There have been many prison films in the history of cinema, and here are the best recommendations according to Reddit users.
Prison is surprisingly common in many films. 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 who love 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 films in history, regardless of genre.
The Green Mile (1999)
There’s a joke that Frank Darabont is the greatest director when it comes to Stephen King prison films. The action of his two best works takes place in prison walls and is based on the stories of the Master of Horror. One of them is “The Green Mile”, a historical film about a man arrested and convicted of murder, who faces the death penalty.
When someone asked on Reddit for recommendations similar to “Shawshank Escape,” VictorBlimpmuscle recommended “The Green Mile” as “another adaptation of Stephen King, directed by Frank Darabont, which takes place in prison.”
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Based on the novel of the same name, Cold-Blooded Luke starred Paul Newman as a rebellious prisoner in a POW camp in the 1950s. Newman was Luke Jackson, a petty criminal who refused to obey the guards or the thugs of the prison yard and soon became a hero who demanded change.
The film made a huge impression on Landoch on Reddit. He texted: “Cold-blooded Luke is my favorite movie of all time. Once I wrote a research paper on it. It was also the first movie that my father really sat down and showed me. He set the bar very high.”
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 in fighting, he spent 30 years in solitary confinement, where he developed an alter ego known as Charles Bronson.
Recommending prison films, a Redditor user suggested Bronson, calling it “a British art-house 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 film and arguably one of the best prison escape films of all time. The film takes place in a prison during the Second World War, it involves British and American soldiers captured 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 film directed by Frank Darabont based on the Stephen King story was “Escape from Shawshank”. This film, unlike most based on King’s stories, had nothing to do with horror, except the horror of a man living in captivity, despite the fact that he is 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 IRA bombing of a Guildford pub in 1974.
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 a classic for all time.
The Prophet (2009)
One of the last films about imprisonment was released in 2009 with the film “The Prophet”. The film shows a man named Malik El-Jebena, who faces a six-year sentence. He comes as a young man who doesn’t seem to be able to do it, but after several missions he wins everyone’s respect.
Discussing the recommendations, Redditor Frank_Sinantra88 wrote that “The Prophet” was “a harsh but elegant crime epic… A prison movie unlike any other I’ve seen before, and I LOVE prison movies.”
The Last Castle (2001)
“The Last Castle” is a 2001 film with a stellar cast. Robert Redford plays the chief bailiff sent to prison, where he gathers 12,000 prisoners to speak out against the dishonest system. James Gandolfini and Mark Ruffalo also star.
Redditor Kristijan131 wrote, “I really like The Last Castle,” before describing a plot by a general rallying other prisoners “to rebel against a corrupt and sadistic warden.”
Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
One of the most popular escape films of all time was released in 1979 with the movie Escape from Alcatraz. In the film, Clint Eastwood played Frank Lee Morris, a real prisoner who escaped from several different prisons. He was eventually imprisoned on Alcatraz Island and became the only person who managed to escape from there.