crime The Best Prison Movies  

19k votes 3.3k voters 597k 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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The Green Mile Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Sam Rockwell - Released: 1999

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Cool Hand Luke Paul Newman, Dennis Hopper, George Kennedy - Released: 1967

4
+ - 406 118
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The Great Escape Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner

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+ - 545 110
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Escape from Alcatraz Clint Eastwood, Danny Glover, Patrick McGoohan - Released: 1979

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+ - 381 136
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Papillon Dustin Hoffman, Steve McQueen, Vic Tayback - Released: 1973

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+ - 585 117
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American History X Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly DAngelo

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+ - 364 139
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Midnight Express John Hurt, Randy Quaid, Brad Davis - Released: 1978

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+ - 396 138
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The Longest Yard Burt Reynolds, Bernadette Peters, Ray Nitschke

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+ - 199 108
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Birdman of Alcatraz Burt Lancaster, Telly Savalas, Karl Malden

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+ - 326 131
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O Brother, Where Art Thou? George Clooney, John Goodman, Holly Hunter

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+ - 364 105
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Law Abiding Citizen Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx, Viola Davis

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+ - 251 126
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Dead Man Walking Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Jack Black - Released: 1995

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+ - 195 113
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The Last Castle Robert Redford, Mark Ruffalo, Robin Wright

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+ - 239 97
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American Me Edward James Olmos, William Forsythe, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

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Sleepers Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman

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+ - 144 86
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Stalag 17 William Holden, Peter Graves, Otto Preminger

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+ - 171 103
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The Hurricane Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, Rod Steiger

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+ - 139 109
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Brubaker Nicolas Cage, Morgan Freeman, Robert Redford - Released: 1980

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+ - 149 86
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Stir Crazy Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Craig T. Nelson - Released: 1980

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+ - 438 128
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Con Air Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi

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+ - 263 119
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Bad Boys Sean Penn, Ally Sheedy, Clancy Brown - Released: 1983

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+ - 123 72
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In the Name of the Father Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, Tom Wilkinson

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+ - 84 99
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Hunger Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham, Stuart Graham - Released: 2008

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+ - 103 99
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A Prophet Leïla Bekhti, Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup

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+ - 241 140
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The Longest Yard Adam Sandler, Courteney Cox, Chris Rock - Released: 2005

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+ - 87 95
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Jailhouse Rock Elvis Presley, Dean Jones, Gloria Pall

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Death Race Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Natalie Martinez - Released: 2008

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The Fugitive Julianne Moore, Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones

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The Rock Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, Ed Harris

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+ - 67 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

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Bronson Tom Hardy, Amanda Burton, James Lance - Released: 2009

33
+ - 178 81
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Felon Val Kilmer, Anne Archer, Sam Shepard - Released: 2008

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

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+ - 139 51
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Escape from New York Jamie Lee Curtis, Kurt Russell, Ernest Borgnine

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+ - 106 71
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Murder in the First Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon, William H. Macy - Released: 1994

37
+ - 46 3
Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Prison Movies
Schindler's List Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

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Life Eddie Murphy, Poppy Montgomery, Martin Lawrence - Released: 1999

39
+ - 73 20
Scarface is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Prison Movies
Scarface Michelle Pfeiffer, Al Pacino, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

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

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The Count of Monte Cristo Henry Cavill, Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce

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+ - 53 17
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Tango & Cash Sylvester Stallone, Teri Hatcher, Kurt Russell

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+ - 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

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

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+ - 117 69
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Lock Up Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland, Tom Sizemore - Released: 1989

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+ - 68 72
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Runaway Train Jon Voight, Rebecca De Mornay, Eric Roberts

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+ - 62 72
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Animal Factory Mickey Rourke, Willem Dafoe, Edward Furlong - Released: 2000

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+ - 78 60
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Let's Go to Prison Will Arnett, Michael Shannon, Bob Odenkirk - Released: 2006

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+ - 60 76
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Cell 211 Luis Tosar, Carlos Bardem, Alberto Ammann