The 10 Best Prison Movies according to Reddit

There have been many prison movies in the history of cinemaand here are the best recommendations according to Reddit users.

Prison is surprisingly common in many movies. Many of these films offer a realistic and dramatic look at prison life, showing how the characters cope with life behind bars after losing their freedom. Others are more adventurous, and prison break movies are a popular subgenre. Others are even more fantastic works of escapism.

There are countless movie fans on Reddit eager to share their favorite movies, and in the case of prison movies, there are many great suggestions. Some of them are based on real events, and many of them have stood the test of time among the greatest movies in history, regardless of genre.


The Green Mile (1999)

There is a joke that Frank Darabont is the best director when it comes to Stephen King prison movies. The action of his two best works is set in prison walls and is based on the stories of the Master of Horror. One is “The Green Mile”, a historical film about a man who is arrested and convicted of murder, who is given the death penalty.

When someone on Reddit asked for recommendations similar to “Shawshank Escape,” VictorBlimpmuscle recommended “The Green Mile” as “another Stephen King adaptation, directed by Frank Darabont, set in prison.”

Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Based on the novel of the same name, Cold-Blooded Luke played Paul Newman as a rebellious prisoner in a prisoner of war camp in the 1950s. Newman was Luke Jackson, a petty criminal who refused to obey the prison guards or felons and quickly became a hero demanding change.

The film made a huge impression on Landoch on Reddit. He texted: “Cold-blooded Luke is my all-time favorite movie. I once wrote a research paper about it. It was also the first movie that my dad actually sat down and showed me. He set the bar very high.”

Bronson (2008)

Bronson is based on the true story of a man sentenced to seven years in prison for robbing a post office. However, due to his passion for fighting, he spent 30 years in solitary confinement, developing an alter ego known as Charles Bronson.

A Redditor user recommended prison movies, suggested Bronson, calling it “a British arthouse film from the director of Drive and Tom Hardy.” Nicholas Winding Refn directed the film and Hardy played Bronson.

The Great Escape (1963)

“The Great Escape” is another true classic movie and arguably one of the best escape movies of all time. The film is set in a prison during the Second World War, it is about British and American soldiers who are taken prisoner in a German prison. All this leads to a big escape from the title.

After someone suggested “The Great Escape,” Reddit user HmmmQuite agreed, calling it “the greatest movie of all time” and praising actor Steve McQueen.

Escape from Shawshank (1994)

The first movie directed by Frank Darabont based on Stephen King’s story was “Escape from Shawshank”. This film, unlike most based on King’s stories, had nothing to do with horror, other than the horror of a man living in captivity, despite being innocent of his crimes.

In the Name of the Father (1993)

Daniel Day-Lewis showed Oscar-worthy roles every time he starred in a movie. It was no different from his role in “In the Name of the Father.” The film is based on the true story of the Guildford Four, innocent people convicted of the 1974 IRA bombing of a pub in Guildford.

In the film about injustice, Day-Lewis plays Jerry Conlon, who spent 15 years in prison while his father tried to prove his innocence. One Redditor wrote that “In the Name of the Father” is an all-time classic.

The Prophet (2009)

One of the last films about captivity was released in 2009 with the movie “The Prophet”. The film depicts a man named Malik El-Jebena, who is facing six years in prison. He comes as a young man who seems unable to do it, but after several missions he gains everyone’s respect.

Redditor Frank_Siantra88 discussed the recommendations, writing that “The Prophet” was “a hard yet elegant crime epic… A prison movie like I’ve never seen before, and I love prison movies.”

The Last Castle (2001)

“The Last Castle” is a 2001 movie with a great cast. Robert Redford plays the chief bailiff who is sent to prison, where he gathers 12,000 inmates to speak out against the unfair system. James Gandolfini and Mark Ruffalo also star.

Redditor Kristijan131 wrote, “I really like The Last Castle,” before describing a plot by a general who gathered other inmates “to revolt against a corrupt and sadistic guard.”

Escape from Alcatraz (1979)

One of the most popular escape movies of all time was released in 1979 with the movie Escape from Alcatraz. In the film, Clint Eastwood played Frank Lee Morris, a real-life inmate who escaped from various prisons. He was eventually imprisoned on the island of Alcatraz and became the only person who managed to escape there.

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