Prison Movies

List of the best movies for melodramas about prison and prisoners, showing life and jailbreak: Never Look Away, Cold War, If Beale Street Could Talk, Crown Heights, Breathe, Table 19, Brothers, Down by Love, My Grandmother Fanny Kaplan, Loving
In the top there are new films of 2018, a plot description and trailers for films that have already been released.
Never Look Away (2018)
Markimdb: 7.7
Genrethriller, melodrama, drama, history
CountryGermany, Italy
Duration02:16
CharactersArtists
PlotOn real events, Relationship, Love, Art
PlacePrison, Germany

Inspired by real events and spanning three eras of German history, film tells the story of Kurt, a young art student who falls in love with fellow student, Ellie. Ellie’s father, Professor Seeband, a famous doctor, is dismayed at his daughter’s choice of boyfriend, and vows to destroy the relationship. What neither of them knows is that their lives are already connected through a terrible crime Seeband committed decades ago.

Cold War (2018)
Markimdb: 7.6
Genremelodrama, drama, music
CountryPoland, United Kingdom, France
Duration02:02
CharactersMusicians, Pianists, Poets
PlotLove, Dancing
PlacePrison, Trains
TimeCold War
StyleRomantic

A man and a woman meet in the ruins of post-war Poland. With vastly different backgrounds and temperaments, they are fatally mismatched and yet drawn to each other.

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
Markimdb: 7.1
Genremelodrama, drama
CountryUSA
Duration01:59
CharactersLawyers, Sisters, Jews
PlotLove, Investigation, Money, Religious, Justice
PlacePrison, New York
StyleOscars

After her fiance is falsely imprisoned, a pregnant African-American woman sets out to clear his name and prove his innocence.

Crown Heights (2017)
Markimdb: 6.5
Genremelodrama, drama, crime, biography
CountryUSA
Duration02:06
CharactersLawyers
PlotJustice, Weapon, False accusations, On real events
PlacePrison, New York, USA, Court

When Colin Warner was wrongfully convicted of murder, his best friend Carl King devoted his life to proving his innocence.

Breathe (2017)
Markimdb: 7.2
Genremelodrama, drama, biography
CountryUnited Kingdom
Duration02:37
CharactersNewlyweds, Disabled people, Dogs, Horses
PlotTime travel, Wedding, Dancing, Love, Money, Chess, Viruses, Loneliness, On real events
PlaceEngland, Hotels, Party, Prison, Aircraft
StyleTo cry, Heavy, Touching

Based on the true story of Robin, a handsome, brilliant and adventurous man whose life takes a dramatic turn when polio leaves him paralyzed.

Table 19 (2017)
Markimdb: 5.8
Genrecomedy, melodrama, drama
CountryUSA
Duration02:36
CharactersLosers, Dogs, Businessmen, Photographers
PlotWedding, Dancing, Money
PlaceHotels, Prison
StyleLight

Eloise, having been relieved of maid of honor duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text, decides to attend the wedding anyway – only to find herself seated with five fellow-unwanted guests at the dreaded Table 19.

Brothers (2016)
Mark
Genreaction, melodrama, drama, military
CountryChina
Duration01:26
CharactersBrothers
PlotWar, Relationship
PlacePrison, China

The film centers on the relationship between two brothers who used to have a bond for life but it is ripped apart through a civil war in 1936.

Down by Love (2016)
Markimdb: 5.8
Genremelodrama, drama, biography
CountryFrance, Belgium
Duration02:02
PlotLove, Obsession, Weapon, On real events
PlacePrison

A man, a woman. A prison director, his inmate. An impossible love, a true story.

My Grandmother Fanny Kaplan (2016)
Markimdb: 6.4
Genremelodrama, drama, biography, history
CountryUkraine
Duration02:03
CharactersJournalists
PlotLove, Revolution, Obsession, Political
PlaceParis, Prison

The film focuses on the little-known love affair of the terrorist Fanny Kaplan with the brother of Vladimir Lenin, Dmitriy Ilyich Ulyanov, and questions whether she really tried to assassinate Lenin in 1918.

Loving (2016)
Markimdb: 7
Genremelodrama, drama, biography
CountryUnited Kingdom, USA
Duration02:35
CharactersLawyers, Photographers, Judge
PlotLove, Hatred, Justice, On real events
PlaceUSA, Court, Prison
StyleInspirational, Fascinating, Makes me think

The story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, whose challenge of their anti-miscegenation arrest for their marriage in Virginia led to a legal battle that would end at the US Supreme Court.

38 more movies
Colonia (2015)
Markimdb: 7.1
Genrethriller, melodrama, drama, history
CountryGermany, Luxembourg, France, United Kingdom, USA
Duration01:05
CharactersDogs, Military, Students
PlotSects, Love, Religious, Revolution, On real events
PlacePrison, Aircraft
StyleTouching, Atmospheric, Action, Tense, Disturbing

A young woman's desperate search for her abducted boyfriend that draws her into the infamous Colonia Dignidad, a sect nobody ever escaped from.

Two Friends (2015)
Markimdb: 5.7
Genrecomedy, melodrama, drama
CountryFrance
Duration01:47
CharactersGay, Birds
PlotLove triangle, Obsession, Dancing
PlaceTrains, Hotels, Prison, Night Clubs
StyleFascinating, Action, Tense, Disturbing

Mona, a prisoner on work release, meets Clément, a shy actor. Desperate to impress Mona, Clément recruits his extroverted friend, Abel, to help. When Mona becomes more interested in Abel, it sets off a conflict between the two friends. Meanwhile, Mona attempts to keep her past hidden.

Learning to Drive (2014)
Markimdb: 6.4
Genrecomedy, melodrama, drama
CountryUnited Kingdom, USA
Duration01:30
CharactersLawyers, Sisters, Jews
PlotDancing, Computers
PlaceNew York, Prison, Beach, Aircraft
StyleTo cry, Touching

As her marriage dissolves, a Manhattan writer takes driving lessons from a Sikh instructor with marriage troubles of his own. In each other's company they find the courage to get back on the road and the strength to take the wheel.

Cyanide (2013)
Markimdb: 6
Genremelodrama, drama
CountryCanada, Luxembourg
CharactersGirlfriends, Childrens
PlacePrison

Thirteen years old Achille is waiting for his father to return from prison. Will everything go as planned and could the family survive?

Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013)
Markimdb: 6.4
Genremelodrama, drama, crime
CountryUSA
Duration01:30
PlotLove triangle, Chase
PlacePrison
StyleAtmospheric, Action, Depressive, Gloomy

The tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met.

Hateship Loveship (2013)
Markimdb: 6.1
Genremelodrama, drama
CountryUSA
Duration01:42
CharactersFathers
PlotLoneliness
PlacePrison
TimeNew Year
StyleTouching, Gloomy

A wild teenage girl orchestrates a romance between her nanny and her father, who is a recovering addict.

The Next Three Days (2010)
Markimdb: 7.3
Genrethriller, melodrama, drama, crime
CountryUSA, France
Duration02:13
CharactersLawyers
PlotFalse accusations, Love, Prison Break, Freedom
PlacePrison, USA
StyleAction, Disturbing

A married couple's life is turned upside down when the wife is accused of a murder. Lara Brennan is arrested for murdering her boss with whom she had an argument. It seems she was seen leaving the scene of the crime and her fingerprints were on the murder weapon. Her husband, John would spend the next few years trying to get her released, but there's no evidence that negates the evidence against her. And when the strain of being separated from her family, especially her son, gets to her, John decides to break her out. So he does a lot of research to find a way.

I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)
Markimdb: 6.6
Genrecomedy, melodrama, drama, crime, biography
CountryFrance, USA
Duration01:38
CharactersFamily
PlotPolitical, Betrayal
PlacePrison

Steve Russell is a small-town cop. Bored with his bland lifestyle, Russell turns to fraud as a means of shaking things up. Before long, Russell's criminal antics have landed him behind bars, where he encounters the charismatic Phillip Morris. Smitten, Russell devotes his entire life to being with Morris regardless of the consequences.

New York (2009)
Markimdb: 6.8
Genrethriller, melodrama, drama, crime
CountryIndia
Duration02:33
CharactersSnipers, FBI
PlaceNew York, Prison
StyleDisturbing

New York is a contemporary story of friendship set against the larger than life backdrop of a city often described as the centre of the world. Omar has gone abroad for the first time in his life and soon enough he begins to see and love America through the eyes of his American friends - Sam and Maya. It is the story of these three friends discovering a new world together.

Holiday in Handcuffs (2007)
Markimdb: 6.3
Genrecomedy, melodrama, family, crime
CountryUSA, Canada
Duration02:00
CharactersFamily, Sisters, Gay
PlotGrowing up, Abduction
PlaceParty, Prison
TimeNew Year
StyleFancy

A ne er-do-well thirty-something attempts to appease her family by kidnapping herself an attractive boyfriend for the family Christmas. Despite unlikely odds and dysfunctional family moments, the two fall in love and share a magical Christmas.

Too Fat Too Furious (2005)
Markimdb: 6.2
Genreaction, comedy, melodrama, drama, crime
CountryNetherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom
CharactersPartners
PlotBank robbery, Money, Robbery, Chase
PlacePrison
StyleExciting

Bennie, a clumsy criminal who's touchy about his weight, teams up with his adoptive father's biological (serial killer) son, his employees who in his absence turned his snack-bar into a quiche bakery, a suicidal manic-depressive woman and a Yugoslavian who keeps blowing things up unintended. They need to get 300000 Euro to get Bennies father a new liver. Complicating matters are that Bennie is being stalked by gangsters who want him to pay back a debt, the employees are more interested in cooking than in criminality, nobody can communicate with the Yugoslavian, the adoptive and biological son don't get along, and everything that can go wrong does go wrong - leaving a path of damaged buildings, people and - especially - vehicles behind.

3-Iron (2004)
Markimdb: 8
Genremelodrama, drama, crime
CountrySouth Korea, Japan
Duration01:28
PlotRevenge, Jealousy, The escape, Fate, Love triangle, Loneliness
PlaceKorea, Prison
StyleAction, Touching, Soulful, Depressive, To cry, Makes me think

A young man, whose only possession is a motorcycle, spends his time riding around the city looking for empty apartments. After finding one, he hangs out for a while, fixing himself something to eat, washing laundry or making small repairs in return. He always tries to leave before the owners get back but in one ostensibly empty mansion he meets the abused wife of a rich man and she escapes with him...

The United States of Leland (2003)
Markimdb: 7.1
Genremelodrama, drama, crime
CountryUSA
Duration01:48
CharactersTeachers
PlotInvestigation, Jealousy
PlacePrison
StyleDepressive, Heavy, Makes me think

A withdrawn young man, Leland Fitzgerald is imprisoned for the murder of a mentally disabled boy, who also happened to be the brother of his girlfriend, Becky. As the community struggles to deal with the killing, Pearl Madison, a teacher at the prison, decides to write about Leland's case. Meanwhile, others affected by the murder, including Becky and her sister, Julie, must contend with their own problems.

Just Married (2003)
Markimdb: 5.5
Genrecomedy, melodrama
CountryUSA, Germany
Duration01:35
CharactersTeens, Newlyweds
PlotWedding
PlacePrison, Castle, France, Hotels, Italy

Tom Leezak and Sarah McNerney fall in love and plan to get married, despite opposition from Sarah's uptight, rich family. When they do get married, and get a chance to prove Sarah's family wrong, they go on a European honeymoon and run into disaster after disaster. They have to decide whether the honeymoon from hell and a few pre-marital mistakes are worth throwing away their love and marriage.

Love the Hard Way (2003)
Markimdb: 6.4
Genremelodrama, drama, crime
CountryGermany, USA
Duration02:02
CharactersThieves, Students, Bodyguards
PlotDancing, Love, Mystery
PlaceHotels, Prison, College, New York
StyleDepressive, Gloomy

Claire, a brilliant student, seeks answers to the meaning of life in the calm of her biology laboratory. One day, she meets a mysterious young man, Jack, at the cinema, and is intrigued by his style, assurance and audacity. Apart from his artistic activities, Jack has a regular scam going, ripping off foreign businessmen with his loyal mate Charlie and two actresses. But his tough guy exterior conceals a secret passion for old books, and he dreams of writing a novel one day. Jack falls hard for Claire's purity and curiosity. An unusual romance develops between them. But Jack is scared of their growing intimacy and rejects Claire, withdrawing into his shell. Abandoned and confused, Claire gradually begins to neglect her studies and embarks on a spiraling course of self-destruction, whilst Jack, who tries to ignore her, concentrates on his criminal activities. However, a sharp detective, named Linda Fox, is following his dodgy tracks.

Bon Voyage (2003)
Markimdb: 6.7
Genrethriller, comedy, melodrama, drama, detective, military
CountryFrance
Duration01:54
CharactersDogs, Jews, Thieves, Students, Spy
PlotWar, Survival, Dancing, Prison Break, Chase
PlaceFrance, School, England, Hotels, Prison, Aircraft
TimeWorld War II
StyleDisturbing

Isabelle Adjani and Gerard Depardieu star in director Jean-Paul Rappenau's amusing farce set on the eve of World War II, which follows the intersecting lives of four Parisians as they cope with the impending invasion of their city by German forces. As the French government braces for impact, the lives of a young writer, a vain movie star, a French politician and a young scientist are examined as they attempt to deal with war and evade German spies.

Greenfingers (2001)
Markimdb: 6.8
Genrecomedy, melodrama, crime
CountryUnited Kingdom, USA
Duration01:31
CharactersLosers, Terminally ill
PlotCancer, Dancing, On real events
PlacePrison, England
StyleTouching, Smart

Clive Owen stars as a prison inmate who goes into an experimental "open" prison where the inmates walk around freely and get job training for their impending releases. While there, he discovers he has a talent for growing flowers. His talent is recognized by a gardening guru who encourages him and four other inmates to enter a national gardening competition

Princess of Thieves (2001)
Markimdb: 5.8
Genreaction, melodrama, adventure, family
CountryUSA
Duration01:28
CharactersHeroes, Family, Tough guys
PlotRivalry, Adventure
PlaceEngland, Prison
TimeMiddle Ages
StyleAction, Fascinating

Sherwood forest has a courageous new hero - Gwyn, the daughter of Robin Hood. Possessing the cunning skills of her legendary father and the beauty and intelligence of her mother Maid Marian, Gwyn is anxious to follow in her father's footsteps. King Richard nears death and Robin Hood and his Merry Men are summoned to help bring Richard's son Philip to his rightful place on the throne before the evil Prince John can assume power. Robin Hood's life and that of the future King of England soon lies in Gwyn's hands when Robin is captured and sentenced to death.

In the Time of the Butterflies (2001)
Markimdb: 6.7
Genrethriller, melodrama, drama, crime, history
CountryUSA, Mexico
CharactersPolice, Students, Indians
PlotDeath, Investigation, Revolution, Revenge, Political, Dancing, Uprising, On real events
PlaceSchool, Prison

Based on the book by Julia Alvarez. Three sisters become activists during the Dominican Republic's Trujillo regime when members of their family are killed by the government's troops.

Bandits (2001)
Markimdb: 6.5
Genrecomedy, melodrama, drama, crime
CountryUSA
Duration02:03
CharactersHousewives, Partners, Thieves
PlotLove triangle, Jealousy, Robbery
PlacePrison
StyleFor men, Smart

Two bank robbers fall in love with the girl they've kidnapped.

Monster's Ball (2001)
Markimdb: 7
Genremelodrama, drama
CountryUSA
Duration01:52
PlotDepression, Funeral
PlacePrison
StyleAction, Touching, Soulful

Set in the southern USA, a racist white man, Hank, falls in love with a black woman named Leticia. Ironically, Hank is a prison guard working on Death Row who executed Leticia's husband. Hank and Leticia's inter-racial affair leads to confusion and new ideas for the two unlikely lovers.

All the Pretty Horses (2000)
Markimdb: 5.8
Genremelodrama, drama, western
CountryUSA
Duration01:56
CharactersFriends, Horses
PlotFalse accusations, Adventure, Dancing, Skirmishes, Chess
PlaceMexico, Prison, Aircraft
StyleSoulful, Touching

The year is 1949. A young Texan named John Grady finds himself without a home after his mother sells the ranch where he has spent his entire life. Lured south of the border by the romance of cowboy life and the promise of a fresh start, Cole and his pal embark on an adventure that will test their resilience, define their maturity, and change their lives forever.

Far from the Madding Crowd (1967)
Markimdb: 7.2
Genremelodrama, drama, history
CountryUnited Kingdom
Duration02:48
CharactersDogs
PlotLove triangle, Jealousy, Dancing, Love
PlaceEngland, Party, Prison
StyleAtmospheric

Bathsheba Everdine, a willful, flirtatious, young woman, unexpectedly inherits a large farm and becomes romantically involved with three widely divergent men.

He Got Game (1998)
Markimdb: 6.9
Genremelodrama, drama, sport
CountryUSA
Duration02:16
PlotBasketball, Hip Hop
PlacePrison, College, New York
StyleTouching, Heavy, Fascinating, Makes me think, For men, Inspirational

A basketball player's father must try to convince him to go to a college so he can get a shorter sentence.

The Boxer (1997)
Markimdb: 7
Genremelodrama, drama, sport
CountryUSA, Republic of Ireland
Duration01:53
PlotFirst love, Boxing, Political, Rivalry, Dancing, Love, Religious, Love triangle
PlacePrison, Ireland, Ships
StyleSoulful, Depressive, Fascinating, Makes me think

Nineteen-year-old Danny Flynn is imprisoned for his involvement with the I.R.A. in Belfast. He leaves behind his family and his sixteen-year-old girlfriend, Maggie Hamill. Fourteen years later, Danny is released from prison and returns to his old working class neighborhood to resume his life as a boxer.

Captives (1994)
Markimdb: 6.4
Genrethriller, melodrama, drama, crime
CountryUnited Kingdom
Duration01:40
CharactersTeachers
PlotDancing, Money, Obsession
PlacePrison
StyleDisturbing, Action

A beautiful young dentist working in a tough British prison starts to become attracted to a violent inmate after the break-up of her marriage, and embarks upon an illicit affair with him, with terrible consequences for all.

The Getaway (1994)
Markimdb: 5.8
Genreaction, thriller, melodrama, drama, adventure, crime
CountryUSA, Japan
Duration01:55
CharactersHired assassins, Gangsters, Partners
PlotRobbery, Chase, Pads
PlaceMexico, Prison
StyleHeavy, Exciting, Disturbing, For men

Doc McCoy is put in prison because his partners chickened out and flew off without him after exchanging a prisoner with a lot of money. Doc knows Jack Benyon, a rich "business"-man, is up to something big, so he tells his wife (Carol McCoy) to tell him that he's for sale if Benyon can get him out of prison. Benyon pulls some strings and Doc McCoy is released again. Unfortunately he has to cooperate with the same person that got him to prison.

Nowhere to Run (1993)
Markimdb: 5.7
Genreaction, thriller, melodrama, drama, crime
CountryUSA
Duration01:34
PlotMartial Arts, Revenge, Rivalry, Motorcycles, Prison Break, Chase
PlacePrison
StyleExciting, Heavy, Disturbing, For men

Escaped convict Sam Gillen single-handedly takes on ruthless developers who are determined to evict a widow with two young children.

The Three Musketeers (1993)
Markimdb: 6.4
Genreaction, comedy, melodrama, adventure, family
CountryAustria, United Kingdom, USA
Duration01:45
CharactersFamily, Heroes, Friends
PlotAdventure, Rivalry, Death, Love, Chase
PlaceFrance, Prison
StyleExciting, For men

D'Artagnan travels to Paris hoping to become a musketeer, one of the French king's elite bodyguards, only to discover that the corps has been disbanded by conniving Cardinal Richelieu, who secretly hopes to usurp the throne. Fortunately, Athos, Porthos and Aramis have refused to lay down their weapons and continue to protect their king. D'Artagnan joins with the rogues to expose Richelieu's plot against the crown.

American Me (1992)
Markimdb: 7.2
Genremelodrama, drama, crime, biography
CountryUSA
Duration02:05
CharactersFriends, Partners
PlotOn real events
PlacePrison, Los Angeles
TimeWorld War II
StyleAction, Heavy, Depressive, For men

During his 18 years in Folsom Prison, street-gang leader Santana rules over all the drug-and-murder activities behind bars. Upon his release, Santana goes back to his old neighborhood, intending to lead a peaceful, crime-free life. But his old gang buddies force him back into his old habits.

Guncrazy (1992)
Markimdb: 5.6
Genrethriller, melodrama, drama, crime
CountryUSA
Duration01:37
CharactersTeens, Dogs, Losers, Snake
PlotWeapon
PlacePrison

California teen Anita Minteer struggles in the face of an absentee mother, her mom's abusive boyfriend, Rooney, and a lack of respect from her classmates. This all changes when a pen-pal school project connects her with convict Howard. Anita secures Howard's parole and violently squares off against Rooney after he rapes her. Soon enough, the gun-crazy teen is on the run with Howard, with his parole officer in pursuit.

American Heart (1992)
Markimdb: 6.8
Genremelodrama, drama, crime
CountryUSA
Duration01:53
CharactersDogs
PlotDeath
PlaceSchool, Prison, Alaska
StyleSoulful, Touching, Heavy, Gloomy

An ex-convict is tracked down by his estranged teenage son, and the pair try to build a relationship and life together in Seattle.

Simple Men (1992)
Markimdb: 7.2
Genremelodrama, drama, crime
CountryItaly, United Kingdom, USA
Duration01:45
CharactersLesbians, Thieves, Students
PlotMissing people, Dancing, Love, Money, Soccer
PlacePrison, New York, Small cities
StyleSmart

Bitter about being double-crossed by the women he loved, (and with the police after him to boot), Bill vows to seduce the next woman he sees, then throw her away. His brother Dennis, meanwhile, is equally determined to track down their long lost father, a revolutionary who has been in hiding for 20 years. For different reasons, both leave New York and head for Long Island, out of money, and short on ideas.

The Unbelievable Truth (1989)
Markimdb: 7.3
Genrecomedy, melodrama, drama
CountryUSA
Duration01:30
CharactersGay
PlotDepression, Love, End of the world, Obsession
PlaceNew York, Party, Prison, Small cities
StyleFancy

After serving time for murder, Josh Hutton returns to his home town where he meets Audry Hugo. No one can remember exactly what Josh did...

Who's That Girl (1987)
Markimdb: 4.8
Genrecomedy, melodrama, music
CountryUSA
Duration01:32
CharactersLawyers, Partners
PlotFalse accusations, Revenge, Dancing, Love, Chase
PlaceNew York, Party, Prison

An uptight New York tax lawyer gets his life turned upside down, all in a single day, when he's asked to escort a feisty and free-spirited female ex-convict whom asks him to help prove her innocence of her crime.

Thieves Like Us (1974)
Markimdb: 7
Genremelodrama, drama, crime
CountryUSA
Duration02:03
CharactersDogs, Thieves
PlotBank robbery, Death, Robbery
PlacePrison, Hotels
StyleSoulful, Depressive

Bowie, a youthful convicted murderer, and bank robbers Chicamaw and T-Dub escape from a Mississippi chain gang in the 1930s. They hole up with a gas station attendant and continue robbing banks. Bowie, who is injured in an auto accident, takes refuge with the daughter of the gas station attendant, Keechie. They become romantically involved but their relationship is strained by Bowie's refusal to turn his back on crime. The film is based on the novel Thieves Like Us by Edward Anderson. The novel is also the source material for the 1949 film They Live by Night, directed by Nicholas Ray.

The Great White Hope (1970)
Markimdb: 6.9
Genremelodrama, drama, sport
CountryUSA
Duration01:43
CharactersTough guys
PlotBoxing, Rivalry, Love, On real events
PlaceHotels, Prison
StyleSoulful

A black champion boxer and his white female companion struggle to survive while the white boxing establishment looks for ways to knock him down.

Billy Liar (1963)
Markimdb: 7.3
Genrecomedy, melodrama, drama
CountryUnited Kingdom
Duration01:38
CharactersDogs, Thieves, DJs, Writers
PlotDancing, Motorcycles, Love triangle
PlaceTrains, England, Hotels, Prison
StyleTouching, Fancy

A young Englishman dreams of escaping from his working class family and dead-end job as an undertaker's assistant. A number of indiscretions cause him to lie in order to avoid the penalties. His life turns into a mess and he has an opportunity to run away and leave it all behind.

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