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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.

The Best Prison Movies Films
  • 21 ReRanks
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    • Men
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    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 1067
    - 107

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 766
    - 151


    Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Sam Rockwell Released: 1999

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  3. 3
    + 366
    - 120

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Paul Newman, Dennis Hopper, George Kennedy Released: 1967

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  4. 4
    + 391
    - 79


    Clint Eastwood, Danny Glover, Patrick McGoohan Released: 1979

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  5. 5
    + 427
    - 75


    Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly DAngelo

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  6. 6
    + 296
    - 88

    added by mrblond
    Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner

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  7. 7
    + 277
    - 110


    Dustin Hoffman, Steve McQueen, Vic Tayback Released: 1973

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  8. 8
    + 272
    - 104


    John Hurt, Randy Quaid, Brad Davis Released: 1978

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  9. 9
    + 292
    - 105

    added by Lons
    Burt Reynolds, Bernadette Peters, Ray Nitschke

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  10. 10
    + 272
    - 59

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

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  11. 11
    + 233
    - 97


    George Clooney, John Goodman, Holly Hunter

    ; buy at  
  12. 12
    + 331
    - 83

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

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  13. 13
    + 149
    - 85

    added by ryanmcw
    Burt Lancaster, Telly Savalas, Karl Malden

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  14. 14
    + 191
    - 95


    Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Jack Black Released: 1995

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  15. 15
    + 170
    - 73

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

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  16. 16
    + 138
    - 76

    added by Lons
    Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, Rod Steiger

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  17. 17
    + 139
    - 72

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

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  18. 18
    + 138
    - 89

    added by KimBrownsey
    Robert Redford, Mark Ruffalo, Robin Wright

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  19. 19
    + 203
    - 91

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

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  20. 20
    + 189
    - 103


    Adam Sandler, Courteney Cox, Chris Rock Released: 2005

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  21. 21
    + 109
    - 85


    Nicolas Cage, Morgan Freeman, Robert Redford Released: 1980

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  22. 22
    + 91
    - 66

    added by bojanthebest
    William Holden, Peter Graves, Otto Preminger

    ; buy at  
  23. 23
    + 144
    - 61

    ranked low on reranks
    Val Kilmer, Anne Archer, Sam Shepard Released: 2008

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  24. 24
    + 89
    - 76

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

    ; watch now
  25. 25
    + 108
    - 64


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

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  26. 26
    + 117
    - 78

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

    ; watch now
  27. 27
    + 79
    - 53


    Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, Tom Wilkinson

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  28. 28
    + 69
    - 80

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

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  29. 29
    + 100
    - 67


    Eddie Murphy, Poppy Montgomery, Martin Lawrence Released: 1999

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  30. 30
    + 93
    - 64

    added by PeteBoyle
    Tom Hardy, Amanda Burton, James Lance Released: 2009

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  31. 31
    + 80
    - 16

    ranked low on reranks
    Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, Ed Harris

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  32. 32
    + 82
    - 55


    Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon, William H. Macy Released: 1994

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  33. 33
    + 71
    - 74

    often listed & added by azzy_roth
    Elvis Presley, Dean Jones, Gloria Pall

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  34. 34
    + 81
    - 61


    Wesley Snipes, Master P, Peter Falk Released: 2002

    ;
  35. 35
    + 90
    - 38

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

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  36. 36
    + 25
    - 6

    added by mainpleine
    Julianne Moore, Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones

    ; watch now
  37. 37
    + 65
    - 62


    Kate Beckinsale, Claire Danes, Paul Walker Released: 1999

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  38. 38
    + 70
    - 31

    ranked low on reranks
    Shia LaBeouf, Sigourney Weaver, Patricia Arquette Released: 2003

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  39. 39
    + 20
    - 8

    added by mainpleine
    Henry Cavill, Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce

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  40. 40
    + 47
    - 43


    Sidney Poitier, Tony Curtis, Lon Chaney Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  41. 41
    + 70
    - 32

    ranked low on reranks
    Jack O'Connell, Rupert Friend, Ben Mendelsohn Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

    ;
  42. 42
    + 54
    - 57

    added by srjthnk
    Luis Tosar, Carlos Bardem, Alberto Ammann

    ; watch now
  43. 43
    + 55
    - 57

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

    ; watch now
  44. 44
    + 84
    - 56

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

    ;
  45. 45
    + 55
    - 66


    Mel Gibson, Peter Stormare, Dean Norris

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  46. 46
    + 46
    - 58

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

    ; watch now
  47. 47
    + 45
    - 55


    Mickey Rourke, Willem Dafoe, Edward Furlong Released: 2000

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  48. 48
    + 16
    - 15

    added by mainpleine
    Olivia Munn, Jennifer Morrison, Rob Schneider Released: 2007

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  49. 49
    + 6
    - 6

    added by mainpleine
    Richard Gere, Bai Ling, Bradley Whitford

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  50. 50
    + 35
    - 50

    added by MariaVitóriaSantos
    Kate Winslet, Kevin Spacey, Melissa McCarthy

    ;
122 +

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