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The Best R-Rated Prison Movies 

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Updated March 17, 2020 593 votes 94 voters 9.1k views 47 items

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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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Did you know that Sidney Poitier and Steve Buscemi have both directed R Prison film movies?

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1
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Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Craig T. Nelson

Released: 1980

Directed by: Sidney Poitier

Stir Crazy is a 1980 American comedy film directed by Sidney Poitier and starring Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor as down-on-their-luck friends who are given 125-year prison sentences after being ...more

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#172 of 1,027 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #1,261 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #119 of 1,211 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

2
Ranker Video
John Hurt, Randy Quaid, Brad Davis

Released: 1978

Directed by: Alan Parker

Midnight Express is a 1978 American-British prison drama film directed by Alan Parker, produced by David Puttnam and starring Brad Davis, Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins, Paolo Bonacelli, Paul L. ...more

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3
The Shawshank Redemption... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
BaruchLalaev added Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins

Released: 1994

Directed by: Frank Darabont

The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and ...more

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4
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Glenn Plummer, Carl Lumbly, Byron Minns

Released: 1992

Directed by: Stephen Milburn Anderson

South Central is a 1992 American crime drama film, written and directed by Stephen Milburn Anderson. This film is an adaptation of the 1987 novel Crips by Donald Bakeer, a former high school ...more

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#111 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #327 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #13 of 93 The Best Hood Movies

5
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Burt Reynolds, Bernadette Peters, Ray Nitschke

Released: 1974

Directed by: Robert Aldrich

The Longest Yard is a 1974 American sports comedy film directed by Robert Aldrich. Written by Tracy Keenan Wynn based on a story by producer Albert S. Ruddy, the film follows inmates at a prison ...more

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#384 of 1,211 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #93 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #18 of 182 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made

6
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Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland, Tom Sizemore

Released: 1989

Directed by: John Flynn

Lock Up is a 1989 American prison action film directed by John Flynn. The film stars Sylvester Stallone and Donald Sutherland. The film was released in the United States on August 4, 1989.

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#94 of 264 Movies That Should Be Made Into Broadway Musicals #64 of 98 The Best Action Movies of the 1980s #39 of 136 The Best Prison Movies

7
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Nicolas Cage, Morgan Freeman, Robert Redford

Released: 1980

Directed by: Stuart Rosenberg

Brubaker is a 1980 American prison drama film starring Robert Redford, Yaphet Kotto and David Keith. The film, which was directed by Stuart Rosenberg, is a fictionalized account of a 1967 prison ...more

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#518 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #35 of 57 The Best Morgan Freeman Movies #30 of 136 The Best Prison Movies

8
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Robert Redford, Mark Ruffalo, Robin Wright

Released: 2001

Directed by: Rod Lurie

The Last Castle is a 2001 American action drama film directed by Rod Lurie, starring Robert Redford, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo and Delroy Lindo. The film portrays a struggle between inmates ...more
9
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Jason Statham, Vinnie Jones, Omid Djalili

Released: 2001

Directed by: Barry Skolnick

Mean Machine is a 2001 British comedy-drama film directed by Barry Skolnick. It stars former footballer Vinnie Jones. The film is an adaptation of the 1974 American film The Longest Yard, ...more

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#1,533 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #23 of 24 The Funniest Movies About Jail #83 of 136 The Best Prison Movies

10
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Mos Def, Lark Voorhies, MC Lyte

Released: 2003

Directed by: Neema Barnette

Civil Brand is a 2002 feature film written by Preston A. Whitmore II and Joyce Renee Lewis, and directed by Neema Barnette. It features N'Bushe Wright, Da Brat, Mos Def, LisaRaye McCoy, and ...more
11
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Penitentiary 2 Mr. T, Ernie Hudson, Rudy Ray Moore

Released: 1982

Directed by: Jamaa Fanaka

Penitentiary II is a 1982 American Blaxploitation drama film, directed by Jamaa Fanaka. Released on April 2, 1982, the film is the sequel to 1979's Penitentiary. It was followed by another ...more
12
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Felon Val Kilmer, Anne Archer, Sam Shepard

Released: 2008

Directed by: Ric Roman Waugh

Felon is a 2008 American prison film written and directed by Ric Roman Waugh. The film stars Stephen Dorff, Val Kilmer and Harold Perrineau. The film tells the story of the family man who ends ...more

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#29 of 136 The Best Prison Movies #20 of 80 The Best Val Kilmer Movies #62 of 64 The Best Sam Shepard Movies

13
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Mickey Rourke, Willem Dafoe, Edward Furlong

Released: 2000

Directed by: Steve Buscemi

Animal Factory is a 2000 drama film about life in prison, set in San Quentin. The film was directed by Steve Buscemi, and stars Willem Dafoe, Edward Furlong, Danny Trejo, John Heard, Mickey ...more

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14
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Nick Nolte, Joe Mantegna, Ernie Hudson

Released: 1987

Directed by: John D. Hancock

Weeds is a 1987 American drama feature film about a prison inmate who writes a play that catches the attention of a visiting reporter. The film was directed by John D. Hancock, and stars Nick ...more
15
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Barbara Steele, Desireé Cousteau, Gary Goetzman

Released: 1974

Directed by: Jonathan Demme

Caged Heat is an exploitation film from 1974 of the "women-in-prison" film genre. It was written and directed by Jonathan Demme for New World Pictures, headed by Roger Corman. The film ...more
16
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Pam Grier, Roberta Collins, Paquito Diaz

Released: 1971

Directed by: Gerardo de León

Women in Cages is a 1971 film in the women in prison sexploitation subgenre, co-produced by Roger Corman and directed by Gerardo de León. It was prominently featured in the Planet Terror ...more
17
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Wendy O. Williams, Sybil Danning, Sherri Stoner

Released: 1986

Directed by: Tom DeSimone

Reform School Girls is a 1986 American film, written and directed by Tom DeSimone. It stars Linda Carol, Wendy O. Williams, Pat Ast, Sybil Danning and Sherri Stoner, and depicts the story of ...more
18
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Pam Grier, Sid Haig, Eddie Garcia

Released: 1972

Directed by: Eddie Romero

Black Mama White Mama is a 1973 women in prison film with elements of blaxploitation, starring Pam Grier and Margaret Markov, and directed by Eddie Romero. The film is also known as Women in ...more
19
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Penitentiary Badja Djola, Chuck Mitchell, Leon Isaac Kennedy

Released: 1979

Directed by: Jamaa Fanaka

Penitentiary is a 1979 American blaxploitation drama film film starring Leon Isaac Kennedy as Martel "Too Sweet" Gordone that deals with the wrongful imprisonment of a black youth. The ...more
20
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Scrubbers Robbie Coltrane, Kathy Burke, Chrissie Cotterill

Released: 1983

Directed by: Mai Zetterling

Scrubbers is a 1983 British drama film directed by Mai Zetterling and starring Amanda York and Chrissie Cotterill. It was shot primarily in Virginia Water, Surrey, England. It was inspired by ...more
21
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Tom Selleck, Abraham Murphy, Tobin Bell

Released: 1989

Directed by: Peter Yates

An Innocent Man, is a 1989 crime thriller film directed by Peter Yates, and starring Tom Selleck. The film follows James Rainwood, an airline mechanic sent to prison when framed by crooked ...more
22
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Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dean Martin, Cynthia Gibb

Released: 1990

Directed by: Deran Sarafian

Death Warrant is a 1990 action movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. The film was written by David S. Goyer while a student at USC, and was Goyer's first screenplay to be sold and produced ...more
23
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Tom Hardy, Amanda Burton, James Lance

Released: 2008

Directed by: Nicolas Winding

Bronson is a 2008 British fictionalised biographical psychological drama film co-written and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and starring Tom Hardy. The film follows the life of notorious ...more

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24
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Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike, Clive Owen

Released: 2020

Directed by: Andrea Di Stefano

The Informer is a 2019 British film directed by Andrea Di Stefano, based on the novel Three Seconds by Roslund/Hellström. Working undercover for crooked FBI handlers to infiltrate the ...more
25
Bottom of the 9th is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best R-Rated Prison Movies
Joe Manganiello, Sofía Vergara, Michael Rispoli

Released: 2019

Directed by: Raymond De Felitta

Bottom of the 9th is a 2019 American drama film, directed by Raymond De Felitta. A once-aspiring baseball player (Joe Manganiello) returns to his Bronx neighborhood after serving 17 years in