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 serious, realistic, suspense, rough, intense and suspenseful films and TV shows about / with prison, prison life, murder, confined, corruption, violence, crimes, prisoner, warden and redemption plots mostly in Drama, Crime and Thriller genres shot in USA, UK, France and other countries.
prison
 3406
prison movies
TOP 10 movies tagged as prison: The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Prison Break (2005), Starred Up (2013), Midnight Express (1978), The Hurricane (1999), The Green Mile (1999), American History X (1998), Escape Plan (2013), Felon (2008), Shot Caller (2017).

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, clever, touching, inspirational, realistic ...
Plot: prison, prison escape, human spirit, false accusation, freedom, hopes, prison life, powerful ending, existentialism, life is a bitch, justice, life sentence ...
Time: 1940s, 20th century, 60s, 50s, year 1957 ...
Place: usa, maine, pacific ocean, mexico
Is relevant ?
 8.3
 517K
Prison Break (2005)
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Country: UK, USA
Duration: 44 min.
TV show
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: tense, suspenseful, exciting, serious, realistic ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: prison, escape, prison life, fugitives, determination, confined, scheme, fbi, self sacrifice, conspiracy, manhunt, siblings relations ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
 7.3
 46K
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: rough, captivating, serious, tense, psychological ...
Plot: prison, prison life, juvenile delinquent, teenage life, confined, family reunited, family relations, warden, parents and children, troublemaker, father son relationship, violence ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary, 70s
Place: britain, england
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: realistic, disturbing, suspense, psychological, bleak ...
Plot: prison, torture, brutality, injustice, court, escape, lawyer, escape attempt, convict, sadism, drug smuggling, hashish ...
Time: 70s, 20th century, year 1970, year 1972, year 1975 ...
Place: turkey, brooklyn new york city, istanbul turkey, greece
Is relevant ?
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 7.6
 96K
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, factual, touching, inspirational, uplifting ...
Plot: prison, boxing, prison life, freedom, false accusation, racism, courtroom, legal, friendship, fighting the system, injustice, prejudice ...
Time: 70s, 60s, 80s, 20th century, 50s ...
Place: new jersey, canada, toronto ontario canada
Is relevant ?
 8.6
 1.3M
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: touching, emotional, sentimental, heartbreaking, serious ...
Plot: prison, false accusation, supernatural, life philosophy, convict, death row, prison life, confined, healing power, justice, death sentence, electric chair ...
Time: 1930s, 20th century, year 1935, 90s, year 1999
Place: usa, southern usa, louisiana
Is relevant ?
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: racism, skinhead, prison, juvenile delinquency, nazism, prison rape, prejudice, gang, racial slur, male rape, gay rape, crimes ...
Time: 90s, 20th century
Place: usa, los angeles, california, venice beach california
Is relevant ?
 6.7
 240K
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, twists and turns, twist ending ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: prison, prison escape, lone hero, outsmarting, escape plan, escape, against the odds, revenge, torture, resourceful, survival, convict ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, year 2013, 2010s, 80s ...
Place: usa, morocco, new orleans, miami, los angeles ...
Is relevant ?
 7.4
 78K
Felon (2008)
Genre: Crime, Thriller
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: brutal, realistic, serious, emotional, tense ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: prison, prison life, prison gang, life is a bitch, court, fighting the system, convict, murder, prison riot, life turned upside down, rivalry, police brutality ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa, california
Is relevant ?
 7.3
 84K
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: clever, harsh, twist ending, suspense, tense
Plot: prison, prison gang, skinhead, prisoner, criminal, gang, prison life, tattoo, violence, criminal heroes, prison riot, estranged father ...
Time: 21st century
Place: california, usa
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: twist ending, surprise ending, tense, exciting, serious ...
Plot: vengeance, master criminal, justice, murder, fighting the system, vigilantism, prison, mind game, injustice, perfect crime, outsmarting, death ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: philadelphia, usa
Is relevant ?
 8.6
 22K
Wentworth (2013)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: Australia
Duration: 45 min.
TV show
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: tense, serious, suspenseful, rough, bleak ...
Audience: girls' night
Plot: women's prison, prison life, women in prison, prison, lesbian, lesbian relationship, crimes, life is a bitch, power struggle, protest, sadism, survival ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: australia
Is relevant ?
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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: tense, exciting, rough, intense, serious ...
Plot: prison, fighting the system, military, convict, prison life, rebellion, power struggle, rebelliousness, confined, sadism, graphic violence, warden ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary, 2000s
Place: iraq, new jersey
Is relevant ?
 7.7
 93K
The Experiment (2001)
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Country: Germany
Duration: 120 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: thought provoking, psychological, rough, tense, suspenseful ...
Plot: torture, prison, experiment, rape, aggression, disorder, surveillance, humiliation, power relations, rivalry, sadism, abuse ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, 70s
Place: germany, canada
Is relevant ?
 6.4
 43K
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, serious, suspenseful, rough, suspense ...
Plot: prison, prison life, prison escape, prison warden, life is a bitch, rivalry, self sacrifice, vengeance, warden, murder, good versus evil, corruption ...
Time: 80s
Place: new jersey
Is relevant ?
Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
Genre: Action, 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: suspense, atmospheric, realistic, exciting, suspenseful ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: prison escape, prison, alcatraz, freedom, prison life, convict, island, punishment, warden, confined, partners, escape ...
Time: 60s, 20th century, year 1962, year 1960, year 1961 ...
Place: san francisco, usa
Is relevant ?
 7.6
 67K
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, twists and turns, bleak ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: prison, prison life, hidden identity, prison guard, confined, hostage, convict, trapped, prison riot, rebellion, survival, crimes ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: spain, europe
Is relevant ?
 6.4
 207K
Death Race (2008)
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: USA, Germany, UK
Duration: 105 min.
Story: Terminal Island, New York: 2020. Overcrowding in the US penal system has reached a breaking point. Prisons have been turned over to a monolithic Weyland Corporation, which sees jails full of thugs as an opportunity for televised sport. Adrenalized ...
Style: serious, exciting, suspenseful, rough, brutal ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: prison, car chase, tough guy, tough heroes, car race, contests and competitions, ex convict, street racing, prison life, police brutality, heroes, corruption ...
Time: future, 2010s, year 2012, 2020s
Is relevant ?
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 8.0
 129K
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, suspense, inspirational ...
Plot: prison escape, prison, human spirit, runaway, criminal heroes, prison life, false accusation, labor camp, life sentence, solitary, escape attempt, life is a bitch ...
Time: 1930s, 1940s, 20th century, 70s
Place: latin america, atlantic ocean
Is relevant ?
 7.0
 129K
Bronson (2008)
Genre: Action, Biography, Crime, Drama
Country: UK
Duration: 92 min.
Story: A young man who was sentenced to 7 years in prison for robbing a post office ends up spending 30 years in solitary confinement. During this time, his own personality is supplanted by his alter ego, Charles Bronson.
Style: surreal, rough, realistic, serious, brutal ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: prison, prison life, social misfits, violence spree, society, robbery, crimes, confined, criminal heroes, loneliness, human nature, notoriety ...
Time: 20th century, 70s, 80s, year 1974
Place: england, europe, united kingdom, london
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: thought provoking, touching, emotional, serious, realistic ...
Plot: prison, death row, rape, death sentence, court, lethal injection, redemption, warden, forgiveness, confession, prison life, punishment ...
Time: 20th century, 90s
Place: southern usa, louisiana
Is relevant ?
 7.2
 72K
Papillon (2017)
Genre: Adventure, Biography, Crime, Drama
Country: USA, Czech Republic, Spain
Duration: 133 min.
Story: Henri "Papillon" Charrière is convicted in Paris for a murder he did not commit. Sentenced to life imprisonment in the penal colony of French Guiana, he becomes obsessed with escaping. After planning and executing a series of treacherous ...
Style: homoerotic, factual, suspense, brutal
Plot: prison escape, prison, island prison, survival, solitary, prison life, life sentence, safecracker, friendship, human spirit, escape, jungle ...
Time: year 1931, 1930s, year 1970, year 1969
Place: south america, france, colombia, venezuela, paris france
Is relevant ?
 8.8
 97K
Oz (1997)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 55 min.
TV show
Story: The daily lives of prisoners in Emerald City, an experimental unit of the Oswald Maximum Security Prison where ingroups - Muslims, Latinos, Italians, Aryans - stick close to their mutual friends and terrorizes their mutual enemies.
Style: bleak, realistic, suspenseful, rough, thought provoking ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: prison life, prison, confined, prison rape, rapist, rape, life is a bitch, convict, violence spree, homosexual rape, gang, racism ...
Time: 21st century, 90s, 20th century, contemporary, 2000s
Is relevant ?
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Murder in the First (1995)
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Country: USA, France
Duration: 122 min.
Story: Inspired by a true story. A petty criminal sent to Alcatraz in the 1930s is caught attempting to make an escape. As punishment he is put in solitary confinement. The maximum stay is supposed to be 19 days, but Henri spends years alone, cold and in ...
Style: thought provoking, emotional, bleak, rough, gloomy ...
Plot: prison, murder, lawyer, courtroom, theft, warden, solitary, prisoner, fighting the system, crimes, graphic violence, nudity (full frontal - brief) ...
Time: 1930s, 1940s, 20th century, year 1938, year 1941
Place: san francisco, california, usa
Is relevant ?
 7.0
 39K
Alcatraz (2012)
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA, Canada
Duration: 60 min.
TV show
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, twists and turns, suspenseful, atmospheric, serious ...
Plot: prison, police investigation, uncover truth, investigation, time travel, murderer, crimes, disappearance, warden, law enforcement, manhunt, dishonesty ...
Time: contemporary, 60s, 20th century, 21st century
Place: san francisco, usa
Is relevant ?
Bangkok Hilton (1989)
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Country: Australia
Duration: 240 min.
TV show
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, realistic, rough, disturbing
Plot: prison, escape, heroin, smuggling, injustice, interracial relations, false accusation, fighting the system, betrayal, life is a bitch, prison life, destiny ...
Time: 80s
Place: thailand, bangkok thailand, asia, london, australia ...
Is relevant ?
 7.8
 98K
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: rough, tense, bleak, atmospheric, harsh ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: mafia, prison, gangsters, prison life, cruelty, convict, confined, racial slur, respect, guilt, muslim, power struggle ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: france, europe, marseille, paris france, california
Is relevant ?
 8.2
 19K
Time (2021)
Genre: Crime, Drama
Country: UK
Duration: 59 min.
TV show
Story: A prisoner consumed by guilt, an officer with an impossible choice. What does it take to survive? A tense story of punishment and principles, starring Sean Bean and Stephen Graham.
Style: suspense, suspenseful, disturbing, captivating
Plot: prison, jailed, guilty conscience, prisoner, guilt, jail cell, forgiveness, prison guard, redemption, jail, prison warden, maximum security prison ...
Is relevant ?
 7.0
 206K
The Platform (2019)
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: Spain
Duration: 94 min.
Story: Two people per level. An unknown number of levels. A platform with food for all of them. Are you one of those who think too much when they are up? Or of those who have no guts when they are down? If you discover it too late, you will not live out of ...
Style: disturbing, suspense, suspenseful, futuristic, ambiguous ending ...
Plot: struggle for survival, food shortage, social differences, cannibalism, existentialism, fear, confined, prison, rivalry, secrets, social relations, hunger ...
Time: future
Is relevant ?
Orange Is the New Black (2013)
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 59 min.
TV show
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, lgbt, women in prison, life turned upside down, strong female character, prison, gender, lesbian romance, women's prison, first lesbian experience ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa, new york state, new york
Is relevant ?
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