Prison Movies

List of the best movies about jail and prisoners, showing life and jailbreak: The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, American History X, The Next Three Days, Escape from Alcatraz, Law Abiding Citizen, The Experiment, Cell 211, Lion's Den, Lock Up.

In the top there are new films of 2021, a plot description and trailers for films that have already been released.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Mark9.8 (imdb: 9.3)
Genredrama, crime
CharactersGood people, Prisoner, Scammers, Friends
PlotPrison Break, False accusations, Survival, The escape, Fate, Freedom
PlacePrison, Mexico, USA
StyleWorth watching, Popular, Smart, Atmospheric, Touching, Fascinating, To cry, Interesting

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, Dufresne comes to be admired by the other inmates -- including an older prisoner named Red -- for his integrity and unquenchable sense of hope.

The Green Mile (1999)
Mark9.8 (imdb: 8.6)
Genrefantasy, drama, crime, detective
CharactersGood people
PlotFalse accusations, Supernatural, Superpowers
StyleWorth watching, To cry, Long, Touching

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, he tries desperately to help stave off the condemned man's execution.

American History X (1998)
Mark9 (imdb: 8.5)
Genredrama, crime
CharactersTeens, Teachers, Brothers, Pupils
PlacePrison, School, USA

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 of a violent white supremacist gang that committed acts of racial crime throughout L.A. and his actions greatly influenced Danny. Reformed and fresh out of prison, Derek severs contact with the gang and becomes determined to keep Danny from going down the same violent path as he did.

The Next Three Days (2010)
Mark8.4 (imdb: 7.3)
Genrethriller, melodrama, drama, crime
CountryUSA, France
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.

Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
Mark7.4 (imdb: 7.6)
Genrethriller, drama, crime, biography
CharactersPrisoner, Partners, Friends
PlotPrison Break, The escape, Freedom, Uprising, On real events
PlacePrison, Islands
StyleTense, Atmospheric, Heavy, Exciting, Depressive, Disturbing, For men

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 Stroud, was only broken once - by three men never heard of again.

Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
Mark9.4 (imdb: 7.4)
Genrethriller, drama, crime
PlotRevenge, Death, Justice
PlacePrison, Court
StyleExciting, Action, Unexpected ending

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.

The Experiment (2001)
Mark8.4 (imdb: 7.7)
Genrethriller, drama

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 prematurely when the experimenters lost control.

Cell 211 (2009)
Mark7.6 (imdb: 7.6)
Genreaction, thriller, drama
CountrySpain, France

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.

Lion's Den (2008)
Mark7.6 (imdb: 7)
CountryArgentina, South Korea, Brazil, Spain

Julia, a 25 year-old university student, two weeks pregnant, with no criminal record, is sent to prison. Julia murdered the father of her child. This story addresses maternity, jail and Justice; confinement, guilt and solitude; but above all it deals with Julia and her son, Tomas, born inside an Argentinean prison.

Lock Up (1989)
Mark9.6 (imdb: 6.4)
Genreaction, drama, crime
PlotRivalry, Revenge, Prison Break, Chase
StyleHeavy, Exciting, Tense, Disturbing

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 Leone, and has now arrived on the scene to ensure that Leone never sees the light of day.

Escape Plan 2: Hades (2018)
Mark5.8 (imdb: 3.9)
Genreaction, thriller
CountryChina, USA
CharactersKillers, Friends, Hackers, Spy
PlotPrison Break, Martial Arts, Survival, Artificial Intelligence
StyleTense, Disturbing, Action, Exciting, Depressive, For men, Unexpected ending

Ray Breslin manages an elite team of security specialists trained in the art of breaking people out of the world's most impenetrable prisons. When his most trusted operative, Shu Ren, is kidnapped and disappears inside the most elaborate prison ever built, Ray must track him down with the help of some of his former friends.

Larceny (2017)
Mark5.6 (imdb: 3.5)
Genreaction, thriller
CountryUSA, Mexico
PlotRobbery, Martial Arts
PlacePrison, Mexico

After being busted for a heist, a former CIA contractor is sent to a Mexican prison. His former CIA boss offers him freedom if he can break into the prison vault and steal $50 Million.

A Prayer Before Dawn (2018)
Mark9.6 (imdb: 6.9)
Genreaction, drama, crime, biography, sport
CountryUnited Kingdom, France, China, Cambodia, USA
CharactersDogs, Hired assassins, Photographers
PlotMartial Arts, Boxing, Love, Survival, Weapon, Drug addict, Money, Gambling, On real events

The true story of Billy Moore, an English boxer incarcerated in Thailand's most notorious prison. Thrown into a world of drugs and violence, he finds his best chance to escape is to fight his way out in Muay Thai tournaments.

All Eyez on Me (2017)
Mark8.8 (imdb: 5.9)
Genredrama, music, biography
CharactersMusicians, Singers, Actors
PlotHip Hop
PlacePrison, USA

All Eyez on Me chronicles the life and legacy of Tupac Shakur, including his rise to superstardom as a hip-hop artist, actor, poet and activist, as well as his imprisonment and prolific, controversial time at Death Row Records. Against insurmountable odds, Tupac rose to become a cultural icon whose career and persona both continue to grow long after his passing.

Broken Hill (2009)
Mark3 (imdb: 6.3)
Genredrama, family, music
CountryUSA, Australia
PlaceAustralia, Village, Prison, School

Tommy was born and raised on a rocky, drought-ridden sheep station in the middle of the Australian Outback.

Lockout (2012)
Mark8.2 (imdb: 6.1)
Genrefantastic, action, thriller, drama
CharactersCriminals, Lifeguards
StyleFor a group of friends, For men

Set in the near future, Lockout follows a falsely convicted ex-government agent , whose one chance at obtaining freedom lies in the dangerous mission of rescuing the President's daughter from rioting convicts at an outer space maximum security prison.

Incoming (2018)
Mark7.4 (imdb: 3.3)
Genrefantastic, action, thriller
CountrySerbia, USA
PlacePrison, Space
StyleAction, Heavy, Tense

The International Space Station is now a prison - the ultimate black site. No one's getting out. And no one knows it's there. But when the imprisoned terrorists take over the Station and turn it into a missile aimed at Moscow, only a shuttle pilot and a rookie doctor can stop them. Their task is complicated by a rogue CIA agent (Scott Adkins) who has his own plans for the station and the terrorists within.

Kickboxer: Retaliation (2018)
Mark7.8 (imdb: 5)
Genreaction, drama
CharactersTrainers, Heroes
PlotMartial Arts, Fights without rules, Revenge, Love
StyleDisturbing, Action, Exciting, Depressive, For men

One year after the events of "Kickboxer: Vengeance", Kurt Sloan has vowed never to return to Thailand. However, while gearing up for a MMA title shot, he finds himself sedated and forced back into Thailand, this time in prison. He is there because the ones responsible want him to face a 6'8" 400 lbs. beast named Mongkut and in return for the fight, Kurt will get two million dollars and his freedom back. Kurt at first refuses, in which a bounty is placed on his head as a way to force him to face Mongkut. Kurt soon learns he will have no other choice and will undergo his most rigorous training yet under some unexpected mentors in order to face Mongkut in hopes to regain his freedom.

The Mustang (2019)
Mark9 (imdb: 6.9)
CountryFrance, Belgium
CharactersHorses, Indians, Cowboys, Psychologists, Photographers
PlotAdventure, Depression, Fate, Soccer, Freedom, Fear
PlacePrison, Nature
StyleExciting, To cry

While participating in a rehabilitation program training wild mustangs, a convict at first struggles to connect with the horses and his fellow inmates, but he learns to confront his violent past as he soothes an especially feisty horse.

O.G. (2018)
Mark6.8 (imdb: 6.2)
PlaceUSA, Prison
StyleDepressive, Action

Louis Menkins is five weeks away from being released after 26 years in prison. He is faced with the decision to put his own release at risk in order to protect a young man named Beecher from growing gang controversies.