crime The Best Prison Movies  

19k votes 3.4k voters 601k views 131 items Follow Embed

List Rules 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.
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The Shawshank Redemption Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins - Released: 1994

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2
+ - 1,028 219
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The Green Mile Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Sam Rockwell - Released: 1999

3
+ - 530 157
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Cool Hand Luke Paul Newman, Dennis Hopper, George Kennedy - Released: 1967

4
+ - 411 121
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The Great Escape Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner

5
+ - 550 113
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Escape from Alcatraz Clint Eastwood, Danny Glover, Patrick McGoohan - Released: 1979

6
+ - 386 138
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Papillon Dustin Hoffman, Steve McQueen, Vic Tayback - Released: 1973

7
+ - 589 120
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American History X Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly DAngelo

8
+ - 365 145
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Midnight Express John Hurt, Randy Quaid, Brad Davis - Released: 1978

9
+ - 398 142
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The Longest Yard Burt Reynolds, Bernadette Peters, Ray Nitschke

10
+ - 203 113
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Birdman of Alcatraz Burt Lancaster, Telly Savalas, Karl Malden

11
+ - 326 134
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O Brother, Where Art Thou? George Clooney, John Goodman, Holly Hunter

12
+ - 370 107
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Law Abiding Citizen Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx, Viola Davis

13
+ - 254 128
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Dead Man Walking Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Jack Black - Released: 1995

14
+ - 196 115
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The Last Castle Robert Redford, Mark Ruffalo, Robin Wright

15
+ - 242 98
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American Me Edward James Olmos, William Forsythe, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

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16
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Sleepers Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman

17
+ - 144 88
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Stalag 17 William Holden, Peter Graves, Otto Preminger

18
+ - 173 104
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The Hurricane Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, Rod Steiger

19
+ - 142 110
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Brubaker Nicolas Cage, Morgan Freeman, Robert Redford - Released: 1980

20
+ - 149 88
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Stir Crazy Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Craig T. Nelson - Released: 1980

21
+ - 440 131
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Con Air Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi

22
+ - 266 121
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Bad Boys Sean Penn, Ally Sheedy, Clancy Brown - Released: 1983

23
+ - 86 100
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Hunger Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham, Stuart Graham - Released: 2008

24
+ - 125 73
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In the Name of the Father Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, Tom Wilkinson

25
+ - 103 102
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A Prophet Leïla Bekhti, Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup

26
+ - 242 141
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The Longest Yard Adam Sandler, Courteney Cox, Chris Rock - Released: 2005

27
+ - 88 95
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Jailhouse Rock Elvis Presley, Dean Jones, Gloria Pall

28
+ - 156 105
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Death Race Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Natalie Martinez - Released: 2008

29
+ - 92 16
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The Fugitive Julianne Moore, Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones

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+ - 147 35
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The Rock Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, Ed Harris

31
+ - 69 10
The Dirty Dozen is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Prison Movies
The Dirty Dozen Jim Brown, Donald Sutherland, Charles Bronson

32
+ - 182 81
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Felon Val Kilmer, Anne Archer, Sam Shepard - Released: 2008

33
+ - 126 85
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Bronson Tom Hardy, Amanda Burton, James Lance - Released: 2009

34
+ - 93 77
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Brokedown Palace Kate Beckinsale, Claire Danes, Paul Walker - Released: 1999

35
+ - 50 3
Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Prison Movies
Schindler's List Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

36
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Escape from New York Jamie Lee Curtis, Kurt Russell, Ernest Borgnine

37
+ - 107 71
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Murder in the First Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon, William H. Macy - Released: 1994

38
+ - 130 85
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Life Eddie Murphy, Poppy Montgomery, Martin Lawrence - Released: 1999

39
+ - 79 20
Scarface is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Prison Movies
Scarface Michelle Pfeiffer, Al Pacino, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

40
+ - 104 78
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Undisputed Wesley Snipes, Master P, Peter Falk - Released: 2002

41
+ - 60 21
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The Count of Monte Cristo Henry Cavill, Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce

42
+ - 56 17
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Tango & Cash Sylvester Stallone, Teri Hatcher, Kurt Russell

43
+ - 103 46
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Holes Shia LaBeouf, Sigourney Weaver, Patricia Arquette - Released: 2003

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+ - 64 56
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The Defiant Ones Sidney Poitier, Tony Curtis, Lon Chaney

45
+ - 79 79
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Get the Gringo Mel Gibson, Peter Stormare, Dean Norris

46
+ - 119 69
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Lock Up Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland, Tom Sizemore - Released: 1989

47
+ - 69 72
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Runaway Train Jon Voight, Rebecca De Mornay, Eric Roberts

48
+ - 80 60
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Let's Go to Prison Will Arnett, Michael Shannon, Bob Odenkirk - Released: 2006

49
+ - 62 73
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Animal Factory Mickey Rourke, Willem Dafoe, Edward Furlong - Released: 2000

50
+ - 61 76
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Cell 211 Luis Tosar, Carlos Bardem, Alberto Ammann