Prison movies and TV shows

The list contains the best, new and most relevant prison movies ordered by relevance. The recommendation service has sorted out realistic, serious, intense, suspense, interesting and suspenseful films and TV shows about / with prison, prison life, confined, corruption, brutality, mentor, violence, storytelling, murder and vengeance plots mostly in Drama, Crime and Thriller genres shot in USA, UK, France and other countries.
prison
 3023
prison movies
TOP 10 movies tagged as prison: The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Shot Caller (2017), Starred Up (2013), Prison Break (2005), American History X (1998), Felon (2008), Escape Plan (2013), The Hurricane (1999), Wentworth Prison (2013), The Green Mile (1999).

List of prison movies

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 142 min.
Story: Framed in the 1940s for the double murder of his wife and her lover, upstanding banker Andy Dufresne begins a new life at the Shawshank prison, where he puts his accounting skills to work for an amoral warden. During his long stretch in prison, ...
Style: captivating, touching, uplifting, clever, serious ...
Plot: prison, human spirit, freedom, life is a bitch, prison life, false accusation, life sentence, corruption, confined, survival, criminal heroes, hopes ...
Time: 20th century, 1940s, 40s, 60s, 50s ...
Place: usa, pacific ocean, mexico, maine
Is relevant ?
 7.3
 61K
Shot Caller (2017)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 121 min.
Story: A newly-released prison gangster is forced by the leaders of his gang to orchestrate a major crime with a brutal rival gang on the streets of Southern California.
Style: twist ending, clever, harsh, suspense, tense
Plot: prison, violence, desperation, criminal, gang, prison gang, life is a bitch, murder, existentialism, criminal heroes, moral ambiguity, arrest ...
Place: california, usa
Is relevant ?
 7.4
 40K
Starred Up (2013)
Genre: Crime, Drama
Country: UK
Duration: 106 min.
Story: 19-year-old Eric, arrogant and ultra-violent, is prematurely transferred to the same adult prison facility as his estranged father. As his explosive temper quickly finds him enemies in both prison authorities and fellow inmates — and his already ...
Style: serious, rough, realistic, captivating, tense ...
Plot: prison, prison life, therapist, confined, warden, family relations, family reunited, power relations, youth, troublemaker, teenage life, parents and children ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: britain, england
Is relevant ?
 8.3
 437K
Prison Break (2005)
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Country: UK, USA
Duration: 44 min.
Story: Due to a political conspiracy, an innocent man is sent to death row and his only hope is his brother, who makes it his mission to deliberately get himself sent to the same prison in order to break the both of them out, from the inside out.
Style: suspenseful, tense, exciting, twists and turns, serious ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: prison, prison life, fugitives, confined, escape, scheme, fbi, manhunt, chases and races, determination, siblings relations, self sacrifice ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
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American History X (1998)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 119 min.
Story: Derek Vineyard is paroled after serving 3 years in prison for killing two thugs who tried to break into/steal his truck. Through his brother, Danny Vineyard's narration, we learn that before going to prison, Derek was a skinhead and the leader ...
Style: rough, serious, tense, realistic, emotional ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: skinhead, prison, racism, juvenile delinquency, nazism, rape, prison rape, violence spree, siblings relations, confined, youth, crime ...
Time: 20th century, 90s
Place: usa, california, los angeles, venice beach california
Is relevant ?
 7.4
 73K
Felon (2008)
Genre: Crime, Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 104 min.
Story: A family man convicted of killing an intruder must cope with life afterward in the violent penal system.
Style: realistic, serious, brutal, emotional, tense ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: prison, prison life, fist fighting, murder, prison riot, fighting the system, life is a bitch, life turned upside down, tough heroes, rivalry, police brutality, fight ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa, california
Is relevant ?
 6.7
 214K
Escape Plan (2013)
Genre: Action, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 115 min.
Story: Ray Breslin is the world's foremost authority on structural security. After analyzing every high security prison and learning a vast array of survival skills so he can design escape-proof prisons, his skills are put to the test. He's ...
Style: suspenseful, serious, exciting, twist ending, brutal ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: prison, lone hero, outsmarting, against the odds, prison escape, revenge, torture, resourceful, survival, convict, off the grid, tough heroes ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, 2010s, 80s, future
Place: usa, morocco, colorado
Is relevant ?
 7.6
 87K
The Hurricane (1999)
Genre: Biography, Drama, Sport
Country: USA
Duration: 146 min.
Story: The story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a boxer wrongly imprisoned for murder, and the people who aided in his fight to prove his innocence.
Style: thought provoking, touching, factual, inspirational, sincere ...
Plot: prison, boxing, false accusation, racism, courtroom, friendship, freedom, prison life, fighting the system, injustice, prejudice, discrimination ...
Time: 80s, 70s, 20th century, 60s, 1960s ...
Place: new jersey, toronto ontario canada, canada
Is relevant ?
Wentworth Prison (2013)
Genre: Crime, Drama
Country: Australia
Duration: 45 min.
Story: Bea Smith is locked up while awaiting trial for the attempted murder of her husband and must learn how life works in prison. A modern adaptation and sequel of the iconic Prisoner series.
Style: serious, tense, rough, realistic, bleak ...
Audience: girls' night
Plot: prison, lesbian, women's prison, prison life, sadism, life is a bitch, lesbian relationship, protest, crime, survival, power struggle, punishment ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: australia
Is relevant ?
 8.6
 1.0M
The Green Mile (1999)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery
Country: USA
Duration: 189 min.
Story: A supernatural tale set on death row in a Southern prison, where gentle giant John Coffey possesses the mysterious power to heal people's ailments. When the cellblock's head guard, Paul Edgecomb, recognizes Coffey's miraculous gift, ...
Style: emotional, sentimental, touching, serious, heartbreaking ...
Plot: death row, prison, life philosophy, supernatural ability, prison life, human nature, false accusation, supernatural, healing power, justice, confined, convict ...
Time: 1930s, 20th century, 30s, 1990s
Place: usa, southern usa, louisiana
Is relevant ?
Midnight Express (1978)
Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: UK, USA
Duration: 121 min.
Story: Billy Hayes is caught attempting to smuggle drugs out of Turkey. The Turkish courts decide to make an example of him, sentencing him to more than 30 years in prison. Hayes has two opportunities for release: the appeals made by his lawyer, his ...
Style: disturbing, realistic, suspense, psychological, bleak ...
Plot: prison, injustice, lawyer, torture, brutality, escape attempt, trial, convict, prison life, sadism, rape, muslim ...
Time: 20th century, 70s
Place: turkey, istanbul turkey, greece
Is relevant ?
Dead Man Walking (1995)
Genre: Crime, Drama
Country: UK, USA
Duration: 122 min.
Story: A justice drama based on a true story about a man on death row who in his last days forms a strong relationship with a nun who teaches him forgiveness and gives him spirituality as she accompanies him to his execution.
Style: touching, emotional, thought provoking, serious, psychological ...
Plot: prison, death row, rape, lethal injection, nun, death penalty, redemption, forgiveness, confession, court, prison life, confined ...
Time: 20th century, 90s
Place: louisiana
Is relevant ?
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Prison Break: The Final Break (2009)
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 89 min.
Story: The movie covers the events which occurred in between the downfall of The Company and the finale of the series. It details the arrest and incarceration of Sara Tancredi, the final escape plan which Michael devises for Sara. It also reveals the ...
Style: exciting, suspenseful, serious, tense, suspense ...
Audience: boys' night, teens
Plot: prison, daring rescue, self sacrifice, escapades, crimes, fbi, twists & turns, runaway, prison escape, vengeance, happy ending, conspiracy ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary, 2000s
Place: florida, israel, new jersey, canada
Is relevant ?
 7.7
 88K
The Experiment (2001)
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Country: Germany
Duration: 114 min.
Story: Das Experiment is a shocking psycho thriller about the potential for brutality that humans hide. Even more shocking is the fact that it’s based on an actual occurrence—a 1971 psychological experiment at Stanford University that was aborted ...
Style: psychological, thought provoking, tense, rough, suspenseful ...
Plot: prison, torture, experiment, rape, violence, disorder, surveillance, manipulation, humiliation, power relations, rivalry, abuse ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: germany, canada
Is relevant ?
Orange Is the New Black (2013)
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 59 min.
Story: A crime she committed in her youthful past sends Piper Chapman to a women's prison, where she trades her comfortable New York life for one of unexpected camaraderie and conflict in an eccentric group of fellow inmates.
Style: clever, realistic, humorous, cynical, witty ...
Audience: girls' night
Plot: lesbian, lesbian relationship, prison life, prison, lgbt, life turned upside down, women's prison, drugs/alcohol, gender, fish out of water, abuse, women in prison ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: usa, new york state, new york
Is relevant ?
 7.6
 60K
Cell 211 (2009)
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: Spain, France
Duration: 113 min.
Story: The story of two men on different sides of a prison riot -- the inmate leading the rebellion and the young guard trapped in the revolt, who poses as a prisoner in a desperate attempt to survive the ordeal.
Style: tense, suspenseful, rough, psychological, realistic ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: prison life, prison, hidden identity, confined, prison riot, penitentiary, prison guard, rebellion, survival, warden, isolation, danger ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: spain, europe
Is relevant ?
Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 112 min.
Story: Escape from Alcatraz tells the story of the only three men ever to escape from the infamous maximum security prison at Alcatraz. In 29 years, the seemingly impenetrable federal penitentiary, which housed Al Capone and "Birdman" Robert ...
Style: realistic, suspense, atmospheric, exciting, social realism ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: prison, alcatraz, convict, prison escape, prison life, freedom, island, punishment, warden, partners, suicide, runaway ...
Time: 1960s, 60s, 20th century, year 1962, year 1961 ...
Place: san francisco, usa
Is relevant ?
 8.0
 114K
Papillon (1973)
Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama
Country: France, USA
Duration: 151 min.
Story: A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.
Style: bleak, tense, captivating, inspirational, suspense ...
Plot: prison, prison escape, human spirit, prison life, criminal heroes, false accusation, escape attempt, life is a bitch, low lives, hopes, life sentence, imprisonment ...
Time: 1930s, 20th century, 40s, 30s, 1940s
Place: atlantic ocean, latin america
Is relevant ?
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 7.0
 38K
Alcatraz (2012)
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA, Canada
Duration: 60 min.
Story: Alcatraz is an American television series created by Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt, and produced by J. J. Abrams and Bad Robot Productions. The series premiered on Fox on January 16, 2012, as a mid-season replacement. ...
Style: captivating, suspenseful, atmospheric, twists and turns, serious ...
Plot: prison, time travel, uncover truth, investigation, crimes, disappearance, alcatraz, island, manhunt, prison life, police investigation, mystery ...
Time: contemporary, 60s, 20th century, 21st century
Place: usa, san francisco
Is relevant ?
Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 109 min.
Story: A frustrated man decides to take justice into his own hands after a plea bargain sets one of his family's killers free. He targets not only the killer but also the district attorney and others involved in the deal.
Style: serious, exciting, psychological, tense, surprise ending ...
Plot: vengeance, vigilantism, fighting the system, murder, master criminal, justice, crime, death, prison, mind game, district attorney, perfect crime ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa, philadelphia
Is relevant ?
Bangkok Hilton (1989)
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Country: Australia
Duration: 240 min.
Story: The story of Kat Stanton (Kidman), an Australian woman searching for her father who, whilst travelling back from London to Australia via Thailand, makes friends with Arkie Ragan (Ehlers), a photographer. Kat is tricked into carrying some luggage ...
Style: serious, disturbing, rough, realistic
Plot: prison, false accusation, heroin, smuggling, interracial relations, betrayal, injustice, prison life, escape, father, life is a bitch, fighting the system ...
Time: 80s
Place: thailand, asia, england, london, australia ...
Is relevant ?
The Last Castle (2001)
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 131 min.
Story: A Court Martialed general rallies together 1200 inmates to rise against the system that put him away.
Style: rough, serious, realistic, exciting, tense ...
Plot: prison, military, sacrifice, chess, soldier, sergeant, convict, patriotism, sadism, fighting the system, rebellion, society ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary, 2000s
Place: iraq, new jersey
Is relevant ?
 7.9
 89K
A Prophet (2009)
Genre: Crime, Drama
Country: France, Italy
Duration: 155 min.
Story: Sentenced to six years in prison, Malik El Djebena (Tahar Rahim) is alone in the world and can neither read nor write. On his arrival at the prison, he seems younger and more brittle than the others detained there. At once he falls under the sway of ...
Style: realistic, tense, bleak, captivating, suspenseful ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: prison, mafia, muslim, gangsters, cruelty, convict, bribery, racial slur, respect, lawyer, guilt, protection ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: france, europe, marseille, paris france, california
Is relevant ?
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 6.4
 35K
Lock Up (1989)
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 109 min.
Story: Frank Leone is nearing the end of his prison term for a relatively minor crime. Just before he is paroled, however, Warden Drumgoole takes charge. Drumgoole was assigned to a hell-hole prison after his administration was publicly humiliated by ...
Style: realistic, rough, serious, suspenseful, suspense ...
Plot: prison life, prison, life is a bitch, rivalry, prison warden, vengeance, warden, murder, good versus evil, prison escape, corruption, redemption ...
Time: 80s
Place: new jersey
Is relevant ?
 6.5
 34K
Mean Machine (2001)
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama, Sport
Country: UK, USA
Duration: 99 min.
Story: Disgraced ex-England captain (Danny 'Mean Machine' Meehan) is thrown in jail for assaulting two police officers. He keeps his head down and has the opportunity to forget everything and change the lives of the prisoners. These prisoners ...
Style: semi serious, realistic, exciting, inspirational, intense ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: prison, soccer, prison life, sport, underdog, hopes, contests and competitions, redemption, warden, rivalry, ambition, soccer match ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: england, europe, london
Is relevant ?
The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Thriller
Country: UK, USA, Ireland, Switzerland
Duration: 131 min.
Story: Edmond Dantés's life and plans to marry the beautiful Mercedes are shattered when his best friend, Fernand, deceives him. After spending 13 miserable years in prison, Dantés escapes with the help of a fellow inmate and plots his revenge, ...
Style: exciting, twists and turns, realistic, suspenseful, serious ...
Plot: betrayal, treasure, secret, false accusation, prison, vengeance, confined, treason, adventure, mentor, convict, frame up ...
Time: 19th century, 1800s, 18th century
Place: france, marseille, europe, paris france
Is relevant ?
The Great Escape (1963)
Genre: Adventure, Drama, History, Thriller, War
Country: USA
Duration: 172 min.
Story: The Nazis, exasperated at the number of escapes from their prison camps by a relatively small number of Allied prisoners, relocates them to a high-security 'escape-proof' camp to sit out the remainder of the war. Undaunted, the prisoners ...
Style: suspenseful, realistic, exciting, serious, captivating ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: prison, freedom, escape, chase, motorcycle, military, soldier, escape attempt, disguise, tunnel, capture, optimism ...
Time: 40s, 20th century, 1940s
Place: germany, switzerland, alps, europe, poland
Is relevant ?
 6.6
 10K
Rosewater (2014)
Genre: Biography, Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 103 min.
Story: In 2009, Iranian Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari was covering Iran's volatile elections for Newsweek. One of the few reporters living in the country with access to US media, he made an appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, in a taped ...
Style: tense, captivating, suspense, brutal, suspenseful ...
Plot: prison, journalism, interrogation, captivity, life is a bitch, danger, false accusation, solitary, reporter, torture, anguish, brutality ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary, future
Place: iran, middle east
Is relevant ?
 6.2
 40K
Big Stan (2007)
Genre: Action, Comedy
Country: USA
Duration: 105 min.
Story: Rob Schneider writes and stars in this comedy about a nerdy con man whose swindling ways land him a stiff prison sentence. Terrified at the prospect of being raped in prison he enlists the aid of a mysterious kung-fu expert to teach him how to fight.
Style: funny, humorous, not serious, exciting, absurd ...
Plot: prison life, prison, martial arts, dishonesty, guru, master warrior, confined, warden, corruption, parody, husband wife relationship, gangs ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa, california
Is relevant ?
 5.7
 16K
Death Warrant (1990)
Genre: Action, Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Country: Canada, USA
Duration: 89 min.
Story: The Canadian policeman Louis Burke is assigned in a jail to investigate in some murders of prisoners and jailors. When in jail, Lois, using his outstandings martial arts is able to save his life and make himself respected in that violent world. At ...
Style: rough, exciting, suspenseful, tense, captivating ...
Audience: boys' night, teens
Plot: prison, murder, investigation, martial arts, prisoner, undercover, serial killer, partners against crime, track down, master criminal, working undercover, deadly ...
Time: 80s, 1990s
Place: los angeles
Is relevant ?
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