Best Prison Movies and Shows

by muybueno16 | created - 10 months ago | updated - 5 months ago | Public
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1. Correlli (1995)

Not Rated | 50 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Kevin Jones arrives at Blackstream prison beaten, bruised, and suffering from brain damage-a state he wasn't in at his sentencing. Something happened to Kevin during his transfer, and ... See full summary »

Stars: Deborra-Lee Furness, Hugh Jackman, Sue Jones, Tenley Gillmore

Votes: 158

2. Oz (1997–2003)

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A series chronicling the daily activities of an unusual prison facility and its criminal inhabitants.

Stars: Ernie Hudson, J.K. Simmons, Lee Tergesen, Dean Winters

Votes: 83,044

3. Prison Break (2005–2017)

TV-14 | 44 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Due to a political conspiracy, an innocent man is sent to death row and his only hope is his brother, who makes it his mission to deliberately get himself sent to the same prison in order to break the both of them out, from the inside.

Stars: Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller, Amaury Nolasco, Robert Knepper

Votes: 438,599

4. Animal Factory (2000)

R | 94 min | Crime, Drama

65 Metascore

A young man goes to prison and a tough, older convict takes him under his wing as a mentor.

Director: Steve Buscemi | Stars: Willem Dafoe, Edward Furlong, Danny Trejo, Mark Boone Junior

Votes: 12,085 | Gross: $0.04M

5. Escape Plan (2013)

R | 115 min | Action, Thriller

49 Metascore

When a structural-security authority finds himself set up and incarcerated in the world's most secret and secure prison, he has to use his skills to escape with help from the inside.

Director: Mikael Håfström | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, 50 Cent, Vincent D'Onofrio

Votes: 215,303 | Gross: $25.13M

6. Animal (2005 Video)

R | 93 min | Drama, Action

When the violent gangster James "Animal" Allen is arrested and sent to prison, his teenage son Darius is left with his mother, but she is assassinated and the boy is raised alone on the ... See full summary »

Director: David J. Burke | Stars: Ving Rhames, Terrence Howard, Chazz Palminteri, Jim Brown

Votes: 1,851

7. Animal 2 (2008)

R | 93 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Years after being shot by his eldest son Darius and taking the fall for his crimes, former gangster James "Animal" Allen serves a life sentence at Folsom Prison. When a riot breaks out ... See full summary »

Director: Ryan Combs | Stars: Ving Rhames, Vicellous Shannon, Richard Waugh, Yannick Bisson

Votes: 895

8. Caged Animal (2010)

R | 84 min | Action, Drama

Cain, a crime king-pin sentenced to life in prison, sees his son Ricky come to jail on charges of accessory to murder, followed shortly by one of the gangsters he was charged with ... See full summary »

Director: Ryan Combs | Stars: Ving Rhames, Nipsey Hussle, Gillie Da Kid, Robert Patrick

Votes: 1,508

9. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R | 142 min | Drama

80 Metascore

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

Votes: 2,148,921 | Gross: $28.34M

10. Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954)

Not Rated | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Fed up with the inhumane prison living conditions, a general prison riot breaks out, leading to hostage-taking, a stand-off with the guards and eventual negotiations with the prison administration officials.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Neville Brand, Emile Meyer, Frank Faylen, Leo Gordon

Votes: 1,468

11. The Green Mile (1999)

R | 189 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy

61 Metascore

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, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt

Votes: 1,044,018 | Gross: $136.80M

12. The Mannsfield 12 (2007)

105 min | Drama

Andrew Perryman is a young man who has been sent to Mannsfield State Penitentiary on an eighteen month sentence. His high-powered father secretly pays the prison warden to put young ... See full summary »

Director: Craig Ross Jr. | Stars: Aaron D. Spears, Danny Adams, Thom Barry, Mark Prince Edwards

Votes: 138

13. The Rock (1996)

R | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

58 Metascore

A mild-mannered chemist and an ex-con must lead the counterstrike when a rogue group of military men, led by a renegade general, threaten a nerve gas attack from Alcatraz against San Francisco.

Director: Michael Bay | Stars: Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, John Spencer

Votes: 296,944 | Gross: $134.07M

14. The Last Castle (2001)

R | 131 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

43 Metascore

A court-martialed General rallies together twelve hundred inmates to rise against a corrupt and sadistic warden.

Director: Rod Lurie | Stars: Robert Redford, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo, Steve Burton

Votes: 66,588 | Gross: $18.21M

15. Prison Break: The Final Break (2009 Video)

Not Rated | 89 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

Michael and Sara wed, but the happiness is short-lived when the Feds apprehend her for the murder of Michael's mother, Christina. Once a hit is ordered on Sara, the team reunite to break out the increasingly vulnerable target.

Directors: Kevin Hooks, Brad Turner | Stars: Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, William Fichtner, Amaury Nolasco

Votes: 22,452

16. Against the Wall (1994 TV Movie)

R | 111 min | Action, Drama, History

Based on the true story of the Attica Prison uprising of 1971.

Director: John Frankenheimer | Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Samuel L. Jackson, Clarence Williams III, Frederic Forrest

Votes: 2,149

17. Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)

Not Rated | 147 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

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

Votes: 14,809

18. Midnight Express (1978)

R | 121 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

59 Metascore

Billy Hayes (Brad Davis), an American college student, is caught smuggling drugs out of Turkey and thrown into prison.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Brad Davis, Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins, Paolo Bonacelli

Votes: 67,092 | Gross: $35.00M

19. Six Against the Rock (1987 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 96 min | Action, Crime, Drama

In May of 1946, Alcatraz inmate Bernie Coy initiates a carefully thought out plan to escape the island prison. His plan, carried out with five accomplices, falls apart when they can't obtain a key to unlock a door leading to the yard.

Director: Paul Wendkos | Stars: David Carradine, Richard Dysart, Dennis Farina, Charles Haid

Votes: 180

20. Bad Boys (1983)

R | 123 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

53 Metascore

Chicago crime kid Mick O'Brien is sent to reform school after accidentally killing a rival's kid brother.

Director: Rick Rosenthal | Stars: Sean Penn, Reni Santoni, Jim Moody, Eric Gurry

Votes: 12,920 | Gross: $9.20M

21. Con Air (1997)

R | 115 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

52 Metascore

Newly paroled ex-con and former U.S. Ranger Cameron Poe finds himself trapped in a prisoner transport plane when the passengers seize control.

Director: Simon West | Stars: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich, Colm Meaney

Votes: 261,192 | Gross: $101.12M

22. Half Past Dead 2 (2007 Video)

R | 92 min | Action, Crime

Former WWE & WCW World Champion Bill Goldberg and hip-hop group Tha Dog Pound's Ricardo "Kurupt" Brown push life to the limit in this explosive sequel to the 2002 hit movie Half Past Dead.

Director: Art Camacho | Stars: Bill Goldberg, Kurupt, Jack Conley, Robert Madrid

Votes: 1,837

23. Spy Game (2001)

R | 126 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

63 Metascore

Retiring CIA agent Nathan Muir recalls his training of Tom Bishop while working against agency politics to free him from his Chinese captors.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, Catherine McCormack, Stephen Dillane

Votes: 137,520 | Gross: $0.03M

24. Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)

R | 96 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

47 Metascore

John Rambo is released from prison by the government for a top-secret covert mission to the last place on Earth he'd want to return - the jungles of Vietnam.

Director: George P. Cosmatos | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Charles Napier, Steven Berkoff

Votes: 143,155 | Gross: $150.42M

25. Rambo III (1988)

R | 102 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

36 Metascore

Rambo mounts a one-man mission to rescue his friend Colonel Trautman from the clutches of the formidable invading Soviet forces in Afghanistan.

Director: Peter MacDonald | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Marc de Jonge, Kurtwood Smith

Votes: 113,241 | Gross: $53.72M

26. First Blood (1982)

R | 93 min | Action, Adventure

61 Metascore

A formidable but unstable veteran Green Beret is forced by a cruel Sheriff and his deputies to flee into the mountains and wage an escalating one-man war against his pursuers.

Director: Ted Kotcheff | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney

Votes: 209,480 | Gross: $47.21M

27. Hard Rain (1998)

R | 97 min | Action, Crime, Drama

36 Metascore

The nephew of an armored-truck driver tries to prevent three million dollars from being taken by a local rival gang during a catastrophic flooding caused by a severe storm.

Director: Mikael Salomon | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater, Randy Quaid, Minnie Driver

Votes: 30,748 | Gross: $19.82M

28. Jailbreak (2017)

TV-MA | 92 min | Action, Comedy

What started as a simple escort mission will soon turn to chaos as the prisoners of Koh Kla take over the prison grounds. A special task force [Jean-Paul Ly, Dara Our, Tharoth Sam] gets ... See full summary »

Director: Jimmy Henderson | Stars: Celine Tran, Jean-Paul Ly, Laurent Plancel, Tharoth Sam

Votes: 1,018

29. Cool Hand Luke (1967)

GP | 127 min | Crime, Drama

91 Metascore

A laid back Southern man is sentenced to two years in a rural prison, but refuses to conform.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg | Stars: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin, J.D. Cannon

Votes: 151,306 | Gross: $16.22M

30. Kill Zone 2 (2015)

Not Rated | 120 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

73 Metascore

While undercover officer Kit is taken prisoner by the syndicate, he befriends his keeper and discovers an organ trafficking ring.

Director: Soi Cheang | Stars: Tony Jaa, Jing Wu, Simon Yam, Jin Zhang

Votes: 5,537

31. Lockdown (1990)

R | 90 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Cop is framed for murder and sent to prison.

Director: Frank Harris | Stars: Richard Lynch, Chris DeRose, Chuck Jeffreys, Elizabeth Kaitan

Votes: 44

32. Death Warrant (1990)

R | 89 min | Action, Crime, Mystery

In a violent and corrupt prison, decorated cop Louis Burke must infiltrate the jail to find answers to a number of inside murders. What he finds is a struggle of life and death tied in to his own past.

Director: Deran Sarafian | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Robert Guillaume, Cynthia Gibb, George Dickerson

Votes: 15,946 | Gross: $16.85M

33. Lockdown (2000)

R | 105 min | Drama, Thriller

Avery (Jones) returns to college as a competitive swimmer after getting his life back on track. But his life takes another unexpected turn when he and his two friends (Bonds, Casseus) are wrongly accused of murder and end up in prison.

Director: John Luessenhop | Stars: Richard T. Jones, De'aundre Bonds, Gabriel Casseus, Master P

Votes: 2,327 | Gross: $0.45M

34. Riot (I) (2015)

Not Rated | 87 min | Action

Copper Jack Stone purposefully orchestrates a bank robbery in order to be thrown into prison with the notorious Russian kingpin Balam. Balam is more than just a mob criminal; he's a very ... See full summary »

Director: John Lyde | Stars: Matthew Reese, Dolph Lundgren, Danielle C. Ryan, Chuck Liddell

Votes: 2,251

35. In Hell (2003)

R | 98 min | Action, Thriller, Drama

A man must survive a prison where hardened criminals battle to the death for the wardens' entertainment.

Director: Ringo Lam | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lawrence Taylor, Lloyd Battista, Carlos Gómez

Votes: 17,662

36. Felon (2008)

R | 104 min | Crime, Drama

58 Metascore

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

Votes: 72,739 | Gross: $0.04M

37. Snitch (I) (2013)

PG-13 | 112 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

51 Metascore

A father goes undercover for the DEA in order to free his son, who was imprisoned after being set up in a drug deal.

Director: Ric Roman Waugh | Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon, Jon Bernthal, Rafi Gavron

Votes: 79,161 | Gross: $42.93M

38. Shot Caller (2017)

R | 121 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

59 Metascore

A newly released prisoner 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: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Omari Hardwick, Lake Bell, Jon Bernthal

Votes: 61,495

39. Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017)

Not Rated | 132 min | Action, Crime, Drama

79 Metascore

A former boxer-turned-drug runner lands in a prison battleground after a deal gets deadly.

Director: S. Craig Zahler | Stars: Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, Don Johnson, Udo Kier

Votes: 49,107

40. Cell 211 (2009)

113 min | Action, Crime, Drama

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

Votes: 60,339

41. A Prophet (2009)

R | 155 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

A young Arab man is sent to a French prison.

Director: Jacques Audiard | Stars: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Reda Kateb

Votes: 89,008 | Gross: $2.08M

42. Symmetry (2003)

99 min | Drama, Thriller

A man falsely accused of assaulting an old woman tries to adapt to his new life in prison.

Director: Konrad Niewolski | Stars: Arkadiusz Detmer, Andrzej Chyra, Janusz Bukowski, Marcin Jedrzejewski

Votes: 2,832

43. No Beast So Fierce (2016)

Not Rated | 85 min | Drama, Thriller

Released after 20 years in prison, ex-con Charlie Sundstrom (Bailey Chase) returns to his home town to find that his estranged son, who has disappeared into the criminal underworld, is ... See full summary »

Director: Tim McCann | Stars: Dylan Baker, Kathryn Erbe, Bailey Chase, Susan Pourfar

Votes: 154

44. Brute Force (1947)

Passed | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

At a tough penitentiary, prisoner Joe Collins plans to rebel against Captain Munsey, the power-mad chief guard.

Director: Jules Dassein | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, Charles Bickford, Yvonne De Carlo

Votes: 8,032

45. Each Dawn I Die (1939)

Approved | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A corrupt D.A. with political ambitions is angered by news stories implicating him in criminal activity and decides to frame the reporter who wrote them for manslaughter in order to silence him.

Director: William Keighley | Stars: James Cagney, George Raft, Jane Bryan, George Bancroft

Votes: 2,573

46. The Big Shot (1942)

Approved | 82 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Fearing life in prison for a third offense, convict Duke Berne pulls out of an armored car robbery, planned by his crooked lawyer, but he is framed for the robbery anyway.

Director: Lewis Seiler | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Irene Manning, Richard Travis, Susan Peters

Votes: 672

47. You Can't Get Away with Murder (1939)

Approved | 79 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Youthful tough Johnnie Stone has fallen under the influence of petty crook Frank Wilson, who involves him and robbery and murder using his sister's boyfriend's stolen gun.

Director: Lewis Seiler | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Gale Page, Billy Halop, John Litel

Votes: 779

48. Kill Kill Faster Faster (2008)

97 min | Thriller

Recently paroled after serving a long stretch for his wife's murder, Joey One-Way aligns himself with a producer who has optioned the play he wrote in prison. As he sets about adapting his ... See full summary »

Director: Gareth Maxwell Roberts | Stars: Gil Bellows, Lisa Ray, Esai Morales, Shaun Parkes

Votes: 646