languages:Arabic | French | Corsican Rating:R
Description:A young Arab man is sent to a French prison where he becomes a mafia kingpin.
Director: Jacques Audiard
Stars: Tahar Rahim , Niels Arestrup , Adel Bencherif , Reda Kateb
Tags: Coming Of Age Friendship Between Men Violence Rise To Power Mafia Organized Crime Racism Christmas Revenge Betrayal Friendship
7.90    97%    89%  

15. The Experiment(2001)

Original Title: Das Experiment
Runtime: Genres:Drama|Thriller Release Date:
Country: Germany Languages:German | English Rating:R
Description:Das Experiment is a shocking psycho thriller about the potential for brutality that humans hide. Even more shocking is the fact that it’s based on an actual occurrence—a 1971 psychological experiment at Stanford University that was aborted prematurely when the experimenters lost control.
Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Stars: Moritz Bleibtreu , Christian Berkel , Oliver Stokowski , Wotan Wilke Möhring
Tags: Violence Based On True Story Nonlinear Timeline Based On Novel
7.70    72%    88%  

16. Felon(2008)

Runtime: Genres:Action|Drama|Crime Release Date:
Country: USA Language:English Rating:R
Description:A family man convicted of killing an intruder must cope with life afterward in the violent penal system.
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Stars: Stephen Dorff , Marisol Nichols , Vincent Miller , Anne Archer
Tags: Police Brutality Neo Nazi Friendship
7.50    59%    82%  

17. Midnight Express(1978)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Biography|Crime Release Date:
Countries: UK| USA Languages:English | Maltese | French | Turkish Rating:R
Description:The true story of Billy Hayes, an American college student who is caught smuggling drugs out of Turkey and thrown into prison.
Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Brad Davis , Irene Miracle , Bo Hopkins , Paolo Bonacelli
Tags: Based On Book Violence Courtroom Cult Film Based On True Story Family Relationships Racism Prison Escape Escape Plan Revenge Friendship
7.60    96%    89%  

18. Hunger(2008)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Biography|History Release Date:
Countries: UK| Ireland Languages:English | Irish Rating:NR
Description:The story of Bobby Sands, the IRA member who led the 1981 hunger strike in which Republican prisoners tried to win political status. It dramatises events in the Maze prison in the six weeks prior to Sands’ death.
Director: Steve McQueen
Stars: Stuart Graham , Laine Megaw , Brian Milligan , Liam McMahon
Tags: Violence Police Brutality Family Relationships
7.60    90%    83%  

19. Cell 211(2009)

Original Title: Celda 211
Runtime: Genres:Action|Drama|Thriller Release Date:
Countries: Spain| France Languages:Spanish | Basque | English Rating:NA
Description:The story of two men on different sides of a prison riot -- the inmate leading the rebellion and the young guard trapped in the revolt, who poses as a prisoner in a desperate attempt to survive the ordeal.
Director: Daniel Monzón
Stars: Luis Tosar , Alberto Ammann , Antonio Resines , Manuel Morón
7.70    97%    88%  

20. Stalag 17(1953)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Comedy|War Release Date:
Country: USA Languages:English | German | Russian Rating:NR
Description:When two escaping American World War II prisoners are killed, the German POW camp barracks black marketeer, J.J. Sefton, is suspected of being an informer.
Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: William Holden , Don Taylor , Otto Preminger , Robert Strauss
Tags: Black Comedy World War Two Prisoner Of War Based On Play Christmas Betrayal
8.00    97%    93%  

21. Shot Caller(2017)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Thriller|Crime Release Date:
Country: USA Language:English Rating:R
Description:A newly-released prison gangster is forced by the leaders of his gang to orchestrate a major crime with a brutal rival gang on the streets of Southern California.
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Stars: Jon Bernthal , Nikolaj Coster-Waldau , Lake Bell , Jessy Schram
7.30    63%    79%  

22. Starred Up(2013)

Runtime: Genre:Drama Release Date:
Countries: UK| Ireland Language:English Rating:NR
Description:Eric Love (O'Connell) is a 19 year old teenager who is so violent he has been 'Starred Up' (Moved to Adult prison) where he finds his father Neville (Mendelsohn) who Eric hasn't seen since ...
Director: David Mackenzie
Stars: Jack O'Connell , Gilly Gilchrist , Frederick Schmidt , Edna Caskey
7.40    99%    84%  

23. Undisputed 3: Redemption(2010)

Original Title: Undisputed III: Redemption
Runtime: Genres:Action|Drama|Thriller|Crime Release Date:
Country: USA Languages:English | Spanish | Portuguese Rating:R
Description:Boyka is back. This time he is fighting in the first ever inter-prison tournament with one knee.
Director: Isaac Florentine
Stars: Scott Adkins , Mykel Shannon Jenkins , Mark Ivanir , Hristo Shopov
Tags: Violence Tough Guy Action Hero Cult Film Boxing Mixed Martial Arts
7.50    NA    75%  

24. Chopper(2000)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Comedy|Biography|Thriller|Crime Release Date:
Country: Australia Language:English Rating:UR
Description:Chopper tells the intense story of Mark "Chopper" Read, a legendary criminal who wrote his autobiography while serving a jail sentence in prison. His book, "From the Inside", upon which the film is based, was a best-seller.
Director: Andrew Dominik
Stars: Eric Bana , Simon Lyndon , David Field , Dan Wyllie
Tags: Black Comedy Based On Book Violence Courtroom Cult Film Investigation Based On True Story
7.20    72%    89%  

25. La Grande Illusion(1937)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|War|History Release Date:
Country: France Languages:French | German | English | Russian Rating:UR
Description:During the first World War, two French officers are captured. Captain De Boeldieu is an aristocrat while Lieutenant Marechal was a mechanic in civilian life. The two unlikely companions meet fellow prisoners and plot an escape.
Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Jean Gabin , Dita Parlo , Pierre Fresnay , Erich von Stroheim
Tags: World War One Prisoner Of War Christmas
8.10    97%    92%  

26. Land of Mine(2015)

Original Title: Under sandet
Runtime: Genres:Drama|War|History Release Date:
Countries: Denmark| Germany Languages:German | English | Danish Rating:R
Description:A young group of German POWs are made the enemy of a nation, where they are now forced to dig up 2 million land-mines with their bare hands.
Director: Martin Zandvliet
Stars: Roland Møller , Mikkel Boe Følsgaard , Laura Bro , Louis Hofmann
Tags: War Crime World War Two Based On True Story Prisoner Of War
7.80    91%    89%  

27. Carandiru(2003)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Crime Release Date:
Countries: Brazil| Argentina| Italy Language:Portuguese Rating:R
Description:Brazilian MD Drauzio Varella starts AIDS prevention in Brazil's largest prison, Carandiru, in São Paulo, where the population is nearly double its 4,000 maximum. Doc learns from experience ...
Director: Hector Babenco
Stars: Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos , Milton Gonçalves , Ivan de Almeida , Ailton Graça
7.60    68%    85%  

28. A Man Escaped(1956)

Original Title: Un condamné à mort s'est échappé
Runtime: Genres:Drama|War|Thriller Release Date:
Country: France Languages:French | German Rating:NR
Description:French Resistance activist Andre Devigny is imprisoned by the Nazis, and devotes his waking hours to planning an elaborate escape. Then, on the same day, he is condemned to death, and given a new cellmate. Should he kill him, or risk revealing his plans to someone who may be a Gestapo informer?
Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: François Leterrier , Charles Le Clainche , Maurice Beerblock , Roland Monod
Tags: World War Two Escape Plan Voice Over Narration
8.20    100%    93%  

29. Birdman of Alcatraz(1962)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Biography Release Date:
Country: USA Language:English Rating:NA
Description:A surly convicted murderer held in permanent isolation redeems himself when he becomes a renowned bird expert.
Directors: John Frankenheimer , Charles Crichton
Stars: Burt Lancaster , Karl Malden , Thelma Ritter , Neville Brand
Tags: Based On Book Violence Psychopath
7.80    82%    84%  

30. Le Trou(1960)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Thriller|Crime Release Date:
Countries: France| Italy Language:French Rating:NR
Description:In prison four long-sentence inmates planning an elaborate escape cautiously induct a new inmate to join in their scheme which leads to distrust and uncertainty.
Director: Jacques Becker
Stars: Michel Constantin , Jean Keraudy , Philippe Leroy , Raymond Meunier
Tags: Escape From Prison Neo Noir Based On Novel Betrayal Innocence
8.50    100%    96%  

31. The Hill(1965)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|War Release Date:
Country: UK Language:English Rating:AP
Description:In a North African military prison during World War II, five new prisoners struggle to survive in the face of brutal punishment and sadistic guards.
Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Sean Connery , Harry Andrews , Ian Bannen , Alfred Lynch
Tags: World War Two Racism Based On Play British Military
7.90    100%    93%  

32. I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang(1932)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Film-Noir|Crime Release Date:
Country: USA Language:English Rating:NR
Description:Wrongly convicted James Allen serves in the intolerable conditions of a southern chain gang, which later comes back to haunt him.
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Paul Muni , Glenda Farrell , Helen Vinson , Noel Francis
Tags: National Film Registry Prison Escape
8.10    100%    91%  

33. Miracle in Cell No. 7(2013)

Original Title: Gift from Room Number 7
Runtime: Genres:Drama|Comedy Release Date:
Country: South Korea Language:Korean Rating:NA
Description:A story about a mentally ill man wrongfully accused of murder and his relationship with his lovingly adorable 6 year old daughter.
Director: Hwan-kyung Lee
Stars: Seung-ryong Ryu , So Won Kal , Dal-su Oh , Man-sik Jeong
8.20    NA    90%  

34. Scum(1979)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Crime Release Date:
Country: UK Language:English Rating:R
Description:Uncompromising story of life in a Borstal prison, a British juvenile offender institution in the 70's
Director: Alan Clarke
Stars: Ray Winstone , Mick Ford , Julian Firth , John Blundell
Tags: Violence Cult Film Racism Revenge Friendship
7.60    88%    91%  

35. Brute Force(1947)

Runtime: Genres:Drama|Film-Noir|Crime Release Date:
Country: USA Language:English Rating:NR
Description:Prison inmates revolt against a sadistic guard.
Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Burt Lancaster , Hume Cronyn , Charles Bickford , Yvonne De Carlo
Tags: Violence Tough Guy
7.70    91%    88%  

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