10 Best Prison Movies That You Should Watching Update 05/2024

Best Prison Movies

In the realm of film, prison movies are a prominent genre that may be found in a variety of genres. According to IMDb, these are some of the greatest.

You may find a wide variety of jail films online. Instead than focusing on fantastical worlds, such as those found in science fiction and fantasy films, prison dramas do their best to depict the reality we live in. Real consequences can be found in prison. There is a lot of opportunity for imperfect characters, room for growth, and room to address hard-to-answer legal system concerns.

It’s hard to believe that some of these movies are based on real events, while others are completely made up. One story may be better than another, but it isn’t necessarily the best.

10. Escape from Alcatraz (1979): Score 7.6

Escape from Alcatraz (1979)

As a prison, Alcatraz is one of the most well-known. Tourists and history buffs can visit the island off the coast of San Francisco. As a prison, it has a rich history and is full with fascinating tales. The narrative of three prisoners escaping a jail on an island has inspired several films, including this one, which remains a mystery to this day.

Three prisoners escaped from a maximum security jail in this film, according to the filmmakers. As one of the best films of its era, it stars Clint Eastwood, one of Hollywood’s most recognizable faces.

9. Birdman Of Alcatraz (1962): Score 7.8

Alcatraz is so well-known that there are multiple films about the jail that are considered some of the best prison films of all time. It relates the story of Robert Franklin Stroud, a fictitious prisoner. For caring for three injured sparrows he spotted in the jail yard and nursing them back to health, he earned the moniker “Birdman of Alcatraz.” Diseases of Canaries is the name of the book he wrote.

This film captures the oppressiveness of incarceration better than others. The pace is sluggish, just like prison term itself.

8. Papillion (1973): Score 8.0

Papillion (1973)

The narrative of two convicts seeking to flee from French Guiana’s prisons is told in this historical play. Because of the film’s isolated locations and high production costs at the time of its creation, In spite of this, the picture was a huge success and made back more than twice its investment.

Many popular prison films reflect the sadness, hopelessness, and violence of incarceration in their depictions of prison. Audience members are on the edge of their seats, clinging to hope like the movie’s characters, while they watch this film.

7. 12 Monkeys (1995): Score 8.0

As a science fiction film, 12 Monkeys stands apart from previous prison films. Prison isn’t the main emphasis of the story, but the events that take place while the protagonist is incarcerated are the main point of the story. Experimentation and time travel were required to find a cure for a virus that wiped out the majority of humanity in the future.

Audience members are compelled to question what is and what is not real in the film. You may wonder, “Is this guy from the future?” for example.

6. In The Name Of The Father (1993): Socre 8.1

In The Name Of The Father (1993)

Five people died in the 1974 Guilford pub bombings, which were committed by the Guilford Four, four innocent people convicted of the crime. It’s a sad tale, made all the more poignant by the fact that it’s based on true events.

There are, of course, some details that were omitted from the film in order to make it more realistic. Despite this, it succeeds in its primary role as an outstanding film on injustice.

5. Cool Hand Luke (1967): Score 8.1

Because of its reputation as a classic, even individuals who have never watched it are likely to have heard of it. An inmate at a prison camp in Florida in the 1950s is the focus of this film, which was inspired by the novel of the same name.

Symbolism is abundant in the film’s Christian imagery and usage of symbols. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and a Laurel Award for Best Male Supporting Actor. As a result, the National Film Preservation Board has placed it in its collection.

It’s easy to see why it has such a great IMDb rating and a perfect Rotten Tomatoes score.

4. The Great Escape (1963): Score 8.2

The Great Escape (1963)

Story takes place in a World War II concentration camp based on Paul Brickhill’s non-fiction book of the same name from 1950 Film adaptation of 1944 British POWs’ escape from German captivity is much more dramatized than the book. For example, the movie depicted the fugitives as including Americans although they were, in fact, all British.

The film is well-known. Many works of popular culture, from video games like Metal Gear to films like Chicken Run to cartoons like The Simpsons, have made reference to it, even if you’ve never seen it yourself.

3. American History X (1998): Score 8.5

In spite of the fact that this film does not take place in a jail, the tale revolves around incarceration and its consequences. A neo-Nazi and white nationalist film stars two brothers who are featured in the film. After a reformed individual returns home from prison, he tries to protect his brother from the harmful influence of these organisations. Not only is the movie hugely popular, but it’s also being shown in schools across the country.

Many critics have remarked that the film’s significance has not diminished since it initially appeared on the big screen. As a matter of fact, it’s possible that audiences today may find the 1990s picture even more relatable.

2. The Green Mile (1999): Score 8.6

The Green Mile (1999)

“The Shining,” a prison film based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, features supernatural elements. When a certain inmate is brought to his jail, a death row prisons officer begins to experience otherworldly phenomena. The film received accolades for its score, actors, and acting performances, as well as the People’s Choice Award for best motion picture.

Moments of hilarity and heartbreak have been known to occur during the film’s screenings.

1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994): Score 9.3

Based on a Stephen King novel, this film has been hailed as one of the greatest movies ever made (not just of prison movies).

After being convicted of murdering his wife and her boyfriend, the plot follows Andy Dufresne. This film frequently comes to mind first when discussing the “jail film” subgenre with fellow moviegoers.

The film has been selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress because of its impact and cultural value. According to a King interview from 2016, his favorite film adaption was The Shawshank Redemption (along with Stand by Me).