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.

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  1. 1
    + 895
    - 83

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

    ) open buy at  
  2. 2
    + 660
    - 122

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

    ) open buy at  
  3. 3
    + 307
    - 100

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    J. D. Cannon, George Kennedy, Jo Van Fleet Released: 1967

    ) open buy at  
  4. 4
    + 242
    - 79

    added by mrblond
    Steve McQueen, James Coburn, James Garner

    ) open buy at  
  5. 5
    + 325
    - 66

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

    ) open buy at  
  6. 6
    + 238
    - 96

    Released: 1973

    ) open buy at  
  7. 7
    + 342
    - 57

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

    ) open buy at  
  8. 8
    + 236
    - 93

    John Hurt, Brad Davis, Mike Kellin Released: 1978

    ) open buy at  
  9. 9
    + 251
    - 92

    added by Lons
    Bernadette Peters, Harry Caesar, Ray Nitschke

    ) open buy at  
  10. 10
    + 193
    - 77

    George Clooney, Chris Thomas King, Holly Hunter

    ) open buy at  
  11. 11
    + 121
    - 68

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

    ) open buy at  
  12. 12
    + 219
    - 47

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

    ) open buy at  
  13. 13
    + 167
    - 77

    Jack Black, Peter Sarsgaard, Robert Prosky Released: 1995

    ) open buy at  
  14. 14
    + 120
    - 72

    added by KimBrownsey
    Delroy Lindo, Frank Military, Steve Burton

    ) open buy at  
  15. 15
    + 141
    - 61

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

    ) open buy at  
  16. 16
    + 110
    - 58

    added by GS69
    Minnie Driver, Dash Mihok, Ruth Maleczech

    ) open buy at  
  17. 17
    + 80
    - 52

    added by bojanthebest
    Peter Graves, Otto Preminger, Don Taylor

    ) open buy at  
  18. 18
    + 95
    - 72

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

    ) open buy at  
  19. 19
    + 112
    - 66

    added by Lons
    Chuck Cooper, Debbi Morgan, Vincent Pastore

    ) open buy at  
  20. 20
    + 272
    - 71

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

    ) open buy at  
  21. 21
    + 154
    - 88

    Nelly, Courteney Cox, Cloris Leachman Released: 2005

    ) open buy at  
  22. 22
    + 58
    - 65

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

    ) open buy at  
  23. 23
    + 171
    - 74

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

    ) open buy at  
  24. 24
    + 77
    - 60

    added by erwan
    Leïla Bekhti, Niels Arestrup, Tahar Rahim

    ) open buy at  
  25. 25
    + 83
    - 58

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

    ) open buy at  
  26. 26
    + 63
    - 43

    Emma Thompson, Daniel Day-Lewis, Daniel Massey

    ) open buy at  
  27. 27
    + 97
    - 69

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

    ) open buy at  
  28. 28
    + 114
    - 51

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

    ) open buy at  
  29. 29
    + 58
    - 62

    often listed & added by azzy_roth
    Mickey Shaughnessy, Dean Jones, Gloria Pall

    ) open buy at  
  30. 30
    + 79
    - 60

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

    ) open buy at  
  31. 31
    + 69
    - 28

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

    ) open buy at  
  32. 32
    + 77
    - 52

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

    ) open buy at  
  33. 33
    + 67
    - 51

    Master P, Fisher Stevens, Michael Rooker Released: 2002

    ) open buy at  
  34. 34
    + 38
    - 43

    Steve Buscemi, Mickey Rourke, Edward Furlong Released: 2000

    ) open buy at  
  35. 35
    + 37
    - 33

    Theodore Bikel, Tony Curtis, Whit Bissell

    ) open buy at  
  36. 36
    + 44
    - 45

    added by srjthnk
    Luis Tosar, Antonio Resines, Marta Etura

    ) open buy at  
  37. 37
    + 49
    - 46

    added by AdrianDanga
    Eric Roberts, Kenneth McMillan, Dennis Franz

    ) open buy at  
  38. 38
    + 69
    - 44

    Herb Ritts, Gary Oldman, Christian Slater Released: 1994

    ) open buy at  
  39. 39
    + 45
    - 53

    Daniel Giménez Cacho, Jesús Ochoa, Bob Gunton

    ) open buy at  
  40. 40
    + 50
    - 7

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

    ) open buy at  
  41. 41
    + 54
    - 53

    Claire Danes, Paul Walker, Kate Beckinsale Released: 1999

    ) open buy at  
  42. 42
    + 35
    - 49

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

    ) open buy at  
  43. 43
    + 32
    - 32

    Ray Winstone, David Threlfall, John Judd

    ) open buy at  
  44. 44
    + 33
    - 52

    Glenda Farrell, Paul Muni, Noel Francis Released: 1932

    ) open buy at  
  45. 45
    + 7
    - 8

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

    ) open buy at  
  46. 46
    + 53
    - 23

    ranked low on reranks
    Louis Sachar, Patricia Arquette, Henry Winkler Released: 2003

    ) open buy at  
  47. 47
    + 32
    - 39

    William Hurt, Herson Capri, Miriam Pires Released: 1985

    ) open buy at  
  48. 48
    + 75
    - 42

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

    ) open buy at  
  49. 49
    + 18
    - 40

    Burgess Meredith, Lee Grant, Martin Gabel Released: 1970

    ) open buy at  
  50. 50
    + 28
    - 39

    added by MariaVitóriaSantos
    Alan Parker, Melissa McCarthy, Kevin Spacey

    ) open buy at  
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