Best Prison Movies

  • The Shawshank Redemption

    The Shawshank Redemption (R, 1994)

    Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, Bill Sadler, Clancy Brown
    In 1946, a banker named Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is convicted of a double murder, even though he ... read morestubbornly proclaims his innocence. He's sentenced to a life term at the Shawshank State Prison in Maine, where another lifer, Ellis "Red" Redding (Morgan Freeman), picks him as the new recruit most likely to crack under the pressure. The ugly realities of prison life are quickly introduced to Andy: a corrupt warden (Bob Gunton), sadistic guards led by Capt. Byron Hadley (Clancy Brown), and inmates who are little better than animals, willing to use rape or beatings to insure their dominance. But Andy does not crack: he has the hope of the truly innocent, which (together with his smarts) allow him to prevail behind bars. He uses his banking skills to win favor with the warden and the guards, doing the books for Norton's illegal business schemes and keeping an eye on the investments of most of the prison staff. In exchange, he is able to improve the prison library and bring some dignity and respect back to many of the inmates, including Red. Based on a story by Stephen King, The Shawshank Redemption was the directorial debut of screenwriter Frank Darabont. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
    • fb755078042
      fb755078042: . The main focus of the plot is the life of Andy Dufresne during his time in prison. Andy is simply a metaphor of hope. He is a walking beacon of hope in the prison, and we can
      Reviewed 5 months days ago
    • fb681451041
      fb681451041: . Great old school style film about prison.
      Reviewed 17 months days ago
    • Philliesking34
      Philliesking34: . And The Shawshank Redemption is probably is highest know note work for that. This prison story is breathtaking and pice of cinema history. Amazing cast and beautiful story. This is a
      Reviewed 18 months days ago
  • The Green Mile

    The Green Mile (R, 1999)

    Tom Hanks, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, Michael Clarke Duncan, James Cromwell
    Director Frank Darabont, who made an acclaimed feature film debut with The Shawshank Redemption (199... read more4), based on a Stephen King novel set in a prison, returns for a second feature, based on King's 1996 serialized novel set in a prison. In 1935, inmates at the Cold Mountain Correctional Facility call Death Row "The Green Mile" because of the dark green linoleum that tiles the floor. Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) is the head guard on the Green Mile when a new inmate is brought into his custody: John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), convicted of the sadistic murder of two young girls. Despite his size and the fearsome crimes for which he's serving time, Coffey seems to be a kind and well-mannered person who behaves more like an innocent child than a hardened criminal. Soon Edgecomb and two of his fellow guards, Howell (David Morse) and Stanton Barry Pepper), notice something odd about Coffey: he's able to perform what seem to be miracles of healing among his fellow inmates, leading them to wonder just what sort of person he could be, and if he could have committed the crimes with which he was charged. The Green Mile also stars James Cromwell as the warden; Michael Jeter, Sam Rockwell, and Graham Greene as inmates awaiting dates with the electric chair; and Harry Dean Stanton as a clever trustee. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
    • fb526715597
      fb526715597: 2nd best prison movie ever, I always cringe at the electrocution gone wrong scene
      Reviewed 18 months days ago
    • fb512631295
      fb512631295: . After Shawshank Redemption this is probably the best prison type movie I have ever seen.
      Reviewed 22 months days ago
    • fb1368281379
      fb1368281379: ichael Clarke Duncan's performance was absolubley amazing!!! And so was Tom Hanks' performance of a prison guard!
      Reviewed 2 years days ago
  • Cool Hand Luke

    Cool Hand Luke (PG, 1967)

    Paul Newman, George Kennedy, J.D. Cannon, Dennis Hopper, Lou Antonio
    Paul Newman was nominated for an Oscar and George Kennedy received one for his work in this allegori... read morecal prison drama. Luke Jackson (Paul Newman) is sentenced to a stretch on a southern chain gang after he's arrested for drunkenly decapitating parking meters. While the avowed ambition of the captain (Strother Martin) is for each prisoner to "get their mind right," it soon becomes obvious that Luke is not about to kowtow to anybody. When challenged to a fistfight by fellow inmate Dragline (George Kennedy), Luke simply refuses to give up, even though he's brutally beaten. Luke knows how to win at poker, even with bad cards, by using his smarts and playing it cool. Luke also figures out a way for the men to get their work done in half the usual time, giving them the afternoon off. Finally, when Luke finds out his mother has died, he plots his escape; when he's caught, he simply escapes again. Soon, Luke becomes a symbol of hope and resilience to the other men in the prison camp -- and a symbol of rebelliousness that must be stamped out to the guards and the captain. Along with stellar performances by Newman, Kennedy, and Martin, Cool Hand Luke features a superb supporting cast, including Ralph Waite, Harry Dean Stanton, Dennis Hopper, Wayne Rogers, and Joe Don Baker as members of the chain gang. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
    • garyX
      garyX: . His stubborn refusal to bow to the will of authority eventually makes him a hero to his fellow prisoners but a target to the brutal prison guards determined to break his spirit. Cool Hand Luke is
      Reviewed 3 years days ago
    • fb1206705590
      fb1206705590: . Rightly seen as a true masterpiece in the history of film. One of the greatest prison dramas ever made. I loved this film and enjoyed it thoroughly from beginning to end. Paul New
      Reviewed 3 years days ago
    • fb726573553
      fb726573553: Well it was a lot different to modern prison films, no one was raped for a start :)
      Good film but the ending was a pain
      Reviewed 3 years days ago
  • The Longest Yard

    The Longest Yard (PG-13, 2005)

    Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Burt Reynolds, Nelly, James Cromwell
    One of the toughest and best-remembered sports movies of the 1970s gets a humorous makeover in this ... read morecomedy. Paul "Wrecking" Crewe (Adam Sandler) was once a famous professional football player, but after several years out of the limelight and an alcohol problem have taken their toll, Crewe is arrested for a serious traffic accident aggravated by the fact he was drunk. Crewe is sentenced to Allenville Penitentiary, where Warden Hazen (James Cromwell) is something of a football fan. Hazen had organized his guards into an impressive football team, and clears a healthy profit by taking bets on their games. Looking to make the competition more interesting, Hazen suggests that Crewe put together a team from the inmate population to play his guards. With the help of fellow prisoner Caretaker (Chris Rock), Crewe recruits the heaviest hitters from the cell block for the team, but the guys don't play like a unit until Crewe and Caretaker get some help from Nate Scarborough (Burt Reynolds), a former college and NFL coach doing hard time. Adapted from Robert Aldrich's 1974 box-office smash of the same name, The Longest Yard also features rap star Nelly and Nicholas Turturro; the film has previously been loosely remade in 2001 as Mean Machine, with the action moved to England and the game changed to soccer. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
    • fb1008742212
      fb1008742212: .
      Plus, The Longest Yard fails to capture the grit of prison and instead even glamourises it which is utterly ridiculous and frankly is even insulting to
      Reviewed 8 months days ago
    • crazymoose17
      crazymoose17: able protagonists (Adam Sandler's character and his inmates) against easily-hated antagonists (The prison guards). There were several moments where I nearly died of laughter, and was a fantastic feel
      Reviewed 14 months days ago
    • fb1341060139
      fb1341060139: Not bad, but there are only so many prison sports movies you can watch before they all become the same. This one does little to be diff
      Reviewed 2 years days ago
  • A Prophet (Un prophete)

    A Prophet (Un prophete) (R, 2010)

    Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Reda Kateb, Hichem Yacoubi
    Condemned to six years in prison, Malik El Djebena, part Arab, part Corsican, cannot read or write. ... read moreArriving at the jail entirely alone, he appears younger and more fragile than the other convicts. He is 19 years old. Cornered by the leader of the Corsican gang currently ruling the prison, he is given a number of "missions" to carry out, toughening him up and gaining the gang leader's confidence in the process. Malik is a fast learner and rises up the prison ranks, all the while secretly devising his own plans.
    • fb590272062
      fb590272062: An excellent film about a naive young convict & his rise through he prison ranks when taken under the wing of a Corsican gang leader. A story about the struggle to appe
      Reviewed 26 days days ago
    • fb725449946
      fb725449946: This French film explores the corrupt nature behind prison doors and the world outside them through the dealings of an illiterate 19 year-old who just s
      Reviewed 5 months days ago
    • fb8306165
      fb8306165: A Prophet involves the story of 19 year old Malik who is thrown into a French prison for attacking a couple of police officers. Upon arrival, he is threatened by the prison's rul
      Reviewed 15 months days ago
  • Rescue Dawn

    Rescue Dawn (PG-13, 2007)

    Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies, Zach Grenier, Yuttana Muenwaja
    In the annals of history's great escapes there is no other story like that of Dieter Dengler, the on... read morely American to ever break out of a POW camp in the impenetrable Laotian jungle. After months plotting his getaway from a harrowing prison and a death-defying journey through some of the world's fiercest wilderness, Dengler appeared at his first press conference looking like a dashing movie star and showing neither sentimentality nor bitterness - simply an indomitable will to survive that allowed him to triumph against impossible odds.
    • phubbs1
      phubbs1: . But it doesn't really get going until they break out of their captors camp prison. From then on its very tense and you can really feel the hunger pains with the actors. As the
      Reviewed 4 years days ago
    • her69eyes
      her69eyes: med the memoir of Deiter Dengler - an American pilot who was gunned down over Vietnam and kept as a prisoner of war for six months. Dengler was a man still haunted by his past, hearing voices and obse
      Reviewed 5 years days ago
    • timbasaraba
      timbasaraba: German director Werner Herzog takes us on the harrowing adventure of Dieter a US pilot on a secret
      Reviewed 5 years days ago
  • Death Race

    Death Race (R, 2008)

    Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Ian McShane, Joan Allen, Natalie Martinez
    The Transporter star Jason Statham takes the wheel in director Paul W.S. Anderson's remake of the Ro... read moreger Corman classic about a hyper-violent cross-country race that breaks all of the traditional rules of the road. The time is the not-so-distant future, and as America's prisons begin overflowing with violent criminals, the powers that be devise a grisly game that will free up space in the cells and entertain the masses at the same time. Jensen Ames (Statham) is a three-time speedway champion with a dark past. A survival expert and ex-con whose sordid history comes back to haunt him when he is framed for a murder he didn't commit, Ames is forced to choose between donning the metallic mask of a mythical racer known as Frankenstein or languishing away on Terminal Island -- America's most notorious penitentiary. Over the course of the next three days, this unlikely champion will get behind the wheel of a nightmare machine outfitted with machine guns, grenade launchers, and flamethrowers in a desperate attempt to outrun some of the most violent criminals ever imprisoned. Should Ames be the first to cross the checkered flag, he will win his freedom; should he come in second, however, death would be preferable to a grim future in a cramped concrete cell. Co-stars include Joan Allen, Ian McShane, Natalie Martinez, and Tyrese Gibson, who takes over the role of Machine Gun Joe, made famous by Sylvester Stallone in the original. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
    • fb1008742212
      fb1008742212: .
      There's also a decent supporting role from Joan Allen who's part as a sadistic prison warden is rather reminiscent of Nurse Ratched from the 1975 classic One Flew Over the Cuckoo'
      Reviewed 17 months days ago
    • fb759382866
      fb759382866: What a jolly tale of a man being forced to kill bad guys by a nasty prison governor.
      Reviewed 19 months days ago
    • finlaybuchanan
      finlaybuchanan: Reasonably good driving / prison / action film. Simple storyline with predictable outcome but generally an easy to watch no br
      Reviewed 19 months days ago
  • Papillon

    Papillon (PG, )

    Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory, Don Gordon, Anthony Zerbe
    The autobiography of Henri Charriere, one of the few people to successfully escape from the notoriou... read mores French penal colony of Devil's Island, served as the basis for Papillon. Steve McQueen plays the pugnacious Charriere (known as "Papillon," or "butterfly," because of a prominent tatoo), incarcerated--wrongly, he claims--for murdering a pimp. He saves the life of fellow convict Louis Dega (Dustin Hoffman), a counterfeiter who will later show his gratitude by helping Charriere in his many escape attempts, and by smuggling food to Charriere when the latter is put in solitary confinement. One breakout, which takes Charriere and Dega to a leper colony and then to a native encampment, is almost successful, but Charriere is betrayed (allegedly because he stopped for an act of kindness) and back the prisoners go to French Guiana. Years later, Dega is made a trustee and is content with his lot, but the ageing, white-haired Charriere cannot be held back. A tribute to the unquenchability of the human spirit, Papillon brought in an impressive $22 million at the box office. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
    • fb100000114197636
      fb100000114197636: What can you say? Just a fantastic movie. Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman are great in this movie.
      Reviewed 17 months days ago
    • fb568289441
      fb568289441: . It's only about a guy who is in prison and escapes after several years. An empty movie, it's impossible to take something from it. I
      Reviewed 23 months days ago
    • garyX
      garyX: d on the life of an infamous safecracker played by Steve McQueen, who is sent to a notorious French prison colony and forms a close bond with fellow internee Dustin Hoffman as he plans his escape. Pap
      Reviewed 3 years days ago
  • Blindness

    Blindness (R, 2008)

    Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Alice Braga, Yusuke Iseya, Yoshino Kimura
    When one man is struck blind while driving home from work, his whole world is turned to an eerie, mi... read morelky haze. One by one, each person he encounters suffers the same unsettling fate. As the contagion spreads, and paranoia sets in, the newly blind victims of the "White Sickness" are quarantined within an abandoned mental asylum. But, inside the quarantined hospital, there is one woman who has only pretended she is blind in order to stay beside her husband. She will lead a makeshift family of seven people on a journey to break out of the hospital and into the devastated city where they may be the only hope left.
    • markellus
      markellus: his is a strong story, and Meirelles brings an amazing style to it, but it's basically a depressing prison movie.
      Reviewed 5 years days ago
    • Dracula787
      Dracula787: e wider society dealing with this crisis, more than half of it is spent in a dark, dank, disgusting prison. The people are stuffed in like sardines, and the government isn?t even trying to help impro
      Reviewed 5 years days ago
  • Bronson

    Bronson (R, 2009)

    Tom Hardy, Hugh Ross, Juliet Oldfield, Jonny Phillips, James Lance
    In 1974, a misguided 19 year old named Michael Peterson decided he wanted to make a name for himself... read more and so, with a homemade sawn-off shotgun and a head full of dreams he attempted to rob a post office. Swiftly apprehended and originally sentenced to 7 years in jail, Peterson has subsequently been behind bars for 34 years, 30 of which have been spent in solitary confinement. With an intelligent, provocative and stylized approach, "Bronson" (based on a true story) follows the metamorphosis of Mickey Peterson into Britain's most dangerous prisoner, Charles Bronson.
      ESTEBUENO: . Paterson introduces himself once he's in prison claiming he had a normal childhood. Ever since he can remember he's wanted to be famous so th
      Reviewed 3 months days ago
    • Donnie33
      Donnie33: . Michael Gordon Peterson (Hardy) was sent to prison in the 1970's for robbing a post office, and he relishes in his time behind bars, comparing i
      Reviewed 2 months days ago
    • fb716094902
      fb716094902: . Tom Hardy as the U.K.'s "most violent prisoner" is absolutely psychotic and it is a lot of fun to behold. This is no where near being any
      Reviewed 18 months days ago