The Best Prison Movies Films
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The Best Prison Movies

List Criteria: Films set in prison or jails or that star prisoners or convicts.

Best prison movies is a list of the top jail films of all time. These are movies that take place within or around a penitentiary. This prison movies list also includes escape movies, as the plot sometimes revolves around a convict's escape attempt.

Jails create an interesting setting for filmmakers. Since prisons are self-encapsulated, prisons tend to form their own societies with their own rules, hierarchies, and etiquette. As such, the prisons become a veritable island for the prisoners inside.

The prison films on this list are some of the best, so there is bound to be at least one on here that you will enjoy. Make sure to vote for what you think is the greatest prison film ever and add your favorite movie set in jail if it's not on the prison movies list.

  • 20 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 860
    - 77

    the people's #1 & most listed
    James Whitmore, Paul McCrane, Bob Gunton Released: 1994

    ) open buy now
  2. 2
    + 634
    - 118

    Patricia Clarkson, Gary Sinise, Michael Clarke Duncan Released: 1999

    ) open buy now
  3. 3
    + 295
    - 94

    J. D. Cannon, George Kennedy, Jo Van Fleet Released: 1967

    ) open buy now
  4. 4
    + 228
    - 73

    added by mrblond
    Steve McQueen, James Coburn, James Garner

    ) open buy now
  5. 5
    + 227
    - 90

    Released: 1973

    ) open buy now
  6. 6
    + 303
    - 64

    ranked low on reranks
    Roberts Blossom, Clint Eastwood, Joseph Whipp Released: 1979

    ) open buy now
  7. 7
    + 327
    - 54

    ranked low on reranks
    Fairuza Balk, Stacy Keach, Edward Furlong

    ) open buy now
  8. 8
    + 226
    - 87

    John Hurt, Brad Davis, Mike Kellin Released: 1978

    ) open buy now
  9. 9
    + 238
    - 90

    added by Lons
    Bernadette Peters, Harry Caesar, Ray Nitschke

    ) open buy now
  10. 10
    + 182
    - 70

    George Clooney, Chris Thomas King, Holly Hunter

    ) open buy now
  11. 11
    + 113
    - 64

    added by ryanmcw
    Burt Lancaster, Telly Savalas, Edmond O'Brien

    ) open buy now
  12. 12
    + 204
    - 43

    ranked low on reranks & added by wiabux
    Roger Bart, Gerard Butler, Leslie Bibb

    ) open buy now
  13. 13
    + 155
    - 69

    Jack Black, Peter Sarsgaard, Robert Prosky Released: 1995

    ) open buy now
  14. 14
    + 115
    - 66

    added by KimBrownsey
    Delroy Lindo, Frank Military, Steve Burton

    ) open buy now
  15. 15
    + 131
    - 57

    added by oldguy07
    Edward James Olmos, Jacob Vargas, Evelina Fernandez

    ) open buy now
  16. 16
    + 105
    - 52

    added by GS69
    Minnie Driver, Dash Mihok, Ruth Maleczech

    ) open buy now
  17. 17
    + 74
    - 46

    added by bojanthebest
    Peter Graves, Otto Preminger, Don Taylor

    ) open buy now
  18. 18
    + 88
    - 65

    Nicolas Cage, M. Emmet Walsh, Joe Spinell Released: 1980

    ) open buy now
  19. 19
    + 105
    - 64

    added by Lons
    Chuck Cooper, Debbi Morgan, Vincent Pastore

    ) open buy now
  20. 20
    + 256
    - 69

    ranked low on reranks
    John Malkovich, John Cusack, Nicolas Cage

    ) open buy now
  21. 21
    + 55
    - 60

    often listed & added by PeteBoyle
    Stuart Graham, Brian Milligan, Michael Fassbender Released: 2008

    ) open buy now
  22. 22
    + 164
    - 71

    ranked low on reranks
    Ally Sheedy, Rick Rosenthal, Esai Morales Released: 1983

    ) open buy now
  23. 23
    + 144
    - 86

    Nelly, Courteney Cox, Cloris Leachman Released: 2005

    ) open buy now
  24. 24
    + 74
    - 58

    added by erwan
    Leïla Bekhti, Niels Arestrup, Tahar Rahim

    ) open buy now
  25. 25
    + 58
    - 41

    Emma Thompson, Daniel Day-Lewis, Daniel Massey

    ) open buy now
  26. 26
    + 91
    - 68

    added by PeteBoyle
    Tyrese Gibson, Ian McShane, Jacob Vargas Released: 2008

    ) open buy now
  27. 27
    + 108
    - 49

    ranked low on reranks
    Sam Shepard, Anne Archer, Stephen Dorff Released: 2008

    ) open buy now
  28. 28
    + 74
    - 58

    Gene Wilder, Craig T. Nelson, Georg Stanford Brown Released: 1980

    ) open buy now
  29. 29
    + 55
    - 60

    added by azzy_roth
    Mickey Shaughnessy, Dean Jones, Gloria Pall

    ) open buy now
  30. 30
    + 76
    - 58

    Lisa Nicole Carson, Rick James, Martin Lawrence Released: 1999

    ) open buy now
  31. 31
    + 62
    - 27

    added by BushWanker
    Tom Atkins, John Carpenter, Jamie Lee Curtis

    ) open buy now
  32. 32
    + 63
    - 50

    Master P, Fisher Stevens, Michael Rooker Released: 2002

    ) open buy now
  33. 33
    + 34
    - 42

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Steve Buscemi, Mickey Rourke, Edward Furlong Released: 2000

    ) open buy now
  34. 34
    + 66
    - 51

    added by PeteBoyle
    Amanda Burton, Tom Hardy, Hugh Ross Released: 2009

    ) open buy now
  35. 35
    + 35
    - 32

    Theodore Bikel, Tony Curtis, Whit Bissell

    ) open buy now
  36. 36
    + 38
    - 43

    added by srjthnk
    Luis Tosar, Antonio Resines, Marta Etura

    ) open buy now
  37. 37
    + 63
    - 42

    ranked low on reranks
    Herb Ritts, Gary Oldman, Christian Slater Released: 1994

    ) open buy now
  38. 38
    + 43
    - 45

    added by AdrianDanga
    Eric Roberts, Kenneth McMillan, Dennis Franz

    ) open buy now
  39. 39
    + 42
    - 52

    Daniel Giménez Cacho, Jesús Ochoa, Bob Gunton

    ) open buy now
  40. 40
    + 50
    - 52

    Claire Danes, Paul Walker, Kate Beckinsale Released: 1999

    ) open buy now
  41. 41
    + 31
    - 48

    added by wiabux
    Ben Cross, Mark Ivanir, Scott Adkins Released: 2005

    ) open buy now
  42. 42
    + 28
    - 31

    Ray Winstone, David Threlfall, John Judd

    ) open buy now
  43. 43
    + 32
    - 49

    Glenda Farrell, Paul Muni, Noel Francis Released: 1932

    ) open buy now
  44. 44
    + 40
    - 7

    ranked low on reranks
    Ed Harris, Nicolas Cage, Jim Caviezel

    ) open buy now
  45. 45
    + 4
    - 6

    added by mainpleine
    Sally Kirkland, David Carradine, M. Emmet Walsh Released: 2007

    ) open buy @
  46. 46
    + 30
    - 38

    William Hurt, Herson Capri, Miriam Pires Released: 1985

    ) open buy now
  47. 47
    + 47
    - 21

    Louis Sachar, Patricia Arquette, Henry Winkler Released: 2003

    ) open buy now
  48. 48
    + 16
    - 39

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Burgess Meredith, Lee Grant, Martin Gabel Released: 1970

    ) open buy now
  49. 49
    + 3
    - 9

    added by ZiZou
    François Leterrier, Jacques Ertaud, Jean Paul Delhumeau

    ) open buy now
  50. 50
    + 70
    - 41

    ranked low on reranks
    Tom Sizemore, Darlanne Fluegel, Jordan Lund Released: 1989

    ) open buy now
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