The Best Prison Movies Films
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The Best Prison Movies

List Criteria: Films about set in prison or jail, or that star prisoners or convicts in the lead roles

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

    open buy @ amazon
  2. 2
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    Tom Hanks, Sam Rockwell, Michael Clarke Duncan Released: 1999

    open buy @ amazon
  3. 3
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    Paul Newman, Dennis Hopper, George Kennedy Released: 1967

    open buy @ amazon
  4. 4
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    Released: 1973

    open buy @ amazon
  5. 5
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    added by mrblond Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson

    open buy @ amazon
  6. 6
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    John Hurt, Randy Quaid, Brad Davis Released: 1978

    open buy @ amazon
  7. 7
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    Clint Eastwood, Danny Glover, Patrick McGoohan Released: 1979

    open buy @ amazon
  8. 8
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    Edward Furlong, Edward Norton, Beverly D'Angelo

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  9. 9
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    George Clooney, John Goodman, Holly Hunter

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  10. 10
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    added by Lons Burt Reynolds, Bernadette Peters, Ray Nitschke

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  11. 11
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    added by ryanmcw Burt Lancaster, Karl Malden, Telly Savalas

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  12. 12
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    Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Jack Black Released: 1995

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  13. 13
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    added by wiabux Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx, Viola Davis

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  14. 14
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    often listed & added by PeteBoyle Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham, Stuart Graham Released: 2008

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  15. 15
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    added by KimBrownsey Robert Redford, Mark Ruffalo, Robin Wright

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  16. 16
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    added by bojanthebest William Holden, Peter Graves, Otto Preminger

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  17. 17
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    added by GS69 Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman

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  18. 18
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    Nicolas Cage, Morgan Freeman, Robert Redford Released: 1980

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  19. 19
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    often listed & added by erwan Tahar Rahim, Leïla Bekhti, Niels Arestrup

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  20. 20
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    added by Lons Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, Rod Steiger

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  21. 21
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    Adam Sandler, Courteney Cox, Chris Rock Released: 2005

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  22. 22
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    ranked low on reranks Sean Penn, Ally Sheedy, Clancy Brown Released: 1983

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  23. 23
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    added by oldguy07 Edward James Olmos, William Forsythe, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

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  24. 24
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    ranked low on reranks Nicolas Cage, Steve Buscemi, John Malkovich

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  25. 25
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    Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Craig T. Nelson Released: 1980

    open buy @ amazon
  26. 26
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    added by azzy_roth Elvis Presley, Dean Jones, Gloria Pall

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  27. 27
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    added by PeteBoyle Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Natalie Martinez Released: 2008

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  28. 28
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    Val Kilmer, Stephen Dorff, Marisol Nichols Released: 2008

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  29. 29
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    Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, Tom Wilkinson

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  30. 30
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    Wesley Snipes, Master P, Ving Rhames Released: 2002

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  31. 31
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    Eddie Murphy, Poppy Montgomery, Martin Lawrence Released: 1999

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  32. 32
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    added by srjthnk Luis Tosar, Antonio Resines, Alberto Ammann

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  33. 33
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    added by PeteBoyle Tom Hardy, Hugh Ross, Amanda Burton Released: 2009

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  34. 34
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    Mel Gibson, Peter Stormare, Dean Norris

    open buy @ amazon
  35. 35
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    added by AdrianDanga Jon Voight, Rebecca De Mornay, Eric Roberts

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  36. 36
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    Sidney Poitier, Tony Curtis, Carl Switzer

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  37. 37
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    added by wiabux Michael Jai White, Scott Adkins, Ben Cross Released: 2005

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  38. 38
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    Mickey Rourke, Edward Furlong, Willem Dafoe Released: 2000

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  39. 39
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    Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Preston Foster Released: 1932

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  40. 40
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    Peter Strauss, Richard Lawson

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  41. 41
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    ranked low on reranks & added by BushWanker Jamie Lee Curtis, Kurt Russell, Ernest Borgnine

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  42. 42
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    Tom Courtenay, Alfred Burke, Eric Thompson

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  43. 43
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    added by PeteBoyle Erich von Stroheim, Jean Gabin, Marcel Dalio

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  44. 44
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    Kate Beckinsale, Claire Danes, Paul Walker Released: 1999

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  45. 45
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    added by MariaVitóriaSantos Kate Winslet, Kevin Spacey, Melissa McCarthy

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  46. 46
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    ranked low on reranks Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland, Tom Sizemore Released: 1989

    open buy @ amazon
  47. 47
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Christopher Lambert, Clifton Collins, Jr., Kurtwood Smith Released: 1992

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  48. 48
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Kirk Douglas, Henry Fonda, Burgess Meredith Released: 1970

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  49. 49
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    ranked low on reranks Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon, Christian Slater Released: 1994

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  50. 50
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    Ben Mendelsohn, Rupert Friend, Jack O'Connell

    open buy @ amazon
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