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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2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 801
    - 76

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins Released: 1994

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 593
    - 113


    Tom Hanks, Sam Rockwell, Michael Clarke Duncan Released: 1999

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 281
    - 86


    Paul Newman, Dennis Hopper, George Kennedy Released: 1967

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 217
    - 81


    Released: 1973

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 212
    - 68

    added by mrblond
    Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 287
    - 61


    Clint Eastwood, Danny Glover, Patrick McGoohan Released: 1979

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 300
    - 50

    ranked low on reranks
    Edward Furlong, Edward Norton, Beverly D'Angelo

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 215
    - 81


    John Hurt, Randy Quaid, Brad Davis Released: 1978

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 225
    - 82

    added by Lons
    Burt Reynolds, Bernadette Peters, Ray Nitschke

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 166
    - 63


    George Clooney, John Goodman, Holly Hunter

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 109
    - 58

    added by ryanmcw
    Burt Lancaster, Karl Malden, Telly Savalas

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 108
    - 60

    added by KimBrownsey
    Robert Redford, Mark Ruffalo, Robin Wright

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 181
    - 40

    ranked low on reranks & added by wiabux
    Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx, Viola Davis

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 145
    - 65


    Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Jack Black Released: 1995

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 118
    - 52

    added by oldguy07
    Edward James Olmos, William Forsythe, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 86
    - 56


    Nicolas Cage, Morgan Freeman, Robert Redford Released: 1980

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 95
    - 47

    added by GS69
    Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 71
    - 41

    added by bojanthebest
    William Holden, Peter Graves, Otto Preminger

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 100
    - 60

    added by Lons
    Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, Rod Steiger

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 51
    - 55

    often listed & added by PeteBoyle
    Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham, Stuart Graham Released: 2008

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 236
    - 64

    ranked low on reranks
    Nicolas Cage, Steve Buscemi, John Malkovich

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 68
    - 53

    often listed & added by erwan
    Tahar Rahim, Leïla Bekhti, Niels Arestrup

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 133
    - 80


    Adam Sandler, Courteney Cox, Chris Rock Released: 2005

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 154
    - 65

    ranked low on reranks
    Sean Penn, Ally Sheedy, Clancy Brown Released: 1983

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 52
    - 37


    Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, Tom Wilkinson

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 73
    - 52


    Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Craig T. Nelson Released: 1980

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 100
    - 46

    ranked low on reranks
    Val Kilmer, Stephen Dorff, Marisol Nichols Released: 2008

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 82
    - 64

    added by PeteBoyle
    Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Natalie Martinez Released: 2008

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 52
    - 56

    added by azzy_roth
    Elvis Presley, Dean Jones, Gloria Pall

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 72
    - 55


    Eddie Murphy, Poppy Montgomery, Martin Lawrence Released: 1999

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 57
    - 22

    added by BushWanker
    Jamie Lee Curtis, Kurt Russell, Ernest Borgnine

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 60
    - 46


    Wesley Snipes, Master P, Ving Rhames Released: 2002

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 32
    - 38


    Mickey Rourke, Edward Furlong, Willem Dafoe Released: 2000

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 33
    - 29


    Sidney Poitier, Tony Curtis, Carl Switzer

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 61
    - 48

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

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 35
    - 40

    added by srjthnk
    Luis Tosar, Antonio Resines, Alberto Ammann

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 41
    - 40

    added by AdrianDanga
    Jon Voight, Rebecca De Mornay, Eric Roberts

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 40
    - 47


    Mel Gibson, Peter Stormare, Dean Norris

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 31
    - 45

    added by wiabux
    Michael Jai White, Scott Adkins, Ben Cross Released: 2005

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 54
    - 40


    Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon, Christian Slater Released: 1994

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 30
    - 3

    ranked low on reranks
    Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, Jim Caviezel

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 24
    - 28


    Ray Winstone, Phil Daniels, David Threlfall

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 43
    - 51


    Kate Beckinsale, Claire Danes, Paul Walker Released: 1999

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 29
    - 46


    Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Preston Foster Released: 1932

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 3
    - 6

    added by ZiZou
    François Leterrier, Jacques Ertaud, Maurice Beerblock

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 15
    - 36


    Kirk Douglas, Henry Fonda, Burgess Meredith Released: 1970

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 28
    - 35


    William Hurt, Raúl Juliá, Sônia Braga Released: 1985

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 2
    - 5


    Susan Hayward, Theodore Bikel, Simon Oakland

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 11
    - 19

    added by PeteBoyle
    Erich von Stroheim, Jean Gabin, Marcel Dalio

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 67
    - 38

    ranked low on reranks
    Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland, Tom Sizemore Released: 1989

    ) open
65 +

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