Best Prison Movies

by jorge_barrio_uribarri | created - 30 Sep 2015 | updated - 10 months ago | Public
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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: 2,017,024 | Gross: $28.34M

2. 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: 12,137 | Gross: $0.03M

3. Concrete Jungle (1960)

TV-14 | 86 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

In UK, after pulling a racetrack robbery, repeat offender Johnny Bannion hides the loot in a farmer's field but the police and the local mob come looking for Johnny and for the money.

Director: Joseph Losey | Stars: Stanley Baker, Sam Wanamaker, Grégoire Aslan, Margit Saad

Votes: 966

4. Cool Hand Luke (1967)

GP | 126 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: 143,189

5. 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: 109,287 | Gross: $53.27M

6. Midnight Express (1978)

R | 121 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

59 Metascore

Billy Hayes, 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: 63,395 | Gross: $35.00M

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: 101,159 | Gross: $43.00M

8. Lock Up (1989)

R | 109 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

52 Metascore

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.

Director: John Flynn | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland, John Amos, Sonny Landham

Votes: 33,961 | Gross: $22.10M

9. An Innocent Man (1989)

R | 113 min | Action, Crime, Drama

39 Metascore

A man is framed by two corrupt cops for drugs. After he gets out of prison, he comes after them.

Director: Peter Yates | Stars: Tom Selleck, F. Murray Abraham, Laila Robins, David Rasche

Votes: 5,443 | Gross: $20.05M

10. Dead Man Walking (1995)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama

80 Metascore

A nun, while comforting a convicted killer on death row, empathizes with both the killer and his victim's families.

Director: Tim Robbins | Stars: Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Robert Prosky, Raymond J. Barry

Votes: 81,048 | Gross: $39.39M

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.

Directors: John Frankenheimer, Charles Crichton | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Karl Malden, Thelma Ritter, Neville Brand

Votes: 14,115

12. The Way Back (I) (2010)

PG-13 | 133 min | Adventure, Drama, History

66 Metascore

Siberian gulag escapees travel 4,000 miles by foot to freedom in India.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, Dragos Bucur

Votes: 99,775 | Gross: $2.70M

13. Brokedown Palace (1999)

PG-13 | 100 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

44 Metascore

Two women are arrested for smuggling while vacationing in Thailand.

Director: Jonathan Kaplan | Stars: Claire Danes, Kate Beckinsale, Bill Pullman, Jacqueline Kim

Votes: 20,212 | Gross: $10.11M

14. 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: 86,632 | Gross: $2.08M

15. The Great Escape (1963)

Not Rated | 172 min | Adventure, Drama, History

87 Metascore

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: 198,580 | Gross: $12.10M

16. 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.

Director: Martin Campbell | Stars: Ray Liotta, Lance Henriksen, Stuart Wilson, Kevin Dillon

Votes: 17,227 | Gross: $15.34M

17. 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: 13,954 | Gross: $37.12M

18. 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.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss

Votes: 47,113

19. 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: 136,572 | Gross: $25.01M

20. General Della Rovere (1959)

Not Rated | 129 min | Drama, War

Bardone, a petty con man, is arrested by the Gestapo and coerced into impersonating a partisan leader in order to expose another resistance organizer.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Vittorio De Sica, Hannes Messemer, Sandra Milo, Giovanna Ralli

Votes: 2,376

21. Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)

R | 120 min | Drama

80 Metascore

A gay man and a political prisoner are together in a prison. The gay man narrates the stories of two fake movies and his own life.

Director: Hector Babenco | Stars: William Hurt, Raul Julia, Sônia Braga, José Lewgoy

Votes: 12,551 | Gross: $17.04M

22. The Maze Runner (2014)

PG-13 | 113 min | Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi

57 Metascore

Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they're all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow "runners" for a shot at escape.

Director: Wes Ball | Stars: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster

Votes: 375,011 | Gross: $102.43M

23. Sansho the Bailiff (1954)

Not Rated | 124 min | Drama

In medieval Japan, a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him, but are separated, and the children grow up amid suffering and oppression.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Yoshiaki Hanayagi, Kyôko Kagawa, Eitarô Shindô

Votes: 12,080



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