prison movies listby f_m67 | created - 25 Mar 2011 | updated - 01 Aug 2013 | Public
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1. Le Trou (1960)
Not Rated | 132 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
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.
Votes: 11,321 | Gross: $0.03M
Director Becker, who died just weeks after shooting on the film had wrapped, used mostly non-actors for the main roles in the film, including one man (Jean Keraudy) who was actually involved in the 1947 escape attempt, and who introduces the film
2. Papillon (1973)
R | 151 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
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.
Votes: 104,982 | Gross: $53.27M
In 1974, the film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Music, Original Dramatic Score (Jerry Goldsmith) and a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actor, Drama (Steve McQueen).
3. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
GP | 126 min | Crime, Drama
A laid back Southern man is sentenced to two years in a rural prison, but refuses to conform.
Upon its initial release, Bosley Crowther wrote an NYT Critic's Pick review, saying "what elevates this brutal picture above the ruck of prison films and into the range of intelligent contemplation of the ironies of life is a sharp script by Donn Pearce and Frank R. Pierson, ruthlessly realistic and plausible staging and directing by a new man. Stuart Rosenberg, and splendid acting by Paul Newman and a totally unfaultable cast"; besides Newman, Crowther commended Kennedy's "powerfully obsessive" depiction of the "top-dog who handles things his way as effectively and finally as destructively as does the warden or the guards" and Jo Van Fleet, "who, in one scene, in which she comes to visit him propped up in the back of a truck, does as much to make us comprehend the background and the emotional hang-up of the loner as might have been done in the entire length of a good film." Variety magazine said the "versatile and competent cast maintains interest throughout rambling exposition to a downbeat climax."
The Toronto Star, in a 2007 home video review, said the film's anti-establishment message fit well with the mood of the 1960s. All of the forty-four reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes, including six top critics, gave the film a positive review, citing a 100% 'Fresh' rating.  Awards and honors
Cool Hand Luke won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (George Kennedy), and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Paul Newman), Best Music, Original Music Score and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.
In 2003, AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains rated Luke Jackson as the number 30 greatest hero in American Cinema, and four years later, AFI's 100 Years... 100 Cheers: America's Most Inspiring Movies rated Cool Hand Luke number 71. Cool Hand Luke was included in the United States National Film Registry in 2005. Luke has also been ranked number 53 in Empire magazine's "The 100 Greatest Movie Characters".
4. The Great Escape (1963)
Approved | 172 min | Adventure, Drama, History
Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.
Votes: 189,669 | Gross: $12.10M
5. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
R | 142 min | Crime, Drama
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.
Votes: 1,930,357 | Gross: $28.34M
6. The Valachi Papers (1972)
R | 125 min | Crime, Drama
Gangster Joe Valachi is a marked man in the same joint where mob boss Don Vito Genovese is imprisoned and he's forced to co-operate with the DA in exchange for protection.
Votes: 2,401 | Gross: $20.27M
The film departed from the true story of Joseph Valachi, as recounted in the Peter Maas book, in a number of ways. Though using real names and depicting real events, the movie also contained numerous events that were fictionalized. Among them was the castration scene and the "I can only kill the living" Maranzano comment, which was widely ridiculed by critics.
8. Murder in the First (1995)
R | 122 min | Drama, Thriller
An eager and idealistic young attorney defends an Alcatraz prisoner accused of murdering a fellow inmate. The extenuating circumstances: his client had just spent over three years in solitary confinement.
Votes: 23,633 | Gross: $17.38M
The film makes numerous changes to the actual story. The real Henri Young was not convicted of stealing $5 to save his sister from destitution. He had been a hardened bank robber who had taken a hostage on at least one occasion and had committed a murder in 1933. Young was also no stranger to the penal system. Before being incarcerated at Alcatraz in 1936, he had already served time in two State prisons in Montana and Washington. In 1935, he spent his first year in federal correctional facilities at McNeil Island, Washington, before being transferred to Alcatraz.
9. Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
PG | 112 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
Alcatraz is the most secure prison of its time. It is believed that no one can ever escape from it, until three daring men make a possible successful attempt at escaping from one of the most infamous prisons in the world.
Votes: 96,909 | Gross: $43.00M
one of the best movies about escape from prison my rate 9/10
10. Lock Up (1989)
R | 109 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
With only six months left of his sentence, inmate Frank Leone is transferred from a minimum security prison to a maximum security prison by a vindictive warden.
Votes: 32,997 | Gross: $22.10M
12. Undisputed (2002)
R | 94 min | Action, Crime, Drama
When heavyweight champion George "Iceman" Chambers lands in prison, the resident gangster arranges a boxing match with the reigning prison champ.
Votes: 25,242 | Gross: $12.40M
13. Undisputed 2: Last Man Standing (2006 Video)
R | 98 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Sequel to the 2002 film. This time, Heavyweight Champ George "Iceman" Chambers is sent to a Russian Jail on trumped-up drug charges.
15. Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
R | 109 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A frustrated man decides to take justice into his own hands after a plea bargain sets one of his family's killers free. He targets not only the killer but also the district attorney and others involved in the deal.
Votes: 238,026 | Gross: $73.34M
16. Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)
Not Rated | 147 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
A surly convicted murderer held in permanent isolation redeems himself when he becomes a renowned bird expert.
18. The Green Mile (1999)
R | 189 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy
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.
Votes: 918,021 | Gross: $136.80M
19. 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.
i like jcvd so i like this my rate 6/10
20. 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.
Votes: 14,269 | Gross: $16.85M
one of the best jcvd movies my rate 6/10
21. Celda 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.
22. Bloodsport 2 (1996)
R | 90 min | Action, Sport
After thief Alex Cardo gets caught while stealing an ancient katana in East Asia, he soon finds himself imprisoned and beaten up by the crowd there. Especially one of the guards, Demien, ... See full summary »
Votes: 2,555 | Gross: $0.68M
25. Bronson (2008)
R | 92 min | Action, Biography, Crime
A young man who was sentenced to seven years in prison for robbing a post office ends up spending three decades in solitary confinement. During this time, his own personality is supplanted by his alter-ego, Charles Bronson.
Votes: 101,849 | Gross: $0.10M
30. Men of San Quentin (1942)
Passed | 80 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A crooked deputy warden at San Quentin Penitentiary tries to frame a sergeant of the guards, Jack Holden, for the killing of a guard and a prisoner during a jailbreak.
31. Mrs. Soffel (1984)
PG-13 | 110 min | Drama, Romance
Peter Soffel is the stuffy warden of a remote American prison around the turn of the century. His wife, Kate, finds herself attracted to prisoner Ed Biddle. She abandons her husband and ... See full summary »
Votes: 2,582 | Gross: $4.39M
32. Mutiny in the Big House (1939)
Approved | 83 min | Crime, Drama
A young man forges a check in order to help his mother, but is caught and sentenced to 14 years in prison. The prison chaplain, seeing that the new arrival is a good man who's had some bad ... See full summary »
36. Fortress (1992)
R | 95 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi
In 2017, John Henry Brennick and his wife Karen are captured at a US immigration point with an illegal baby during population control. The resulting prison experience is the subject of the ... See full summary »
Votes: 24,971 | Gross: $6.74M
37. No Escape (1994)
R | 118 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
A soldier convicted for murdering his commanding officer is dumped and left to die on a prison island inhabited by two camps of convicts.
Votes: 16,813 | Gross: $15.34M
39. The Hurricane (1999)
R | 146 min | Biography, Drama, Sport
The story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a boxer wrongly imprisoned for murder, and the people who aided in his fight to prove his innocence.
Votes: 82,639 | Gross: $50.67M
40. The Rock (1996)
R | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
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.
Votes: 279,549 | Gross: $134.07M
41. Half Past Dead (2002)
PG-13 | 98 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
This movie tells the story of a man who goes undercover in a hi-tech prison to find out information to help prosecute those who killed his wife. While there he stumbles onto a plot involving a death-row inmate and his $200 million stash of gold.
Votes: 13,057 | Gross: $15.36M
42. Instinct (1999)
R | 126 min | Drama, Thriller
When a noted anthropologist who left society to live in the jungle is imprisoned for murder, it's up to a young psychiatrist to get through to him.
Votes: 29,180 | Gross: $34.10M
43. 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.
very bad my rating 2/10
44. The Last Castle (2001)
R | 131 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
A court-martialed General rallies together twelve hundred inmates to rise against the corrupt system that put him away.
Votes: 61,491 | Gross: $18.21M
45. The Longest Yard (1974)
R | 121 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
A sadistic warden asks a former pro quarterback, now serving time in his prison, to put together a team of inmates to take on (and get pummeled by) the guards.
48. Big Stan (2007)
R | 105 min | Action, Comedy
A weak con man panics when he learns he's going to prison for fraud. He hires a mysterious martial arts guru who helps transform him into a martial arts expert who can fight off inmates who want to hurt or love him.
49. 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 »
50. 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 »
my rating 3/10
51. In the Name of the Father (1993)
R | 133 min | Biography, Drama
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.
Votes: 130,034 | Gross: $25.01M
52. Death Race (2008)
R | 105 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Ex-con Jensen Ames is forced by the warden of a notorious prison to compete in our post-industrial world's most popular sport: a car race in which inmates must brutalize and kill one another on the road to victory.
Votes: 179,935 | Gross: $36.32M
54. Shadow: Dead Riot (2006)
R | 81 min | Action, Horror
Evil voodoo-practicing serial killer Shadow gets executed for murdering pregnant women. Twenty years later the prison Shadow was put to death at has been turned into an experimental women's... See full summary »
55. Caged Fury (1990)
R | 95 min | Action
Discontent leads to a daring escape plan in a women's prison where the inmates are all lingerie clad models and the lesbian warden demands unusual favours for early parole.
56. Caged Fear (1991)
R | 93 min | Action, Thriller
After a jewelry theft Tommy Lane can hardly free. His girlfriend Kristen has less luck and is arrested. She's sentenced to jail in an ill-reputed female prison in Oklahoma. Tommy doesn't ... See full summary »
57. 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.
Votes: 2,180 | Gross: $0.45M
58. Femmine in fuga (1984)
Unrated | 90 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
The young, pretty and shy Angela Duvall is jailed for murder in a Brazilian prison. Whilst there she is brutally "initiated" by the other inmates. The nice, honest and handsome prison ... See full summary »
59. Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (1975)
R | 96 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
Ilsa is an evil Nazi warden at a death camp that conducts "medical experiments". Ilsa's goal is to prove that women can withstand more pain and suffering than men and therefore should be allowed to fight on the front lines.
60. Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks (1976)
R | 85 min | Thriller
In the vast deserts of the Middle East, the lascivious tigress Ilsa joins the white flesh slavery ring of a maniacal sheikh overlord.
61. Caged (1950)
Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A naive nineteen year old widow becomes coarsened and cynical when she is sent to a woman's prison and is exposed to hardened criminals and sadistic guards.
64. Bangkok Hilton (1989– )
240 min | Drama, Thriller
The story of Kat Stanton (Kidman), an Australian woman searching for her father who, whilst travelling back from London to Australia via Thailand, makes friends with Arkie Ragan (Ehlers), a... See full summary »
66. Each Dawn I Die (1939)
Approved | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A corrupt D.A. with governatorial ambitions is annoyed by an investigative reporter's criticism of his criminal activities and decides to frame the reporter for manslaughter in order to silence him.
68. Prison of Secrets (1997 TV Movie)
PG-13 | 92 min | Crime, Drama
Lynn Schaffer is willfully irresponsible once too often, gets fired and refuses a plea-bargain with her employer. She's now convicted and because of this uncooperative attitude gets the ... See full summary »
69. Fortress 2 (2000)
R | 92 min | Action, Sci-Fi
7 years after the original Fortress movie, Brennick along with the rebels are captured and sent to a new, more sophisticated fortress prison, in outer space.
70. The Escapist (2008)
Not Rated | 102 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Frank Perry is an institutionalized convict fourteen years into a life sentence without parole. When his estranged daughter falls ill, he is determined to make peace with her before it's ... See full summary »
Votes: 15,438 | Gross: $0.01M
71. Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (1991)
R | 91 min | Action, Comedy, Thriller
A young man with superhuman strength is incarcerated at a prison run by corrupt officials and seeks to use his martial arts to clean up the system.
72. Bad Boys (1983)
R | 123 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Chicago crime kid Mick O'Brien is sent to reform school after accidentally killing a rival's kid brother.
Votes: 11,922 | Gross: $9.20M
Bad Boys garnered generally positive reviews; review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes currently holds an 87% "Fresh" rating based on 15 reviews from top critics. David Denby of The New Yorker magazine argued, "Bad Boys is never less than tense and exciting, but it's coarse and grisly, an essentially demagogic piece of work".
In his original review, Roger Ebert praised the direction and cinematography in particular and wrote, "The direction, by Richard Rosenthal, is sure-footed, confident and fluid; we are in the hands of a fine director". In her review for The New York Times, Janet Maslin wrote, "Sean Penn's performance is the chief thing that separates Bad Boys from mere exploitation". Perry Seibert of All Media Guide said "Bad Boys proves that great performances can overcome routine story lines."
73. The Escapist (2002)
R | 88 min | Action, Crime, Drama
The skilled pilot Denis Hopkins lives with his pregnant wife Valerie and has a comfortable lifestyle. When the gang of criminals headed by the sadistic Ricky Barnes breaks in his seaside ... See full summary »
74. Przesluchanie (1982)
118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Tonia goes out drinking. She wakes up in prison, not having a clue why she's there. She is tortured to encourage her to confess to a crime she is not aware of.
77. Caged Women (1982)
R | 90 min | Action, Thriller
Emanuelle goes undercover into a prison to expose the corrupted officials who are brutalizing the inmates. Emanuelle is shocked by the horrors and humiliation the prisoners are subjected to... See full summary »
78. Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (1972)
Not Rated | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
After being used and betrayed by the detective she had fallen in love with, young Matsu is sent to a female prison full of sadistic guards and disobedient prisoners.
80. The Experiment (2001)
R | 120 min | Drama, Thriller
For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The "prisoners" have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the "guards" are told to retain order without using physical violence.
Votes: 84,428 | Gross: $0.14M
82. Escape from Sobibor (1987 TV Movie)
Not Rated | 143 min | Drama, History, War
During WWII, the death camp at Treblinka had an escape, causing the Commandant at a similar camp in Sobibor to vow that his camp would never experience the same thing. But those who were ... See full summary »
83. Stalag 17 (1953)
Not Rated | 120 min | Comedy, Drama, War
When two escaping American World War II prisoners are killed, the German P.O.W. camp barracks black marketeer, J.J. Sefton, is suspected of being an informer.
84. Rescue Dawn (2006)
PG-13 | 120 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama
A U.S. fighter pilot's epic struggle of survival after being shot down on a mission over Laos during the Vietnam War.
Votes: 91,149 | Gross: $5.49M
85. 13 Dead Men (2003)
R | 85 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Set in a prison, a death row inmate has a secret and the warden will go to any lengths to get it. Things dont go as planned as you would expect. A good action film with alot of good fight ... See full summary »
86. Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story (1980 TV Movie)
196 min | Action, Drama, Crime
Fact based story of the lives and attempted 1962 escape of several inmates in the famous correctional facility. Young inmate Clarence Carnes masterminds a grand escape involving several ... See full summary »
87. 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.
90. Death Row (2007 Video)
Not Rated | 85 min | Horror, Thriller
As eight convicts serve their sentences in a work-release program at a creepy;abandoned prison;an unknown killer stalks them in the darkness. One by one;the prisoners are slaughtered in the... See full summary »
91. McVicar (1980)
R | 112 min | Crime, Drama
'John McVicar' was a London Bad Boy. He graduated to armed bank robbery and was Britain's "Public Enemy No. 1". He was captured and put into a high security prison. Will even the highest ... See full summary »
92. Stir (1980)
101 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
Filmed in the Clare Valley, Gladstone and the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, this prison movie was inspired by the true life prison riot at Bathurst Jail in 1974 and its subsequent Royal Commission into New South Wales Prisons.
93. Dead Men Walking (2005)
R | 82 min | Horror
After killing four persons in his home with a shotgun, Dee Travis claims that he had accidentally ingested an experimental biotoxin that the company Blackthorn where he worked was ... See full summary »
95. The Big House (1930)
Passed | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A convict falls in love with his new cellmate's sister, only to become embroiled in a planned break-out which is certain to have lethal consequences.
96. Boys' Reformatory (1939)
Approved | 62 min | Crime, Drama
A tough street kid takes the rap for a burglary committed by the son of his foster family and is sent to a boys reformatory, where the inmates are under the thumb of corrupt guards and a brutal prison doctor.
97. Dog Pound (2010)
Not Rated | 91 min | Drama
Three juvenile delinquents are sentenced to a correctional facility where they encounter gang violence, death, and harassment from staff and other inmates.
98. Bloodsport: The Dark Kumite (1999)
R | 100 min | Action, Romance
Agent John Keller goes undercover into the tough prison known as Fuego Penal to find out about the corpses of prisoners disappearing without a trace. There he gets involved in a dangerous ... See full summary »
99. The Circuit 2: The Final Punch (2002 Video)
R | 90 min | Action, Drama, Sport
Prisoners are dying at the Ogden Correctional Institution, a prison where a corrupt Warden has taken justice and business into his own hands. In the bowels of this prison, an underground ... See full summary »
100. Triumph of the Spirit (1989)
R | 120 min | Biography, Drama, History
Fact based story about a former Greek Olympic boxer who was taken as a prisoner during World war II and placed in the Auschwitz prison camp. There he was permitted to survive as long as he ... See full summary »
Votes: 1,892 | Gross: $0.41M