The Best Prison/Escape Moviesby McShovin | created - 26 May 2012 | updated - 29 Nov 2015 | Public
Also including PoW-camp, concentration camp etc. movies. Movies are listed from best to worst.
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1. I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)
Passed | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Wrongly convicted James Allen serves in the intolerable conditions of a southern chain gang, which later comes back to haunt him.
2. 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: 138,310 | Gross: $25.01M
3. 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.
4. Life Is Beautiful (1997)
PG-13 | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor, and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp.
Votes: 535,922 | Gross: $57.60M
5. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
R | 142 min | Drama
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.
Votes: 2,042,380 | Gross: $28.34M
6. 7-beon-bang-ui seon-mul (2013)
127 min | Comedy, Drama
A story about love between a mentally-ill father and his lovingly adorable daughter. Accused of murder and rape, her father's home is prison.
7. 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.
8. Pour elle (2008)
96 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
With no legal means left to him, a high school teacher devises a daring plan to rescue his wrongfully imprisoned wife from jail.
9. Manic (2001)
R | 100 min | Drama
Lyle Jensen is subject to sudden and violent outbursts, and he is committed to the juvenile wing of the Northwood Mental Institution. Several other youths are there with a variety of ... See full summary »
Votes: 8,859 | Gross: $0.07M
10. Midnight Express (1978)
R | 121 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
Billy Hayes, an American college student, is caught smuggling drugs out of Turkey and thrown into prison.
Votes: 64,031 | Gross: $35.00M
11. 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.
12. 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 »
13. Empire of the Sun (1987)
PG | 153 min | Drama, History, War
A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II.
Votes: 103,845 | Gross: $22.24M
14. Blood In, Blood Out (1993)
R | 180 min | Crime, Drama
Based on the true life experiences of poet Jimmy Santiago Baca, the film focuses on step-brothers Paco and Cruz, and their bi-racial cousin Miklo. It opens in 1972, as the three are members... See full summary »
Votes: 26,243 | Gross: $4.50M
15. Von Ryan's Express (1965)
Approved | 117 min | Action, Adventure, War
An American POW leads a group of mainly British prisoners to escape from the Germans in WWII.
Votes: 11,563 | Gross: $17.11M
16. The Great Escape (1963)
Not Rated | 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: 201,091 | Gross: $12.10M
17. A Man Escaped (1956)
Not Rated | 101 min | Drama
A captured French Resistance fighter during WWII engineers a daunting escape from a Nazi prison in France.
18. 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: 110,612 | Gross: $53.27M
19. Le Trou (1960)
Not Rated | 131 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: 12,369 | Gross: $0.03M
20. Starred Up (2013)
Not Rated | 106 min | Crime, Drama
Eric Love 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 who Eric hasn't seen since he was 5 (since he was ... See full summary »
Votes: 38,677 | Gross: $0.03M
21. Felon (2008)
R | 104 min | Crime, Drama
A family man convicted of killing an intruder must cope with life afterward in the violent penal system.
Votes: 71,642 | Gross: $0.04M
22. The Defiant Ones (1958)
Approved | 96 min | Crime, Drama
Two escaped convicts chained together, white and black, must learn to get along in order to elude capture.
23. The United States of Leland (2003)
R | 108 min | Drama
A young man's experience in a juvenile detention center that touches on the tumultuous changes that befall his family and the community in which he lives.
Votes: 21,674 | Gross: $0.34M
24. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
PG | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, War
After settling his differences with a Japanese P.O.W. 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.
Votes: 182,654 | Gross: $44.91M
25. A Pure Formality (1994)
PG-13 | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Onoff is a famous writer who hasn't published any new books for quite some time and has become a recluse. When he is picked up by the police one stormy night, without any identification, ... See full summary »
Votes: 8,612 | Gross: $0.20M
26. 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: 12,445 | Gross: $9.20M
27. 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: 86,305 | Gross: $0.14M
28. The Hill (1965)
Approved | 123 min | Drama, War
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.
29. 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.
30. The Next Three Days (2010)
PG-13 | 133 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A married couple's life is turned upside down when the wife is accused of a murder.
Votes: 164,711 | Gross: $21.15M
7/10, remake of "Anything for Her"
31. There Was a Crooked Man... (1970)
R | 126 min | Western
A charming but totally ruthless criminal is sent to a remote Arizona prison. He enlists the help of his cellmates in an escape attempt with the promise of sharing his hidden loot.
32. A Prophet (2009)
R | 155 min | Crime, Drama
A young Arab man is sent to a French prison.
Votes: 87,136 | Gross: $2.08M
33. 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: 982,230 | Gross: $136.80M
34. 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.
35. Mesrine Part 1: Killer Instinct (2008)
R | 113 min | Action, Biography, Crime
The story of french gangster Jacques Mesrine, before he was called Public Enemy N°1.
Votes: 29,730 | Gross: $0.55M
7/10 including the second part of the story
36. 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: 24,358 | Gross: $17.38M
37. Przesluchanie (1989)
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.
38. 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.
39. Get the Gringo (2012)
R | 96 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A career criminal nabbed by Mexican authorities is placed in a tough prison where he learns to survive with the help of a young boy.
40. Against the Wall (1994 TV Movie)
R | 111 min | Action, Drama, History
Based on the true story of the Attica Prison uprising of 1971.
41. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)
Not Rated | 104 min | Drama, Sport
A juvenile offender at a tough reform school impresses its governor with his running ability and is encouraged to compete in an upcoming race, but faces ridicule from his peers.
42. 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.
43. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)
PG-13 | 94 min | Drama, War
Set during WWII, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a German concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.
Votes: 164,962 | Gross: $9.03M
44. Unbroken (I) (2014)
PG-13 | 137 min | Biography, Drama, Sport
After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he's caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.
Votes: 127,594 | Gross: $115.64M
45. La Grande Illusion (1937)
Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, War
During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.
Votes: 30,571 | Gross: $0.17M
46. 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: 102,419 | Gross: $43.00M
47. Lonely Are the Brave (1962)
Approved | 107 min | Drama, Western
A fiercely independent cowboy gets himself locked up in prison to escape with an old friend.
48. Carandiru (2003)
R | 145 min | Drama, Crime
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 ... See full summary »
Votes: 16,101 | Gross: $0.21M
49. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
PG-13 | 107 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime