Favorite Prison Movies

by Paok-Kilkis | created - 2 months ago | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public

Which of these prison movies is your favorite?

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1. 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: 2,125,823 | Gross: $28.34M

2. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

PG-13 | 164 min | Action, Thriller

78 Metascore

Eight years after the Joker's reign of anarchy, Batman, with the help of the enigmatic Catwoman, is forced from his exile to save Gotham City, now on the edge of total annihilation, from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman

Votes: 1,401,663 | Gross: $448.14M

3. American History X (1998)

R | 119 min | Drama

62 Metascore

A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did.

Director: Tony Kaye | Stars: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo, Jennifer Lien

Votes: 961,127 | Gross: $6.72M

4. 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: 1,031,413 | Gross: $136.80M

5. Escape Plan (2013)

R | 115 min | Action, Crime, Mystery

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: 213,849 | Gross: $25.13M

6. 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: 150,268

7. Escape from Alcatraz (1979)

PG | 112 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

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.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Patrick McGoohan, Roberts Blossom, Jack Thibeau

Votes: 106,145 | Gross: $43.00M

8. Papillon (1973)

R | 151 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

58 Metascore

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.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory, Don Gordon

Votes: 113,880 | Gross: $53.27M

9. In the Name of the Father (1993)

R | 133 min | Biography, Drama

84 Metascore

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.

Director: Jim Sheridan | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Pete Postlethwaite, Alison Crosbie, Philip King

Votes: 143,034 | Gross: $25.01M

10. 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: 66,428 | Gross: $35.00M

11. Get the Gringo (2012)

R | 96 min | Action, Crime, Drama

60 Metascore

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.

Director: Adrian Grunberg | Stars: Mel Gibson, Kevin Balmore, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Jesús Ochoa

Votes: 98,500

12. 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.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Jean Gabin, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay, Erich von Stroheim

Votes: 31,278 | Gross: $0.17M

13. 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.

Director: Taylor Hackford | Stars: Damian Chapa, Jesse Borrego, Benjamin Bratt, Enrique Castillo

Votes: 26,896 | Gross: $4.50M

14. Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Drama

34 Metascore

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.

Director: F. Gary Gray | Stars: Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx, Leslie Bibb, Colm Meaney

Votes: 254,913 | Gross: $73.34M

15. Bronson (2008)

R | 92 min | Action, Biography, Crime

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: 111,125 | Gross: $0.10M

16. 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: 47,455

17. Gridiron Gang (2006)

PG-13 | 125 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

52 Metascore

Teenagers at a juvenile detention center, under the leadership of their counselor, gain self-esteem by playing football together.

Director: Phil Joanou | Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Xzibit, L. Scott Caldwell, Leon Rippy

Votes: 42,415 | Gross: $38.43M

18. 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: 59,962

19. Hunger (2008)

Not Rated | 96 min | Biography, Drama

82 Metascore

Irish republican Bobby Sands leads the inmates of a Northern Irish prison in a hunger strike.

Director: Steve McQueen | Stars: Stuart Graham, Laine Megaw, Brian Milligan, Liam McMahon

Votes: 61,691 | Gross: $0.15M

20. Starred Up (2013)

Not Rated | 106 min | Crime, Drama

81 Metascore

Eric Love, 19, is locked up in prison. On first day he assaults another inmate and several guards. He's offered group therapy and his dad, an inmate as well, tries to talk sense into him. Can he be rehabilitated?

Director: David Mackenzie | Stars: Jack O'Connell, Ben Mendelsohn, Rupert Friend, Sam Spruell

Votes: 39,630 | Gross: $0.03M

21. The Running Man (1987)

R | 101 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

45 Metascore

A wrongly convicted man must try to survive a public execution gauntlet staged as a game show.

Director: Paul Michael Glaser | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso, Yaphet Kotto, Jim Brown

Votes: 131,982 | Gross: $38.12M

22. Down by Law (1986)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

75 Metascore

Two innocent people are arrested. An interesting third person, with broken English, joins them in their cell. On his idea, they decide to escape from the prison. Their journey is the rest of the movie.

Director: Jim Jarmusch | Stars: Tom Waits, John Lurie, Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi

Votes: 43,964 | Gross: $1.44M

23. The Experiment (2001)

R | 120 min | Drama, Thriller

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: 87,448 | Gross: $0.14M

24. Death Race (2008)

R | 105 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

43 Metascore

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.

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson | Stars: Jason Statham, Joan Allen, Tyrese Gibson, Ian McShane

Votes: 188,953 | Gross: $36.32M

25. 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: 72,554 | Gross: $0.04M

26. 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: 88,597 | Gross: $2.08M

27. 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: 14,692

28. 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.

Director: Jacques Becker | Stars: André Bervil, Jean Keraudy, Michel Constantin, Philippe Leroy

Votes: 13,029 | Gross: $0.03M

29. Brubaker (1980)

R | 131 min | Crime, Drama

54 Metascore

The new warden of a small prison farm in Arkansas tries to clean it up of corruption after initially posing as an inmate.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg | Stars: Robert Redford, Yaphet Kotto, Morgan Freeman, Jane Alexander

Votes: 14,611 | Gross: $37.12M

30. 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.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Helen Vinson, Noel Francis

Votes: 10,635

31. The Longest Yard (1974)

R | 121 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

61 Metascore

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.

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Burt Reynolds, Eddie Albert, Ed Lauter, Michael Conrad

Votes: 15,687

32. Escape from New York (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

76 Metascore

In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence

Votes: 113,505 | Gross: $25.24M

33. Fortress (1992)

R | 95 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

In a future, private underground prison/Fortress, the inmates are computer controlled with CCTV, dream readers and devices that can cause pain or death. John and his illegally pregnant wife are inside but want to escape before birth.

Director: Stuart Gordon | Stars: Christopher Lambert, Loryn Locklin, Kurtwood Smith, Clifton Collins Jr.

Votes: 26,141 | Gross: $6.74M

34. Mean Guns (1997)

R | 104 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

100 people, who have betrayed The Syndicate, are gathered in a prison opening the next day. They are given weapons and 6 hours to kill each other. The 3 remaining share $10,000,000.

Director: Albert Pyun | Stars: Christopher Lambert, Ice-T, Michael Halsey, Deborah Van Valkenburgh

Votes: 4,007

35. Runaway Train (1985)

R | 111 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

67 Metascore

Two escaped convicts and a female railway worker find themselves trapped on a train with no brakes and nobody driving.

Director: Andrey Konchalovskiy | Stars: Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, Rebecca De Mornay, Kyle T. Heffner

Votes: 24,602 | Gross: $7.94M



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