Prison Movies Top 10

1. Oz

I know it’s not a film but get f&cked! This may be the greatest TV show of all of time. Honestly characters such as Ryan O’Reily, Vern Schillinger & Chris Keller will never be seen on screen again, let alone all in one show. Far, far ahead of it’s time, this show will never get the appreciation it deserves. The fact that it never made it into mainstream TV allowed it to be as controversial as it was. No TV show or film has a greater collection of sociopaths on offer than oz.

2. Shawshank Redemption

‘Shawshank Redemption’ is easily one of the greatest films of all time! It tells such a simple story about a man sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit, but the movie’s message is so incredibly inspiring.

3. Un Profeta

Obviously this movie was going to make the list. Not sure why it is but French make great prison movies.

4. Papillon

This ’70 gem follows convicted murderer Henri Charrier, known as ‘Papillon’, who is given a life sentence within the penal system in French Guiana. It’s a great film with a unique grittiness and steel that makes it a must-watch.

5. American History X

‘American History X’ is an absolute great film, and I don’t say this lightly. Edward Norton portrays a neo-nazi skinhead, who gets sent to prison but his experiences reform him, and upon release he tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same path. This film is an essential watch. It’s very dark, poignant but powerful.

6. Cool Hand Luke

‘Cool Hand Luke’ is about a war veteran, who is sent to a Florida prison, but refuses to confirm to the pecking order in the prison. It makes for a great, entertaining watch.

7. In The Name of The Father

This film is based on the true life story of the Guildford Four who were falsely convicted of the 1974 IRA’s Guildford pub bombing. It’s an intense film and highly thought-provoking.

8. O Brother Where Out Thou

Set during the Great Depression, ‘O Brother Where Out Thou’ is about three escaped convicts searching for treasure while being pursued by a ruthless lawman.

9. Hunger

‘Hunger’ is a devastatingly brilliant film, focusing on the 1981 prison hunger strikes by Republican prisoners in Northern Island. It’s one of the most brutally honest and daring films you will ever see, and the acting from Michael Fassbender is on another level.

10. Escape from Alcatraz

‘Escape from Alcaratz’ stars Clint Eastwood in the leading role. His character is sent to one of the most brutal maximum security prisons, but before long he plans to escape the island.

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