My Top 10 Prison Films

by aax-11 | last updated - 31 Oct 2011 | Public
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1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R | 142 min | Crime, Drama

9.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  
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: 1,885,311 | Gross: $28.34M

2. A Prophet (2009)

R | 155 min | Crime, Drama

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
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: 83,795 | Gross: $2.08M

3. Cool Hand Luke (1967)

GP | 126 min | Crime, Drama

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
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: 132,130

4. Felon (2008)

R | 104 min | Crime, Drama

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
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: 69,607 | Gross: $0.04M

5. The Experiment (2001)

R | 120 min | Drama, Thriller

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
60 Metascore

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.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel | Stars: Moritz Bleibtreu, Christian Berkel, Oliver Stokowski, Wotan Wilke Möhring

Votes: 83,449 | Gross: $0.14M

6. I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)

R | 98 min | Biography, Comedy, Crime

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
65 Metascore

A cop turns con man once he comes out of the closet. Once imprisoned, he meets the second love of his life, whom he'll stop at nothing to be with.

Directors: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa | Stars: Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro

Votes: 83,135 | Gross: $2.04M

7. Bronson (2008)

R | 92 min | Action, Biography, Crime

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
71 Metascore

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.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn | Stars: Tom Hardy, Kelly Adams, Luing Andrews, Katy Barker

Votes: 99,248 | Gross: $0.10M

8. The Green Mile (1999)

R | 189 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
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: 892,925 | Gross: $136.80M

9. The Great Escape (1963)

Not Rated | 172 min | Adventure, Drama, History

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Allied prisoners of war 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, Charles Bronson

Votes: 183,884

10. Celda 211 (2009)

113 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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: 54,887