Movies About Prison

Updated
Movies About Prison

Have you heard these Movies About Prison? We think you'll find some new films. We listed 25 of our favorites.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The Shawshank Redemption
★★★★
★★★★
3.7 out of 4 stars

From Frank Darabont, starring Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler
Rated R

The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont, based on the 1982 Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. The film stars Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman as two incarcerated men who form an unlikely bond over the course of many years. Andy Dufresne, a successful banker, is wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences at the Shawshank State Penitentiary in Maine. Despite his despair, he is determined to make the most of his life in prison and eventually befriends a fellow convict, Ellis "Red" Redding. With the help of Red, Andy finds ways to make their lives easier, including smuggling items into the prison and using his banking skills to help the guards. He also establishes a library and eventually earns the respect of the prison guards and fellow inmates. After several decades, Andy plans an elaborate escape, which he successfully carries out with the help of Red and a few other inmates. Years later, Red is released from prison and finds a letter from Andy, which leads him to find a surprise waiting for him on the beach in Mexico. The film ends with Red joyfully reuniting with Andy in his new life of freedom

The Green Mile (1999)

The Green Mile
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Frank Darabont, starring Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt
Rated R

The Green Mile is a 1999 drama film directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, and David Morse. The story, based on the novel by Stephen King, follows the lives of guards on Death Row of a prison in the 1930s, and in particular the life of one inmate, John Coffey, who possesses a magical gift. Coffey is convicted of murdering two young girls, though it becomes increasingly apparent that he is innocent. The guards, who come to believe in his innocence, try to help him even against the orders of their warden. In the end, Coffey's life is taken, with the guards realizing that they were witness to a miracle.

Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Cool Hand Luke
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Stuart Rosenberg, starring Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin, J.D. Cannon
Rated GP

Cool Hand Luke is a 1967 American prison drama film directed by Stuart Rosenberg and starring Paul Newman. The film tells the story of Luke Jackson (Newman), a non-conformist prisoner who refuses to conform to the harsh rules of a Southern chain gang. With his charm and cunning, he attempts to elude the prison warden and his officers, who relentlessly pursue their mission of breaking Luke’s spirit. Along the way, Luke makes friends among his fellow prisoners, and comes to be seen as a leader. Eventually, Luke's spirit prevails, and he is able to escape the prison, only to be tracked down and brought back, whereupon he chooses to accept his fate with dignity and courage.

Stalag 17 (1953)

Stalag 17
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Billy Wilder, starring William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss
Rated Not Rated

Stalag 17 is a 1953 American war comedy-drama film directed by Billy Wilder and starring William Holden. It is based on the Broadway play of the same name by Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski. The story is set in a German prisoner of war camp during World War II and focuses on a group of American soldiers as they attempt to outwit their captors. Holden portrays J.J. Sefton, a cynical loner who has fraudulently made himself the camp's unofficial "king" by playing the black market. Despite his own interest in self-preservation, Sefton eventually sets out to prove the innocence of a fellow prisoner accused of collaborating with the Germans. The film also features Otto Preminger, Peter Graves, and other members of the cast of the original stage play. The film was a critical and commercial success, earning Holden an Oscar for Best Actor and Wilder an Oscar for Best Director.

Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)

Birdman of Alcatraz
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From John Frankenheimer, starring Burt Lancaster, Karl Malden, Thelma Ritter, Neville Brand
Rated Not Rated

Birdman of Alcatraz is a 1962 film directed by John Frankenheimer which follows the true story of Robert Stroud, a prisoner in Alcatraz prison. After a life of violence, Stroud was sent to the notorious prison in 1909 where, over the years, he transforms himself into a respected ornithologist (bird expert). Despite his exemplary behavior, Stroud is never released, and this leads to a desperate battle between him and the prison authorities. The film stars Burt Lancaster as Robert Stroud, Karl Malden as the Warden, and Telly Savalas as a sympathetic prison guard. Through Stroud's journey, the film explores themes of justice and revenge, personal transformation, and the limits of human potential.

A Prophet (2009)

A Prophet
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Jacques Audiard, starring Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Reda Kateb
Rated R

A Prophet is a French film directed by Jacques Audiard, released in 2009. The movie tells the story of 19-year-old Malik El Djebena, a young Arab from the projects, who is sent to a French prison. With no contacts and no knowledge of the criminal world, Malik is forced to become the protege of a powerful Corsican mob boss. As Malik learns the ropes of the prison hierarchy, he uses his newfound power to seek revenge and gain control of the criminal underworld. The movie follows Malik's ruthless and violent journey to the top as he attempts to survive the brutal prison system and gain his freedom.

First Blood (1982)

First Blood
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Ted Kotcheff, starring Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney
Rated R

First Blood is a 1982 action film directed by Ted Kotcheff. It stars Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo, a troubled Vietnam War veteran who is forced to flee into the mountains of Washington after being framed for a crime he didn't commit. Pursued by a relentless sheriff, Rambo must use his special combat skills to survive the harsh terrain and outwit his pursuers. Along the way, he learns that the only place to truly call home is within himself. The film became an instant classic and spawned multiple sequels.

Brute Force (1947)

Brute Force
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Jules Dassin, starring Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, Charles Bickford, Yvonne De Carlo
Rated Passed

Brute Force is a 1947 crime drama directed by Jules Dassin, starring Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, and Charles Bickford. The film takes place in a maximum-security prison, where the cruel and corrupt Warden (Bickford) holds the inmates in line with brutal force. Joe Collins (Lancaster) is the leader of a small group of inmates plotting a daring escape, and they enlist the help of a sympathetic guard (Cronyn). The warden is determined to crush any attempt at freedom, and a tense battle of wills ensues between him and the inmates. With its strong themes of justice and oppression, Brute Force is a gripping and powerful drama that stands the test of time.

Midnight Express (1978)

Midnight Express
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Alan Parker, starring Brad Davis, Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins, Paolo Bonacelli
Rated R

Midnight Express is a 1978 drama-thriller film directed by Alan Parker and based on the true story of Billy Hayes, an American college student who is caught trying to smuggle drugs out of Turkey and thrown into a Turkish prison. The film follows Billy's struggles and attempts to escape the harsh conditions of prison life. The film is shot in a realistic style, and it's filled with harrowing scenes of violence and brutality. It also explores themes of guilt, redemption, and the power of friendship. The film was a critical and commercial success, winning numerous awards, including two Academy Awards.

Sleepers (1996)

Sleepers
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Barry Levinson, starring Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt, Jason Patric
Rated R

Sleepers is a 1996 drama film directed by Barry Levinson and based on the novel of the same name by Lorenzo Carcaterra. It stars Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt, Dustin Hoffman, and Jason Patric. The plot follows the lives of four boys in Hell's Kitchen, New York who are sent to a reformatory after being accused of a prank gone wrong. Years later, two of the boys, Michael and John, now adults, seek revenge on the guards who abused them. With the help of a former prosecutor and the help of their lawyer, they seek justice and the truth. Despite the hardships, the boys remain loyal friends and share a bond of brotherhood.

The Rock (1996)

The Rock
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Michael Bay, starring Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, John Spencer
Rated R

Felon (2008)

Felon
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Ric Roman Waugh, starring Stephen Dorff, Marisol Nichols, Vincent Miller, Anne Archer
Rated R

Shot Caller (2017)

Shot Caller
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Ric Roman Waugh, starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Omari Hardwick, Lake Bell, Jon Bernthal
Rated R

Bad Boys (1983)

Bad Boys
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Rick Rosenthal, starring Sean Penn, Reni Santoni, Jim Moody, Eric Gurry
Rated R

Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017)

Brawl in Cell Block 99
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From S. Craig Zahler, starring Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, Don Johnson, Udo Kier
Rated Not Rated

The Big House (1930)

The Big House
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From Directors: George W. Hill, Ward Wing, starring Chester Morris, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone, Robert Montgomery
Rated Passed

The Power of One (1992)

The Power of One
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From John G. Avildsen, starring Stephen Dorff, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Morgan Freeman, Nomadlozi Kubheka
Rated PG-13

Spy Game (2001)

Spy Game
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From Tony Scott, starring Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, Catherine McCormack, Stephen Dillane
Rated R

The Last Castle (2001)

The Last Castle
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From Rod Lurie, starring Robert Redford, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo, Steve Burton
Rated R

Con Air (1997)

Con Air
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From Simon West, starring Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich, Colm Meaney
Rated R

He Got Game (1998)

He Got Game
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From Spike Lee, starring Denzel Washington, Milla Jovovich, Ray Allen, Rosario Dawson
Rated R

Escape Plan (2013)

Escape Plan
★★★★
★★★★
2.7 out of 4 stars

From Mikael Håfström, starring Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, 50 Cent, Vincent D'Onofrio
Rated R

Kill Zone 2 (2015)

Kill Zone 2
★★★★
★★★★
2.7 out of 4 stars

From Soi Cheang, starring Tony Jaa, Jing Wu, Simon Yam, Jin Zhang
Rated Not Rated

Animal Factory (2000)

Animal Factory
★★★★
★★★★
2.6 out of 4 stars

From Steve Buscemi, starring Willem Dafoe, Edward Furlong, Danny Trejo, Mark Boone Junior
Rated R

Middle of Nowhere (2012)

Middle of Nowhere
★★★★
★★★★
2.6 out of 4 stars

From Ava DuVernay, starring Emayatzy Corinealdi, David Oyelowo, Lorraine Toussaint, Edwina Findley
Rated R

 



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