178 voters

The Greatest Prison Shows & Movies of All Time

Updated July 14, 2020 1.4k votes 178 voters 1.3k views43 items

List RulesVote up the most entertaining prison films & shows, including streaming series.

If there's one thing nobody wants, it's to be thrown into a prison. Our desire to keep as far away from these places doesn't diminish our fascination with prison life and the people locked up inside. People have been locking away their problems for millennia, which may be the reason we are so fascinated with prison culture, but most people only have a passing understanding or association with it. Because of this, prison movies and television shows have long been regarded as exceptional entertainment.

The best movies about prison include classics like Clint Eastwood's daring Escape from Alcatraz alongside Paul Newman's need to escape his situation in Cool Hand Luke. The genre hasn't neglected the small screen, with TV shows like the recent addition from Netflix, Orange is the New Black, which explores the life of a woman who is imprisoned for crimes she committed at the very edge of the statue of limitations. Then you have the aptly named Prison Break, among plenty of other great prison shows. Whatever your interest in the genre, the very best prison TV shows and movies can be found right here.

Which movies and shows about prison deserve the top spots on this list? Help decide by giving your favorites a thumbs up and voting others down accordingly so fellow fans know what to watch. If you see a good series or movie about jail is missing from the list, feel free to add it!