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The Best R-Rated Prison Movies

Updated March 17, 2020 1.0k votes 96 voters 9.3k views47 items

List RulesAdd your favorite movie to the list if it's missing, but only if it's the correct rating.

List of R-Rated prison movies, ranked from best to worst with movie trailers when available. This list takes the best R-Rated prison movies and pits them against each other to see once and for all what the greatest R-Rated Prison movie of all time is. This list of popular R-Rated prison movies includes information like who directed the film, when it was released and which actors starred in the movie. If you think the top R-Rated Prison movie isn't as high as it should be then be sure to vote it up so it can take its rightful place among the other great R-Rated Prison films on this list. If you're trying to find a specific R-Rated Prison film you can search this list and filter to find what you're looking for.

List contains movies like Stir Crazy and Midnight Express.

If you're trying to find out "What are the best R-Rated prison movies?" and "What are the most famous R-Rated prison movies?" then this list is the perfect resource for you.

Use this list if you're looking for some new prison movies that are rated R. Between Netflix, Hulu and other services there are thousands of great prison movies rated R, so get out there and start watching.

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  • 1
    Stir Crazy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    82
    6

    Stir Crazy

    Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder

    Released1980

    Directed bySidney Poitier

    Stir Crazy is a 1980 American comedy film directed by Sidney Poitier and starring Gene Wilder... more

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    #1261 of 1,647 The Most Rewatchable Movies#78 of 314 The Funniest '80s Movies

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  • 2
    The Shawshank Redemption is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    58
    5

    The Shawshank Redemption

    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth

    Released1994

    Directed byFrank Darabont

    The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont... more

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  • 3
    The Longest Yard is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    47
    10

    The Longest Yard

    Burt Reynolds, Bernadette Peters

    Released1974

    Directed byRobert Aldrich

    The Longest Yard is a 1974 American sports comedy film directed by Robert Aldrich. Written by... more

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    #71 of 553 The Best '70s Movies#15 of 172 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made

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  • 4
    South Central is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    45
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    South Central

    Glenn Plummer, Carl Lumbly

    Released1992

    Directed byStephen Milburn Anderson

    South Central is a 1992 American crime drama film, written and directed by Stephen Milburn... more

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  • 5
    Brubaker is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
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    5

    Brubaker

    Nicolas Cage, Morgan Freeman

    Released1980

    Directed byStuart Rosenberg

    Brubaker is a 1980 American prison drama film starring Robert Redford, Yaphet Kotto and David... more

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    #489 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked#64 of 101 The Best Nicolas Cage Movies

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  • 6
    Mean Machine is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
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    Mean Machine

    Jason Statham, Vinnie Jones

    Released2001

    Directed byBarry Skolnick

    Mean Machine is a 2001 British comedy-drama film directed by Barry Skolnick. It stars former... more
  • 0
  • 7
    The Last Castle is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
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    9

    The Last Castle

    Robert Redford, Mark Ruffalo

    Released2001

    Directed byRod Lurie

    The Last Castle is a 2001 American action drama film directed by Rod Lurie, starring Robert... more

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  • 8
    Civil Brand is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    25
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    Civil Brand

    Mos Def, Lark Voorhies

    Released2003

    Directed byNeema Barnette

    Civil Brand is a 2002 feature film written by Preston A. Whitmore II and Joyce Renee Lewis,... more
  • 0
  • 9
    Penitentiary 2 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    21
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    Penitentiary 2

    Mr. T, Ernie Hudson

    Released1982

    Directed byJamaa Fanaka

    Penitentiary II is a 1982 American Blaxploitation drama film, directed by Jamaa Fanaka.... moreamazon_watch buy button
  • 0
  • 10
    Felon is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    19
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    Felon

    Val Kilmer, Anne Archer

    Released2008

    Directed byRic Roman Waugh

    Felon is a 2008 American prison film written and directed by Ric Roman Waugh. The film stars... more

    More 

    #31 of 105 The Best Prison Movies#20 of 71 The Best Val Kilmer Movies

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  • 11
    Weeds is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    21
    8

    Weeds

    Nick Nolte, Joe Mantegna

    Released1987

    Directed byJohn D. Hancock

    Weeds is a 1987 American drama feature film about a prison inmate who writes a play that... more
  • 0
  • 12
    Caged Heat is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    21
    9

    Caged Heat

    Barbara Steele, Desireé Cousteau

    Released1974

    Directed byJonathan Demme

    Caged Heat is an exploitation film from 1974 of the "women-in-prison" film genre. It was... more
  • 0
  • 13
    Animal Factory is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    14
    3

    Animal Factory

    Mickey Rourke, Willem Dafoe

    Released2000

    Directed bySteve Buscemi

    Animal Factory is a 2000 drama film about life in prison, set in San Quentin. The film was... more

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  • 0
  • 14
    Reform School Girls is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    21
    11

    Reform School Girls

    Wendy O. Williams, Sybil Danning

    Released1986

    Directed byTom DeSimone

    Reform School Girls is a 1986 American film, written and directed by Tom DeSimone. It stars... moreamazon_watch buy button
  • 0
  • 15
    Death Warrant is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    14
    4

    Death Warrant

    Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dean Martin

    Released1990

    Directed byDeran Sarafian

    Death Warrant is a 1990 action movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. The film was written by... more
  • 0
  • 16
    Penitentiary is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    16
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    Penitentiary

    Badja Djola, Chuck Mitchell

    Released1979

    Directed byJamaa Fanaka

    Penitentiary is a 1979 American blaxploitation drama film film starring Leon Isaac Kennedy as... moreamazon_watch buy button
  • 0
  • 17
    An Innocent Man is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    14
    5

    An Innocent Man

    Tom Selleck, Abraham Murphy

    Released1989

    Directed byPeter Yates

    An Innocent Man, is a 1989 crime thriller film directed by Peter Yates, and starring Tom... more
  • 0
  • 18
    The United States of Leland is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    16
    8

    The United States of Leland

    Kerry Washington, Ryan Gosling

    Released2003

    Directed byMatthew Ryan Hoge

    The United States of Leland is a 2003 American drama film written and directed by Matthew Ryan... more
  • 0
  • 19
    Levity is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    13
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    Levity

    Kirsten Dunst, Morgan Freeman

    Released2003

    Directed byEd Solomon

    Levity is a 2003 drama film directed by Ed Solomon. Its theatrical release was on April 4. The... more
  • 0
  • 20
    Lock Up is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    18
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    Lock Up

    Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland

    Released1989

    Directed byJohn Flynn

    Lock Up is a 1989 American prison action film directed by John Flynn. The film stars Sylvester... moreamazon_watch buy button

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  • 21
    Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    10
    3

    Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight

    Richard Roundtree, Don "The Dragon" Wilson

    Released1992

    Directed byOley Sassone

    Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight is a 1992 action/adventure film starring Don "The Dragon"... more
  • 0
  • 22
    I Love You Phillip Morris is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    9
    3

    I Love You Phillip Morris

    Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor

    Released2009

    Directed byJohn Requa, Glenn Ficarra

    I Love You Phillip Morris is a 2009 comedy film based on the 1980s and '90s real-life story of... more

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  • 0
  • 23
    Bottom of the 9th is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    2
    1

    Bottom of the 9th

    Joe Manganiello, Sofía Vergara

    Released2019

    Directed byRaymond De Felitta

    Bottom of the 9th is a 2019 American drama film, directed by Raymond De Felitta. A... more
  • 0
  • 24
    Greenfingers is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    2
    2

    Greenfingers

    Helen Mirren, Clive Owen

    Released2001

    Directed byJoel Hershman

    Greenfingers is a 2000 British comedy film directed and written by Joel Hershman. It is... more
  • 0
  • 25
    Bloodsport 4: The Dark Kumite is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
    10
    4

    Bloodsport 4: The Dark Kumite

    Daniel Bernhardt, David McGrath

    Released1999

    Directed byElvis Restaino

    Bloodsport 4: The Dark Kumite is the fourth film in the Bloodsport franchise. It was released... more
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