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Top 70 Best Prison Movies Of All Time

AishwaryaAishwarya-Posted Nov 28, 2021


Prison Movies

 

Crime and punishment walk hand in hand. When you commit a crime or an unlawful deed, justice is served in the form of prison sentences and fines.

 

This is a common fact of life. It is the basis of every civilized society.

 

It is this fear of punishment that acts as a deterrent and as a warning to everyone.

 

It keeps us on the straight and narrow. If we are weak-minded, jail time scares us from taking any wrong step.

 

If we are strong-minded, it gives us the strength to stand up and speak against wrongdoers.

 

However, prison need not always be a bad place, it can also be a place of reformation and a second chance.

 

I am not being naive here, but not every criminal is a bad person. Not every prison is a scary place.

 

For those lucky few souls who are not bad, jails have proven to be a second chance at life.

 

Having made the picture appear as optimistic as possible, prisons can also be very dangerous places.

 

The loss of freedom, the large number of bad influences, crooked policing system, and more, have made penitentiaries a very dangerous place for the timid and faint-hearted.

 

While jails house bad people, sometimes, even a few innocents get wrongly incarcerated. They may be innocent, but they cannot prove themselves or might have fallen into the trap of an unjust and crooked cop who framed them.

 

These are all the various scenarios that we get to see in the best of prison movies.

 

Today, ENTOIN brings you a collection of the best prison movies that the film industry can offer.

 

Some of the films are scary, some are uplifting, some give us hope, while some make us sad.

 

ENTOIN has compiled a list of the top prison movies from around the world. We have also included a few films of the world wars, where POWs were held in camps.

 

If you want to view more of those war films, we have another list of those films too.

 

Similarly, I have included a few fight films that were set in prisons, you can find another full list of amazing fight films as well.

 

Without any further delay, I will launch into the list of top 70 Prison films that we must watch at least once.

 

A few are worth watching as many times as possible, but I’ll leave it to your judgment to pick your favorites.

 

So, here goes...

 

 

70. Henry's Crime (2010)

 

Henry's Crime (2010)

 

Entity Detail
Title Henry's Crime
Year 2010
Watch time 108 min
Directors Malcolm Venville
Cast Keanu Reeves, Vera Farmiga, James Caan, Judy Greer
Box Office $0.10M
IMDb Rating 6
Metascore 49
Writers Sacha Gervasi
Music By Paul Cameron
Cinematography By Curtiss Clayton
Costume By Colleen Callaghan

 

Henry's Crime is a romantic comedy directed by Malcolm Venville. The film is about a man wrongly incarcerated for robbing a bank.

 

The film was not a commercial hit, and the critics too were not enthusiastic about the film.

 

Henry Tome is a mild-mannered, aimless man who is going through the motions of his life.

 

He works as a toll collector, and his wife is not happy with their financial life.

 

One day, his friends rob a bank, and since he gives them a ride there, Henry becomes the accomplice to the robbery.

 

He does not rat out his friends and takes the blame to go to jail.

 

There he meets Max, a consummate con-man who is well adjusted to life in the prison.

 

He convinces Henry that since he has done the time, he might as well commit the crime.

 

All actors come together to give us a screwball comedy. Although Reeves can manage all kinds of action movies, comedy is not his forte, but the rest of the cast play their part very well to make a good entertainer.

 

 

69. Undisputed (2002)

 

Undisputed (2002)

 

Entity Detail
Title Undisputed
Year 2002
Watch time 94 min
Directors Walter Hill
Cast Wesley Snipes, Ving Rhames, Peter Falk, Michael Rooker
Box Office $12.40M
IMDb Rating 6.2
Metascore 58
Writers David Giler
Music By Stanley Clarke
Cinematography By Lloyd Ahern II
Costume By Alice Baker

 

Undisputed is more popular as a fight movie and a sports movie. However, the film is set in a penitentiary, and the main fights take place among the prisoners.

 

The director, Walter Hill, also wrote and produced the film. The film starts with George Chambers, a heavy-weight boxing champion, being sent to jail for rape and assault.

 

Here to have an easier time, the wardens and syndicates conduct no-holds-barred boxing matches that can turn deadly.

 

And Chambers is now their prized fighter. Hutchens is the undisputed champ of these matches, and the mob boss, Ripsteins, has a grouse against him.

 

He pits Chambers against Hutchens hoping to eliminate his enemy and make a fast buck out of it.

 

The film was not a commercial hit, this prompted the film to be released as a home video.

 

It slowly gathered a cult following and gained popularity.

 

 

68. Death Race (2008)

 

Death Race (2008)

 

Entity Detail
Title Death Race
Year 2008
Watch time 105 min
Directors Paul W.S. Anderson
Cast Jason Statham, Joan Allen, Tyrese Gibson, Ian McShane
Box Office $36.32M
IMDb Rating 6.3
Metascore 43
Writers Paul W.S. Anderson
Music By Paul Haslinger
Cinematography By Scott Kevan
Costume By Paul D. Austerberry

 

Death Race is an action thriller based on a short story by Ib Melchior called The Racer.

 

The story was already adapted into a film in 1975, yet Paul W. S. Anderson described this version of Death Race as a prequel to the earlier movie.

 

Anderson was the writer and director of the movie. The film is set in a dystopian world where the prison system has been privatized, and these private prisons resort to nefarious means to make money.

 

One such scheme is these death races. The prison warden falsely implicates Jensen Ames for killing his wife and brings him to her prison.

 

She then baits him with early release and convinces him to become the racer, Frankenstein.

 

As soon as Ames enters the race, he identifies all the different ways in which they have been rigged to lose and plans his own escape route.

 

Death Race has been described as a mindless, violent movie with lightning pace and oodles of action.

 

The audience seems to have appreciated the film as they helped the movie recover costs.

 

 

67. Hart's War (2002)

 

Hart's War (2002)

 

Entity Detail
Title Hart's War
Year 2002
Watch time 125 min
Directors Gregory Hoblit
Cast Bruce Willis, Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard, Cole Hauser
Box Office $19.08M
IMDb Rating 6.3
Metascore 49
Writers John Katzenbach
Music By Rachel Portman
Cinematography By Alar Kivilo
Costume By Lilly Kilvert

 

Hart’s War is an action thriller based on a novel with the same name, written by John Katzenbach.

 

It is a film that takes place during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

 

The film was a box-office bomb and was not able to recover costs. During the war, Lieutenant Thomas Hart is captured by the Germans and tortured for the battle strategy of the US Army.

 

He is left naked in his stone prison where he almost freezes to death. Later he is transferred to the Prisoners of War camp.

 

Here he meets other US soldiers, mainly Col. McNamara, who question him on the interrogation, and the secrets that he divulged.

 

He does not believe that Hart did not leak any information. During their stay in the POW camp, Hart witnessed firsthand the ruthless planning and attitude of McNamara.

 

Critics felt that the movie had too many subplots, and they took the focus away from the main story and the good acting.

 

 

66. The Experiment (2010)

 

The Experiment (2010)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Experiment
Year 2010
Watch time 96 min
Directors Paul T. Scheuring
Cast Adrien Brody, Cam Gigandet, Forest Whitaker, Maggie Grace
Box Office ---
IMDb Rating 6.4
Metascore ---
Writers Paul T. Scheuring
Music By Graeme Revell
Cinematography By Amy Vincent
Costume By Gary Frutkoff

 

The Experiment is a remake of a German film called Das Experiment, made by Oliver Hirschbiegel in 2001.

 

The film was based on an experiment to view the reactions in a prison-like environment.

 

Dr. Archaleta conducts interviews and evaluations for twenty-six men for a psychological experiment. He starts the experiment after assigning twenty men as prisoners and six men and guards to an isolated building to recreate a prison.

 

As per the agreement, violence is prohibited, and inmates can leave whenever they choose. Everyone is given $1000 per day for a two weeks experiment.

 

How these twenty-six men behave in situations of too much power and oppression makes the film interesting.

 

It was inspired by the real-life Stanford Prison Experiment. Although the purpose of the experiment is not clearly explained in the movie, the real experiment was a study into the effects of power, rules, group identity, and dehumanization in a simulated prison environment.

 

 

65. Alien 3 (1992)

 

Alien 3 (1992)

 

Entity Detail
Title Alien 3
Year 1992
Watch time 114 min
Directors David Fincher
Cast Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance, Paul McGann
Box Office $55.47M
IMDb Rating 6.5
Metascore 59
Writers Dan O'Bannon
Music By Elliot Goldenthal
Cinematography By Alex Thomson
Costume By Norman Reynolds Michael White

 

Alien 3 was the third installment in the Alien franchise. It was directed by David Fincher based on the story written by David Giler, Walter Hill, and Larry Ferguson.

 

The film script went through multiple changes, and David Fincher was brought in at the last minute.

 

Ellen Ripley is back. She, Newt, and the other survivors from the ship Sulaco set off in an escape pod after the ship is destroyed.

 

The computer system detects the alien lifeform that has latched onto the escape pod as well.

 

While in cryo-stasis, the computer guides the ship towards a dangerous prison facility that houses genetically mutated anti-social men.

 

When they crash land in the prison, no one believes Ellen Ripley's story about the Alien queen.

 

What follows is complete mayhem. The film was the least successful of the Alien Franchise.

 

The critics praised the efforts made to take on the Alien franchise, and the amazing special effects.

 

However, the script was not strong.

 

 

64. Life (1999)

 

Life (1999)

 

Entity Detail
Title Life
Year 1999
Watch time 108 min
Directors Ted Demme
Cast Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Obba Babatundé, Nick Cassavetes
Box Office $63.84M
IMDb Rating 6.8
Metascore 63
Writers Robert Ramsey
Music By Wyclef Jean
Cinematography By Geoffrey Simpson
Costume By Dan Bishop

 

Life is a comedy-drama that highlights brotherhood, life, friendship, hope in difficult times, and more.

 

The film was directed by Ted Demme and written by Robert Ramsey and Matthew Stone.

 

The film received an Oscar nomination for Best makeup. The film starts with a funeral of two convicts where a fellow prison mate is speaking.

 

He tells the story of Ray and Claude, who were wrongly convicted for murder by a crooked sheriff.

 

In prison, they try every attempt to escape and always get caught. Through all their time locked up, they make many good and weird friends.

 

They face many fights, failures, heartbreaks, and hopeful times to become the best friends till the end.

 

The iconic comedy duo Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy play Ray and Claude. Critics praised their performance and comedy timing.

 

 

63. Animal Factory (2000)

 

Animal Factory (2000)

 

Entity Detail
Title Animal Factory
Year 2000
Watch time 94 min
Directors Steve Buscemi
Cast Willem Dafoe, Edward Furlong, Danny Trejo, Mark Boone Junior
Box Office $0.04M
IMDb Rating 6.6
Metascore 65
Writers Edward Bunker
Music By John Lurie
Cinematography By Phil Parmet
Costume By Steve Rosenzweig

 

Animal Factory is a Steve Buscemi film based on a novel by Eddie Bunker. This neo-noir film takes a look at prison life in the San Quentin prison.

 

A new inmate, Decker, comes to the prison, and he is immediately taken into the care of Copen, a senior inmate.

 

When Decker is almost raped by a Puerto Rican gang, Copen saves him. This cements their bond.

 

Copen even tries to help Decker get a reduced sentence based on the reformed legislature.

 

But, at the last minute, another inmate corners Decker and tries to rape him. While trying to stop him, Decker and Copen stab him.

 

This wrecks their chances, but Copen still manages to get them off the hook. The film received high praise at the Sundance Film Festival.

 

Critics from the Los Angeles Times said that the film was very unsensational which makes it more plausible.

 

The vision of prison life seems more realistic when we watch the film.

 

 

62. Escape Plan (2013)

 

Escape Plan (2013)

 

Entity Detail
Title Escape Plan
Year 2013
Watch time 115 min
Directors Mikael Hafstrom
Cast Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarz, 50 Cent, Vincent D'Onofrio
Box Office $25.13M
IMDb Rating 6.7
Metascore 49
Writers Miles Chapman
Music By Alex Heffes
Cinematography By Brendan Galvin
Costume By Barry Chusid

 

Escape Plan is an action thriller that brings together the biggest action stars of this era.

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. It is set in a high-security prison complex, and the plot is rife with double cross and betrayal.

 

Breslin plays a crime boss to enter a prison complex and create an escape route to determine if the prison is inescapable.

 

He soon determines that he has been betrayed and needs to find an escape plan or he is stuck here for life.

 

Breslin finds a new ally in Rottmayer, and together with Javed, they create an escape plan and defeat the crooked police and the traitor in their team.

 

The film was successful with the audience, yet the critics felt that it had nothing new to offer as compared to the popcorn thrillers of the 80s.

 

 

61. Escape to Victory (1981)

 

Escape to Victory (1981)

 

Escape to Victory is a film about the allied prisoners of war who were held by the German during world war II.

 

It is about an escape plan that revolves around a football match between the German soldiers and the Allied POWs.

 

The film was much awaited as it starred some of the top footballers from England, Poland, Belgium and more.

 

We can see soccer players like Pele, Bobby Moore, Osvaldo Ardiles, Kazimierz Deyna, Paul Van Himst, Mike Summerbee, Hallvar Thoresen, Werner Roth and more.

 

You can also find Ipswich town players in the film. The English football captain is one of the POWs, and he agrees to play an exhibition match against the Germans.

 

While the Allied POWs want to use this as a chance to attempt an escape using the help of French resistance.

 

The Germans want to use the match as part of their propaganda. The film is inspired by a Hungarian film, Two half-times in Hell, which in turn is inspired by a mythical Death Match that was played in Ukraine.

 

Supposedly FC Dynamo Kyiv played a series of matches with Germany and won all of them.

 

As retaliation, the Gestapo executed all the players after they won. However, there is no historical evidence of this.

 

 

60. The Escapist (2008)

 

The Escapist (2008)

 

The Escapist is a British-Irish production with Rupert Wyatt as the director. The story was co-written by Wyatt and Daniel Hardy.

 

The film is set in a prison where a group of inmates are planning an escape.

 

Frank Perry is a prison inmate with a life term, and he has accepted that he is not getting out anytime soon.

 

However, when his beloved daughter is hospitalized, he plans to escape and visit her. He takes the help of fellow inmates, Lenny Drake, Viv Batista, and Brodie, his right-hand man.

 

In the meantime, a new inmate arrives, and he becomes Perry’s cellmate.

 

He gives up his berth on the escape plan to save the new guy. The plot for the film was inspired by a short story, An Occurrence at the Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce, a 19th-century writer.

 

The film was well-received and praised for being a smart and tense prison break movie.

 

 

59. The Old Man and the Gun (2018)

 

The Old Man and the Gun (2018)

 

The Old Man and the Gun is the story of a real-life bank robber and lifelong criminal.

 

The story is based on a New Yorker article with the same name, written by David Grann.

 

The film is about Forrest Tucker, the infamous bank robber, and escape artist. Tucker escapes the San Quentin State prison and sets out to rob another bank.

 

While escaping the cops, he stops by to help a woman with a broken car.

 

The police drive by and ignore them as common people. Due to his charming personality and friendly nature, Tucker befriends the woman, Jewel.

 

He takes her out on dates and falls in love with her. John Hunt, a police detective gets close to finding Tucker and manages to arrest him.

 

This time, Jewel convinces Tucker to finish his term and promises to meet him after his sentence.

 

The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival. Robert Redford was highly praised for his performance.

 

He got a Golden Globe nomination for his role.

 

 

58. Stir Crazy (1980)

 

Stir Crazy (1980)

 

Entity Detail
Title Stir Crazy
Year 1980
Watch time 111 min
Directors Sidney Poitier
Cast Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, Georg Stanford Brown, JoBeth Williams
Box Office $101.30M
IMDb Rating 6.8
Metascore 56
Writers Bruce Jay Friedman
Music By Tom Scott
Cinematography By Fred Schuler
Costume By Alfred Sweeney

 

Stir Crazy is a crime-comedy film directed by Sidney Poitier based on the story of Bruce Jay Friedman.

 

The film brought back together Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. The film was a commercial success.

 

Two friends Skip, and Harry, coincidentally lose their job simultaneously for no fault of theirs.

 

Being the optimistic one, Skip suggests that they take a trip to California to become actors while doing odd jobs along the way.

 

In Arizona, for the opening of a bank, the pair dress up in costume and perform.

 

Later, two bank robbers steal their costumes and rob the bank. Immediately, Skip and  Harry are arrested and jailed for 125 years.

 

While in jail, they befriend two Mexican guys and plan a prison escape with them.

 

Some critics opined that the film started strong, but lost steam after the arrest and concentrated more on the development of the plot.

 

LA Times also felt that despite Poitier’s direction, no amount of good-natured humor could save the thin plot.

 

 

57. Escape from Pretoria (2020)

 

Escape from Pretoria (2020)

 

Entity Detail
Title Escape from Pretoria
Year 2020
Watch time 106 min
Directors Francis Annan
Cast Daniel Radcliffe, Daniel Webber, Ian Hart, Mark Leonard Winter
Box Office ---
IMDb Rating 6.8
Metascore 56
Writers Francis Annan
Music By David Hirschfelder
Cinematography By Geoffrey Hall
Costume By Scott Bird

 

Escape from Pretoria is a true story of three political prisoners who escaped from their prison in Pretoria to continue their anti-apartheid protests.

 

The film is an Australian production by the director Francis Annan. The plot is based on the 2003 novel Inside Out: Escape from Pretoria Prison by Tim Jenkins.

 

Tim Jenkins and Stephen Lee are arrested for anti-apartheid protests and jailed for 12 years and eight years respectively.

 

In the jail, they meet fellow political prisoners Goldberg and Fontaine. While Goldberg discourages them from escaping, he still teaches them the system in the prison.

 

Fontaine, Lee, and Jenkins immediately start to plan their escape and implement it in a gripping and tense movie.

 

They manage to get out of Pretoria and reach England through Mozambique. The film got mixed reviews with critics stating that the film doesn’t do justice to the fact-based story.

 

The lack of depth is offset by the gripping action in the plot.

 

 

56. Gridiron Gang (2006)

 

Gridiron Gang (2006)

 

Entity Detail
Title Gridiron Gang
Year 2006
Watch time 125 min
Directors Phil Joanou
Cast Dwayne Johnson, Xzibit, L. Scott Caldwell, Leon Rippy
Box Office $38.43M
IMDb Rating 6.9
Metascore 52
Writers Jeff Maguire
Music By Trevor Rabin
Cinematography By Jeff Cutter
Costume By Floyd Albee

 

Gridiron Gang is a sports drama that is loosely based on the true story of the Kilpatrick Mustangs during the 1990 season.

 

Phil Joanou is the director of this drama set in the Kilpatrick Juvenile Detention center.

 

Sean Porter works at the Kilpatrick Juvenile Detention center and is deeply disturbed by the volume of youth who are in for gang-related crimes, drug-related crimes, etc.

 

The fact that they are not being reformed in the center forces him to take up the step of forming the Football team of Kilpatrick Mustangs.

 

Using the Mustangs, he coaches the inmates and gives them a direction, aims, and goals in life.

 

As the football matches are a success, so is the future of most of the 24 member teams.

 

Out of them, only five are back in jail after their release. The film did ok business at the box office.

 

Critics felt that Dwayne Johnson as the coach Sean Porter was a role made for him.

 

The story of the film was critiqued as being a bit cliched and oft-repeated.

 

 

55. Con Air (1997)

 

Con Air (1997)

 

Entity Detail
Title Con Air
Year 1997
Watch time 115 min
Directors Simon West
Cast Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich, Colm Meaney
Box Office $101.12M
IMDb Rating 6.9
Metascore 52
Writers Scott Rosenberg
Music By Mark Mancina Trevor Rabin
Cinematography By David Tattersall
Costume By Chas. Butcher

 

Con Air is an action thriller, directed by Simon West, and the script was written by Scott Rosenberg.

 

It was a star-packed cast that included Nicolas Cage, Steve Buscemi, John Cusack, Ving Rhames, John Malkovich, and more.

 

The film is set during the prison transport of a particularly malicious group of inmates.

 

They are being moved to a supermax prison, and they plan to stop over, en route to pick up a Mafia member.

 

The prisoners on their part plan to use this trip to escape. To stop their attempt, US Marshall Vince Larkin has to depend on the few better prisoners, like ex-Army Ranger Poe, who is on the flight.

 

This makes for an action-packed film. The film earned over $220 million at the box office.

 

Critics stated that the film is definitely not a believable film that will win any awards for performance or screenplay.

 

It will, nevertheless, entertain you.

 

 

54. The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015)

 

The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Stanford Prison Experiment
Year 2015
Watch time 122 min
Directors Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Cast Ezra Miller, Tye Sheridan, Billy Crudup, Olivia Thirlby
Box Office $0.64M
IMDb Rating 6.9
Metascore 67
Writers Tim Talbott
Music By Andrew Hewitt
Cinematography By Jas Shelton
Costume By Gary Barbosa

 

The Stanford Prison Experiment is a docu-drama based on the Stanford Prison Experiment conducted by Stanford University under the guidance of the psychologist, Dr. Philip Zimbardo.

 

This experiment was used as the basis for a couple of more films like the German movie, Das Experiment, and the American film with the same name.

 

The psychology professor at Stanford, Philip Zimbardo conducts an experiment to confirm his theory that behavior is not a result of personality traits, but rather situational roles and hierarchies.

 

He involved himself and his students in this study as participants in a prison environment.

 

The study was supposed to go on for 14 days in the basement of their department.

 

But, by the sixth day, everyone was so immersed in their character, and things became so volatile that the experiment was soon abandoned.

 

The film was well-received by the critics. It got a limited release in the US, after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival.

 

The relatively young cast of the film was praised for their convincing portrayal.

 

 

53. Get the Gringo (2012)

 

Get the Gringo (2012)

 

Entity Detail
Title Get the Gringo
Year 2012
Watch time 96 min
Directors Adrian Grunberg
Cast Mel Gibson, Kevin Balmore, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Jesús Ochoa
Box Office ---
IMDb Rating 7
Metascore 60
Writers Mel Gibson
Music By Antonio Pinto
Cinematography By Benoît Debie
Costume By Bernardo Trujillo

 

Get The Gringo is a Mel Gibson movie that he wrote and produced. The film is about the exploits of the only American criminal in a Mexican prison.

 

The film is also referred to by the title: How I Spent my Summer Vacation.

 

The story starts with the car chase between US cops and criminals. They successfully escape into Mexico, but they are caught by the corrupt Mexican cops, and their loot is taken away with the criminal sent to El Peublito prison.

 

Since he is the only American there, he is called the Gringo, and he forms a friendship with a kid and his mother.

 

Apparently, the kid is the only match for a liver transplant for the crime boss, Javi.

 

To help the kid, the Gringo plans an elaborate scam to get rid of Javi and his own enemies while getting the kid and his mother.

 

The film did decent business at the box office. The Guardian praised Mel Gibson saying that he has finally got back to doing what he does best, him being the best funny and psychotic misfit.

 

 

52. Logan Lucky (2017)

 

Logan Lucky (2017)

 

Entity Detail
Title Logan Lucky
Year 2017
Watch time 118 min
Directors Steven Soderbergh
Cast Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Farrah Mackenzie
Box Office $27.78M
IMDb Rating 7
Metascore 78
Writers Jules Asner
Music By David Holmes
Cinematography By Steven Soderbergh
Costume By Howard Cummings

 

Logan Lucky is a heist cum prison break movie that marks the comeback of Steven Soderbergh.

 

The movie was a box office hit and a critically well-received comedy. The film starts with Jimmy Logan being laid off from his job at the construction site of a motor speedway that is preparing for the upcoming NASCAR season.

 

Jimmy joins his brother, Clyde, in his bar only to end up in a fight with a NASCAR team owner.

 

This gives the Logan brothers an idea for a heist at the Speedway. For this heist, they recruit Joe Bang and his two dimwitted brothers Sam and Fish along with Mellie Logan, their sister.

 

Through a series of near-misses, they manage to complete the heist and get away with it.

 

Logan Lucky got all-around praise with the general consensus on the site saying that the high-octane fun film is smartly assembled without putting on airs.

 

It is a great comeback for Soderbergh to end his retirement.

 

 

51. Out Of Sight (1998)

 

Out Of Sight (1998)

 

Entity Detail
Title Out of Sight
Year 1998
Watch time 123 min
Directors Steven Soderbergh
Cast George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames, Steve Zahn
Box Office $37.56M
IMDb Rating 7
Metascore 85
Writers Elmore Leonard
Music By David Holmes
Cinematography By Elliot Davis
Costume By Gary Frutkoff

 

Out of Sight is another Steven Soderbergh film from ‘98. The film is adapted from Elmore Leonard’s novel with the same name.

 

The film stars George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, and more. Jack Foley is a career robber who gets stuck in the car trunk with US Marshall Karen Sisco while escaping prison.

 

This encounter leads to the development of feelings between the two and also a conflict of interest for Sisco.

 

Meanwhile, Foley and his crew have planned a job to steal diamonds from a wealthy home in Detroit.

 

At the same time, another criminal also arrives to steal the same set of diamonds, and Sisco comes by to arrest Foley.

 

What happens next makes for a fun ending. The film was praised by critics as an intelligently crafted adaptation of the novel by Soderbergh.

 

The chemistry between Clooney and Lopez was electrifying as per the critics and audiences. The pair were a hit.

 

 

50. Undisputed II: Last Man Standing (2006)

 

Undisputed II: Last Man Standing (2006)

 

Undisputed II: Last Man Standing is a sequel to Undisputed and picks up on the career of George ‘Iceman’ Chambers after his release from prison.

 

In this instalment, Michael Jai White plays Chambers, and the main rival is Yuri Boyka, a Russian prisoner.

 

After Chamber’s release from prison, he gets back to his boxing career, and he is still the undisputed champion.

 

As part of his tour, he visits Russia and gets implicated in a drugs scandal.

 

He again ends up in prison and discovers a similar fight scene, and Boyka is the champion to beat.

 

The prison bosses make loads of money out of his fights. Although Chambers initially disagrees to take part in this fight scene, he is severely humiliated and coerced into fighting.

 

The first fight was rigged when Boyka’s team spiked his water with sedatives. After Boyka realises it, he agrees to a rematch, and this time, Chambers learns mixed martial arts to match his opponents level and beats him.

 

The film was released direct to video, but critics loved the movie. They praised the mixed martial arts display and gave it four out of five stars.

 

Scott Adkins, who played Boyka in the film impressed viewers so much that he got his own spinoff movie.

 

 

49. American Me (1992)

 

American Me (1992)

 

Entity Detail
Title American Me
Year 1992
Watch time 125 min
Directors Edward James Olmos
Cast Edward James Olmos, William Forsythe, Sal Lopez, Vira Montes
Box Office $13.09M
IMDb Rating 7.2
Metascore 66
Writers Floyd Mutrux
Music By Claude Gaudette Dennis Lambert
Cinematography By Reynaldo Villalobos
Costume By Joe Aubel

 

American Me is a movie about the Mexican-American mob boss Montoya Sanchez. The story of Sanchez is loosely based on the notorious mob, Chicano’s, leader Rodolfo Cadena.

 

The film is directed by Edward James Olmos, and he also stars in the movie.

 

The film starts with the 1943 Zoot Suit riots, where American servicemen fought with the Latino community.

 

During this time, a Mexican-American couple of Sanchez and Esperanza are brutalized by them. Moving forward, we see Montoya Sanchez, their eldest son, forming a gang and turning to crime.

 

He is caught and imprisoned, but that does not stop him. Sanchez forms a powerful and huge mob of criminals and drug peddlers in his Folsom State prisons.

 

Even after his release, he still continued his criminal ways. When his girlfriend tries to change him, his right-hand man stabs him and takes over the legacy.

 

A critic from Chicago Sun-Times praised the film saying it was a very realistic portrayal of crime, prison, drug nexus.

 

The New York Times also praised the direction saying that it was dark, slow, and solemn.

 

 

48. Bronson (2008)

 

Bronson (2008)

 

Entity Detail
Title Bronson
Year 2008
Watch time 92 min
Directors Nicolas Winding Refn
Cast Tom Hardy, Kelly Adams, Luing Andrews, Katy Barker
Box Office $0.10M
IMDb Rating 7.1
Metascore 71
Writers Brock Norman Brock
Music By Johnny Jewel
Cinematography By Larry Smith
Costume By Adrian Smith

 

Bronson is a British biographical film about their most violent and notorious criminal, Charles Brinson.

 

It was directed by Nicholas Winding Refn, and the script was written by Refn and Brock Norman Brock.

 

Charles Bronson, born Michael Gordon Peterson, was born in a middle-class family with a regular upbringing.

 

The film starts in a dark room with only Peterson sitting in a chair within a cell and narrating his life’s story.

 

His narrative is surprisingly humorous with dark jokes on his mindset during those events. All through the movie, we get to see him struggle to adjust to society, control his violent tendencies and find acceptance.

 

He is sent to a psychiatric facility to get him some help, but Peterson claimed to become sluggish due to the medicines and hence hated them.

 

The film opened to positive reviews from all quarters. Critics described the movie as undeniably gripping.

 

It forces people to rethink the relation between art, lies, and its exploitation. Surprisingly, Bronson was not happy with the choice of Tom Hardy playing him, but Hardy promised to fix it.

 

 

47. Von Ryan’s Express (1965)

 

Von Ryan’s Express (1965)

 

Entity Detail
Title Von Ryan's Express
Year 1965
Watch time 117 min
Directors Mark Robson
Cast Frank Sinatra, Trevor Howard, Raffaella Carra , Brad Dexter
Box Office $17.11M
IMDb Rating 7.1
Metascore ---
Writers David Westheimer
Music By Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography By William H. Daniels
Costume By Raphael Bretton

 

Von Ryan’s Express is a film about the escape attempt of the Allied prisoners of war from their Nazi prison camp during world war two.

 

The film is based on a novel with the same name, written by David Westheimer, although the film made many noticeable changes to the story.

 

Colonel Joseph Ryan is a US air force officer and most senior officer at the prisoner of war camp in Italy, which also houses the British forces from the 9th Fusiliers.

 

Once Italy surrendered to the Nazis, the Italian guards escaped and abandoned the camp. The Allied forces soon take refuge in the Italian countryside before the Germans come.

 

They plan to escape from Italy to go to Swiss territory, which is the neutral zone.

 

The film is about their daring escape attempt. The film stars Frank Sinatra as the US air force Colonel.

 

This movie has been the most successful film of his career. The director, Mark Robson received high critical acclaim for this movie.

 

In fact, there were rumors of another Oscar nomination for Sinatra for this performance in this movie.

 

 

46. R (2010)

 

R (2010)

 

R is a Danish film about the life of a young inmate in the Horsens State Prison.

 

The film was directed by Tobias Lindholm, and it premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

 

The film revolves around the prison life of a young inmate, Rune Pedersen. He is incarcerated for violent assault and sent to the Horsens State Prison.

 

He is a young and brash person, full of arrogance. He finds it difficult to acclimatize to the discipline and obedience needed in prisons.

 

Soon he realizes that apart from the laws and rules, there is another unofficial code that needs to be abided by in prisons.

 

Rune finds friendship in another Muslim inmate by the name of Rachid. He soon gets drawn into a ring that distributes drugs among various departments.

 

The film was nominated for several awards and won accolades at the Bodil Awards, Bombay International Film Festival, Danish Film Awards, Goteborg Film Festival, and more.

 

 

45. Unbroken (2014)

 

Unbroken (2014)

 

Entity Detail
Title Unbroken
Year 2014
Watch time 137 min
Directors Angelina Jolie
Cast Jack O'Connell, Miyavi, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund
Box Office $115.64M
IMDb Rating 7.2
Metascore 59
Writers Joel Coen
Music By Alexandre Desplat
Cinematography By Roger Deakins
Costume By Jon Hutman

 

Unbroken is based on the experiences of Louis Zamperini, an American prisoner of war, held in a Japanese prison till he was liberated by the Americans.

 

The film was directed by Angelina Jolie on a script written by the Coen brothers and Richard LaGravenese, and William Nicholson.

 

The USAF pilot Zamperini’s plane is damaged, and only he and Phil survive. They are captured, after 47 days at sea, by the Japanese Imperial Army.

 

At his POW camp, Zamperini is constantly beaten and punished by a particularly vengeful officer, Watanabe.

 

Despite getting promoted and sent to another camp, Watanabe finds that Zamperini is again one of his charges.

 

After suffering his ill-treatment till the end of the war, Zamperini goes to capture him after the Americans occupied Japan, only to find that he escaped.

 

The film is a tribute to the strength and endurance of Zamperini who was a long-distance runner before joining the war.

 

Here is an interesting trivia, in the 1998 Winter Olympics that were held in Japan, Zamperini was one of the torchbearers.

 

He was interested to meet Watanabe but was refused because Watanabe felt that he only did his duty to the Japanese Imperial Army.

 

 

44. Some Mother's Son (1996)

 

Some Mother's Son (1996)

 

Entity Detail
Title Some Mother's Son
Year 1996
Watch time 112 min
Directors Terry George
Cast Helen Mirren, Fionnula Flanagan, Aidan Gillen, David O'Hara
Box Office $0.61M
IMDb Rating 7.2
Metascore ---
Writers Terry George
Music By Bill Whelan
Cinematography By Geoffrey Simpson
Costume By David Wilson

 

Some Mother’s Son is based on the true story of Bobby Sands and his fight against the treatment of IRA prisoners.

 

The film was made by the Irish filmmaker Terry George based on the 1981 Hunger Strike.

 

Bobby Sands has been imprisoned for his role in the bombing of the Balmoral Furniture Company.

 

While in prison, he started the protest against the treatment meted out to the IRA prisoners.

 

He opined that they should be considered prisoners of war rather than criminals. While Sands spearheaded the hunger strike inside the prison, his mother highlighted his fight from the outside and garnered massive media attention for the cause.

 

Although Bobby Sands and nine others died from this hunger strike, they were responsible for a surge in the activity and recruitments of the IRA.

 

The impact of his death was felt across the world. In Iran, Winston Churchill Boulevard was renamed Bobby Sands Street.

 

This prompted the UK embassy to change its entrance to another street.

 

 

43. Escape From New York (1981)

 

Escape From New York (1981)

 

Entity Detail
Title Escape from New York
Year 1981
Watch time 99 min
Directors John Carpenter
Cast Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence
Box Office $25.24M
IMDb Rating 7.2
Metascore 76
Writers John Carpenter
Music By John Carpenter Alan Howarth
Cinematography By Dean Cundey
Costume By

Cloudia Rebar

 

Escape from New York is a futuristic science fiction movie directed by John Carpenter. The movie is sometimes referred to as John Carpenter’s Escape from New York.

 

The film was made on a budget of $ 6 million and earned over $ 25 million.

 

The film is set in the near future, where Manhattan island of New York has been converted into a maximum-security prison.

 

The president of America’s plane, Air Force One, is hijacked and crash-landed on this island of Manhattan.

 

Now the president is stuck somewhere in this prison, surrounded by danger. To rescue him, Snake Plissken, an ex-soldier and current prisoner, is sent into the place.

 

If he can successfully complete this mission, he can get a presidential pardon and be released from prison.

 

The film was a commercial and critical success. The critics appreciated the direction, and it became a cult classic.

 

The film was nominated for four Saturn Awards, including Best Director and Best Science Fiction Film.

 

 

42. Runaway Train (1985)

 

Runaway Train (1985)

 

Entity Detail
Title Runaway Train
Year 1985
Watch time 111 min
Directors Andrey Konchalovskiy
Cast Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, Rebecca De Mornay, Kyle T. Heffner
Box Office $7.94M
IMDb Rating 7.2
Metascore 67
Writers Djordje Milicevic
Music By Trevor Jones
Cinematography By Alan Hume
Costume By Stephen Marsh

 

Runaway Train is a prison escape film that was nominated for the Academy Awards. The film was directed by  Andrei Konchalovsky, a Russian director.

 

The script was written based on an original screenplay by Akira Kurosawa. He intended the film to be his first color film in the USA, but lack of financial backing made him drop the project.

 

Manny is in the maximum-security prison in Alaska where he already made two failed attempts to escape.

 

A sadistic prison warden, Ranken, is bent on keeping him in solitary confinement but is forced to release him to the general population after a court order.

 

Using this chance, Manny takes the help of another inmate and escapes. He reaches the railroad yard after an arduous journey and boards the train, only to realize that the railroad engineer had a heart attack and the train is out of control.

 

The film was nominated for two Academy Awards for best actor for Jon Voight and Eric Roberts for their roles as the two escapees.

 

Since the script was by Kurosawa, his longtime associates, Hideo Oguni and Ryuzo Kikushima assisted the director on the screenplay.

 

 

41. Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017)

 

Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017)

 

Entity Detail
Title Brawl in Cell Block 99
Year 2017
Watch time 132 min
Directors S. Craig Zahler
Cast Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, Don Johnson, Udo Kier
Box Office ---
IMDb Rating 7.2
Metascore 79
Writers S. Craig Zahler
Music By Jeff Herriott S. Craig Zahler
Cinematography By Benji Bakshi
Costume By Freddy Waff

 

Brawl in Cell Block 99 is a neo-noir prison thriller written and directed by Craig Zahler.

 

The film showcased Vince Vaughn in a brutally violent role as not seen before. Bradley Thomas is a drug mule and an ex-boxer who is expecting his first child with his wife.

 

He goes on a dangerous new mission for his drug lord and almost gets caught.

 

To escape being killed like his two associates, Bradley dumps the drugs and surrenders. While Bradley is sent to prison, he is informed that his unborn child will be killed and mutilated if he does not kill another inmate in cell block 99.

 

He goes on a wild goose chase only to be cornered by the drug lord and tortured.

 

The film for favorable reviews from audiences and criticisms alike. The Chicago Sun-Times praised the film.

 

He gave it 3.5 stars and said that Vince Vaughn’s performance was legitimately great and can be ranked among his best performances ever.

 

 

40. Face/Off (1997)

 

Face/Off (1997)

 

Entity Detail
Title Face/Off
Year 1997
Watch time 138 min
Directors John Woo
Cast John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen, Alessandro Nivola
Box Office $112.23M
IMDb Rating 7.2
Metascore 82
Writers Mike Werb
Music By John Powell
Cinematography By Oliver Wood
Costume By Neil Spisak

 

Face/Off is an American action thriller that was directed by John Woo. The script was written by Mike Werb and Michael Colleary; they were said to have been inspired by the 1949 movie White Heat while working on this story.

 

Sean Archer is an FBI agent who works hard on capturing a sociopathic terrorist, Castor Troy.

 

However, at the last minute, he shoots Archer and kills his son, Michael. This cements his vengeance on Troy.

 

He comes up with a risky new plan to replace his face/identity with Troy to locate a powerful bomb.

 

The plan initially works, and Archer is able to locate the bomb, but before he can get his identity back, Troy wakes up from a coma and turns his face into Archer’s, and kills his entire team.

 

Now, Archer and Troy’s identity has been completely swapped, and with Archer’s FBI badge, Troy sets out to wreak havoc.

 

Face/Off is the first Hollywood film where John Woo was given complete creative control, and it worked wonders.

 

On a budget of $80 million, Woo created a major commercial success that was appreciated by even the critics.

 

 

39. The Next Three Days (2010)

 

The Next Three Days (2010)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Next Three Days
Year 2010
Watch time 133 min
Directors Paul Haggis
Cast Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson, Michael Buie
Box Office $21.15M
IMDb Rating 7.3
Metascore 52
Writers Paul Haggis
Music By Danny Elfman
Cinematography By Stéphane Fontaine
Costume By Laurence Bennett

 

The Next Three Days is a movie about escaping prison. It is based on the French film, Pour Elle, by Fred Cavayé and Guillaume Lemans.

 

The film did decent business at the box office with solid performances from Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks.

 

The film starts with the wrongful imprisonment of Lara Brennen for the murder of her boss.

 

Despite multiple appeals, the volume of evidence against her makes it impossible to prove her innocence.

 

As her husband, John loses all hope of her release, he starts to plan a prison break.

 

John, carefully, studies the routines of the jail that houses his wife, makes fake passports, sells all their possessions, gets cash ready, and plans a getaway.

 

As the getaway window for the prison break is very narrow, John, Lara, and their son have to make it work at any cost.

 

The film was met with mixed reviews. The performance of Crowe and Banks as John and Lara Brennen was praised as being top-notch.

 

However, the plot of the prison break appears to be implausible. Many of the critics gave them an average rating of B+ or 3 out of 5 stars.

 

 

38. Shot Caller (2017)

 

Shot Caller (2017)

 

Entity Detail
Title Shot Caller
Year 2017
Watch time 121 min
Directors Ric Roman Waugh
Cast Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Omari Hardwick, Lake Bell, Jon Bernthal
Box Office ---
IMDb Rating 7.3
Metascore 59
Writers Ric Roman Waugh
Music By Antonio Pinto
Cinematography By Dana Gonzales
Costume By Guy Barnes

 

Shot Caller is a crime thriller that was written and directed by Ric Roman Waugh.

 

It traces the path of the protagonist, played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, from an upstanding citizen to a crime boss in the state prison.

 

Jacob Harlon is a stockbroker with a loving wife and son. One day, after a party with friends, he drives under the influence of alcohol and causes an accident that kills his friend.

 

He was jailed for 18 months. Right from the start, he witnesses the horrors of life in prison and learns that to survive, he needs to harden himself and choose sides.

 

During his first term, he kills another inmate during a riot, and his sentence is increased to nine years.

 

This leads him to become a henchman for a drug dealer and slowly grow in ranks till becomes the right-hand man of a crime boss.

 

Now is fully entrenched into the crime world, and any attempts to meet his family will only endanger them.

 

The film portrays a realistic image of prison life with the same language and mannerisms.

 

The performance of the lead actors was also appreciated. But, the film was met with mixed to average reviews.

 

 

37. Rescue Dawn (2006)

 

Rescue Dawn (2006)

 

Entity Detail
Title Rescue Dawn
Year 2006
Watch time 120 min
Directors Werner Herzog
Cast Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies, Zach Grenier
Box Office $5.49M
IMDb Rating 7.3
Metascore 77
Writers Werner Herzog
Music By Klaus Badelt
Cinematography By Peter Zeitlinger
Costume By Arin 'Aoi' Pinijvararak

 

Rescue Dawn is a prisoner of war movie that is set in Vietnam. The film is based on the true story of the German- American pilot Dieter Dengler.

 

The film was directed by Werner Herzog, based on the 1997 documentary Little Dieter Needs To Fly.

 

Dieter Dengler is a navy pilot on a mission. His plane is shot down. and he is taken hostage by the villagers who support Pathet Lao.

 

He is transferred to a prisoner of war camp, and there he meets other POWs.

 

They are all forced to live in unhygienic conditions, and the food is in short supply.

 

Dengler makes a plan to escape, but not everyone is on board with the idea.

 

Even after they agree, only one group adheres to the plan. They escape towards the Mekong river so that they can enter Thailand.

 

Along the river, their raft cannot withstand the force of water, and only Dengler survives the attack from the villagers who spot them.

 

After Dengler was rescued, he met with a hero’s welcome on his ship. The film received high critical acclaim, despite being a commercial failure.

 

Critics have praised the director Herzog for once again making a believable man vs nature movie.

 

The dedication and acting of Christian Bale as Dengler was also praised.

 

 

36. Undisputed III: Redemption (2010)

 

Undisputed III: Redemption (2010)

 

Undisputed III: Redemption is the third installment of the Undisputed series. Isaac Florentine is the director.

 

The story picks up on the future of Boyka after his defeat in the fight with Chambers.

 

Boyka has given up fights after badly injuring his knee. The prison fight scene has, however, grown and become an international fight tournament between prisoners.

 

PSC brings together fighters from different prisons and from Russia Boyka enters at the last minute.

 

After going to the Gorgon prison, where the PSC is being held, Boyka finds that there is clear bias happening.

 

He becomes a friend of the American fighter, Turbo, through facing punishment together. After realizing that the fight is rigged and Turbo is badly beaten to a pulp, Boyka convinces him to escape prison and faces the fight himself.

 

This installment of Undisputed was most acclaimed for its innovative fighting style and sequences. Other critics opined that the drama is genuine with excellent martial arts, unique fights that are mind-blowing.

 

 

35. Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

 

Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

 

Entity Detail
Title Law Abiding Citizen
Year 2009
Watch time 109 min
Directors F. Gary Gray
Cast Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx, Leslie Bibb, Colm Meaney
Box Office $73.34M
IMDb Rating 7.4
Metascore 34
Writers Kurt Wimmer
Music By Brian Tyler
Cinematography By Jonathan Sela
Costume By Alex Hajdu

 

Law Abiding Citizen is a vigilante action film that was written by Kurt Wimmer. The film was directed by F Gary Gray.

 

It was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Action/Adventure/Thriller movie. It also got nominated for NAACP Image Awards for Jamie Foxx and F Gary Gray.

 

The film starts with the home burglary of Clyde Shelton, where his wife and daughter are raped and killed.

 

At the trial, the prosecuting attorney, Nick Rice, makes a bargain deal with the murderer, Darby, and lets him off with a minimum sentence.

 

This greatly shocks and angers Shelton. He works on an elaborate vengeance plan to kill everyone who has wronged him and the system, including the prosecutors, DA, Mayor, and more.

 

He starts by tampering with the death sentence of the accomplice and tortures Darby to confess.

 

He takes the whole city on a wild chase before he can be stopped. The film did good business at the box office, but the critics panned it.

 

It got generally bad reviews. One critic wrote that the film was unnecessarily violent and unflinchingly absurd with forgettable performances.

 

 

34. Felon (2008)

 

Felon (2008)

 

Entity Detail
Title Felon
Year 2008
Watch time 104 min
Directors Ric Roman Waugh
Cast Stephen Dorff, Marisol Nichols, Vincent Miller, Anne Archer
Box Office $0.04M
IMDb Rating 7.4
Metascore 58
Writers Ric Roman Waugh
Music By Gerhard Daum
Cinematography By Dana Gonzales
Costume By Vincent Reynaud

 

Felon is a prison drama written and directed by Ric Roman Waugh. The film is about the events that took place in the 1990s at the California State prison in Corcoran.

 

Wade Porter is a blue collared worker who lives with his girlfriend and son. One night, their house is burglarized, and in his attempt to stop the thief, he accidentally kills him.

 

This caused him to get an involuntary manslaughter charge and was sent to prison. In the prison, he witnesses a murder by a white supremacist and gets implicated in it as an accomplice.

 

A crooked prison warden starts to target him for not ratting out the murderer. He conducts illegal prison fights for his own enjoyment and kills the loser.

 

The film was met with mixed reviews as some critics complained about the hackneyed prison life depiction.

 

While they also praised the performance of Val Kilmer and Stephen Dorff. The director was also praised for the solid plot.

 

 

33. The Rock (1996)

 

The Rock (1996)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Rock
Year 1996
Watch time 136 min
Directors Michael Bay
Cast Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, John Spencer
Box Office $134.07M
IMDb Rating 7.4
Metascore 58
Writers David Weisberg
Music By Nick Glennie-Smith Hans Zimmer
Cinematography By John Schwartzman
Costume By Michael White

 

The Rock is an action thriller that revolves around infiltrating Alcatraz where a group of tourists are held hostage.

 

The film is directed by Michael Bay, and the story is written by David Weisberg and Douglas Cook.

 

A group of US Marines are disillusioned by the support that they receive from the government and decide to use force to get it.

 

They take a group of tourists hostage in the infamous jail of Alcatraz. These Marines ask the US government to pay $100 million to the families of the Marines who died on various missions.

 

They threaten to release Nerve Gas into the city if their demands are not met.

 

To diffuse the situation, a team of Navy SEALs, a British SAS officer, and an FBI special agent are sent in.

 

They successfully release the tourist and scramble to stop the nerve gas. The film was a major commercial success.

 

The critics praised the stylish direction and production value. They, however, agreed that the film is not a brainy plot and should be viewed only for the thrills.

 

 

32. Good Time (2017)

 

Good Time (2017)

 

Entity Detail
Title Good Time
Year 2017
Watch time 102 min
Directors Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
Cast Robert Pattinson, Benny Safdie, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Buddy Duress
Box Office $2.03M
IMDb Rating 7.4
Metascore 80
Writers Ronald Bronstein
Music By Daniel Lopatin
Cinematography By Sean Price Williams
Costume By Sam Lisenco

 

Good Time is a crime caper that was directed by Josh and Benny Safdie, starring Robert Pattinson in another stellar performance.

 

The story is written by Josh Safdie and Ronald Bronstein. The film competed at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

 

Two brothers Connie and Nick are criminals, and Nick is mentally retarded, so he does not understand the social impact of his behavior.

 

After robbing a bank, both brothers escape, and Nick is caught. While Nick is given psychiatric therapy, Connie does not agree with it.

 

In jail, Nick gets into a fight with a fellow inmate and lands in the hospital.

 

To rescue Nick, Connie tries to pull another crime to collect the bail money. What happens after is worth watching.

 

The film was selected to compete for Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Critics praised the direction of the Safdie brothers, the story, and the superb acting of Robert Pattinson.

 

The film got generally favorable reviews all around.

 

 

31. Starred Up (2013)

 

Starred Up (2013)

 

Starred Up is a British prison drama that highlights the emotional aspect of inmates. The story was written by Jonathan Asser, based on his experiences as a voluntary therapist at HM Prison Wandsworth.

 

Eric is a young inmate, who is newly moved into the HM prison Wandsworth, where his father Neville is also jailed.

 

Eric has severe anger issues and picks up brawls with his fellow inmates and the guards as well.

 

He is rescued by Oliver the therapist and taken to the group therapy sessions. As Eric wants to control his issues and abide by the prison laws, his father, Neville, wants to train him to become a crime boss.

 

They both argue over it and realize they still care for one another. When Dennis, the crime boss, tries to take Eric under his wings, Eric rebels and attracts his wrath, prompting Neville to intervene and stab Dennis.

 

The film was nominated for several awards at the British Independent Film Awards, London Film Festival, Irish Film and TV Awards, and more.

 

Critics praised the film as smart, hard-hitting, and queasily realistic. The acting of the main stars, Jack O'Connell, Ben Mendelsohn, and Rupert Friend was highly appreciated.

 

 

30. A Perfect World (1993)

 

A Perfect World (1993)

 

Entity Detail
Title A Perfect World
Year 1993
Watch time 138 min
Directors Clint Eastwood
Cast Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Laura Dern, T.J. Lowther
Box Office $31.16M
IMDb Rating 7.5
Metascore 71
Writers John Lee Hancock
Music By Lennie Niehaus
Cinematography By Jack N. Green
Costume By Henry Bumstead

 

A Perfect World crime drama set in the 1970s. The film is directed by Clint Eastwood, and it is considered by many to be his best film ever.

 

The story was written by John Lee Hancock, and it was well appreciated by critics and audiences.

 

The film starts with Butch and Perry escaping from a prison in Texas in 1973.

 

While on the run, they take a young, eight-year-old boy hostage. When Perry abuses the kid, Butch kills him and continues to escape with the kid.

 

Chasing them is Red, a Texas Ranger, Sally, a criminologist, and Bradley, an FBI sharpshooter.

 

Unknown to Butch, Red feels responsible for Butch and wants to catch him alive as he was the first officer to arrest Butch.

 

In the meantime, Butch and the kid form a bond and he starts to get protective and fatherly towards the kid.

 

The film did well commercially, and it earned over $130 million. The critics also praised the movie for the superb acting by Kevin Costner and the excellent direction by Clint Eastwood.

 

The New York Times praised the direction of Eastwood for making a deeply felt, yet deceptively simple movie.

 

 

29. Hunger (2008)

 

Hunger (2008)

 

Hunger is a historical prison drama based on the events during the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike by the provisional Irish Republican Army.

 

The film is directed by Steve McQueen, who also co-wrote it along with Enda Walsh.

 

The film starts with the IRA prisoners, Gerry Campbell and Davey Gillan, who went on the ‘no wash policy’ protest.

 

They refuse to wear prison uniforms or bathe. They are constantly brutalized by the prison officer, Raymond Lohan.

 

During this time, Bobby Sands and the other IRA inmates also start their hunger strike.

 

Despite the intervention by Father Dominic Moran to dissuade them from the hunger strike, Sands and the team refuse to back down, saying it is their duty and a necessary evil.

 

In the end, Sands and nine other inmates die after 66 days of hunger strike.

 

Their protest was partially successful as the government eased up on all five demands, although no official declaration was made.

 

The film was critically acclaimed at all major film festivals. It won the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Grand Prix at the Belgian Syndicate of Cinema Critics, Sydney Film Prize at the Sydney Film Festival, and more.

 

 

28. King of Devil’s Island (2010)

 

King of Devil’s Island (2010)

 

King of Devil’s Island is a dramatized recreation of the true events of the Bastoy Prison in Norway.

 

The film was directed by Marius Holst and was released in French and Norwegian languages.

 

The film starts with the entry of a new inmate, C19, to the Bastoy prison.

 

He soon finds friendship from fellow inmate C1 and learns to adapt to the prison rules under the rule of Hakon.

 

One day, C19 and C1 witness the molestation of another inmate who is very shy and timid.

 

When they report the crime, instead of removing the molester, they target the messengers and put them in solitary confinement in the frigid cold.

 

Despite their efforts, prison safety does not improve. So, the inmates decide to revolt and punish the wrongdoers themselves.

 

The film was shown at the international film festivals in Rotterdam and Sweden. It was also included in the  Lübeck Nordic Film Days 2011.

 

 

27. Les Misérables (2012)

 

Les Misérables (2012)

 

Les Misérables is based on the French novel with the same name, written by Victor Hugo.

 

The adapted screenplay is written by William Nicholson, Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, and Herbert Kretzmer.

 

The film story is about Valjean, a French thief who is out of prison on parole.

 

Although he was initially jailed for robbing bread for his nephew, he was not a bad person.

 

Since he cannot find work with his parole status, he takes shelter with the Bishop of Digne.

 

Aljean does that While stealing silver from the Bishop, he is caught, and the Bishop covers for him saying he can take the silver and lead an honest life.

 

Valjean does that, as he builds a factory and employs poor people and helps them.

 

But, his old prison guard Javert has not forgotten about Valjean, who had skipped parole to build his wealth.

 

Javert chased Valjean till the end despite his reformed status. The story of Les Misérables was adapted into movies several times, yet this 2012 version by Tom Hooper was very successful.

 

It won three Golden Globe Awards, THree AAcademy Awards and four BAFTAs apart from several other nominations and awards.

 

 

26. The Defiant Ones (1958)

 

The Defiant Ones (1958)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Defiant Ones
Year 1958
Watch time 96 min
Directors Stanley Kramer
Cast Tony Curtis, Sidney Poitier, Theodore Bikel, Charles McGraw
Box Office ---
IMDb Rating 7.6
Metascore 69
Writers Nedrick Young
Music By Ernest Gold
Cinematography By Sam Leavitt
Costume By Fernando Carrere

 

The Defiant Ones is a Stanley Kramer movie based on a story from Nedrick Young.

 

This movie has been remade and parodied numerous times, including a made for television movie in 1986.

 

The film starts with a prison transport, somewhere in the southern states of America. It is a time of racial tensions, and the prison warden purposely shackles a white prisoner, Noah Cullen and a black prisoner John Jackson together.

 

When their truck overturns, this pair of prisoners escape. They soon learn to work together to avoid being caught and to steal some food for themselves.

 

Somewhere along the way, they develop a friendship as well. When it is time for them to go different ways, Jackson discovers that Cullen is running towards certain death.

 

So, Jackson risks his life to save his new friend and they both are caught again.

 

The film was highly regarded at the time of its release. It won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and cinematography along with nominations for Best Actor for Sydney Poitier and Tony Curtis.

 

It also won the Silver Bear for Poitier at the Berlin International Film Festival.

 

 

25. Midnight Express (1978)

 

Midnight Express (1978)

 

Entity Detail
Title Midnight Express
Year 1978
Watch time 121 min
Directors Alan Parker
Cast Brad Davis, Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins, Paolo Bonacelli
Box Office $35.00M
IMDb Rating 7.6
Metascore 59
Writers Oliver Stone
Music By Giorgio Moroder
Cinematography By Michael Seresin
Costume By Evan Hercules

 

Midnight Express is based on the true story of Billy Hayes who escaped from a Turkish prison.

 

Although there were a few changes made to the story, it was mostly faithful to the non-fictional book written by Billy Hayes with the same name.

 

Billy Hayes was holidaying in Turkey, and while returning, he picks up Hashish. He is apprehended at the airport and tried in court for drug smuggling.

 

A sympathetic judge only sentences him for drug possession and gives him a four-year sentence.

 

In the jail, he meets many foreigners who tell him about the appalling way they are treated and tell him to be wary of everyone.

 

He soon learns that the group is making an attempt to escape but does not want to participate.

 

Later Hayes gets to know that the prosecution had his case reopened, and his sentence was extended.

 

This prompts him to launch escape attempts. The film won critical acclaim and commercial success.

 

It was nominated for Best Picture and Best Director at the Academy Awards. It won the statue for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score.

 

 

24. Escape from Alcatraz (1979)

 

Escape from Alcatraz (1979)

 

Entity Detail
Title Escape from Alcatraz
Year 1979
Watch time 112 min
Directors Don Siegel
Cast Clint Eastwood, Patrick McGoohan, Roberts Blossom, Jack Thibeau
Box Office $43.00M
IMDb Rating 7.6
Metascore 76
Writers J. Campbell Bruce
Music By Jerry Fielding
Cinematography By Bruce Surtees
Costume By Allen E. Smith

 

Escape from Alcatraz is based on a novel with the same name written by J. Campbell Bruce. It is about the 1962 prison break at Alcatraz. The film has been described as cool cinematic grace by a critic.

 

The film starts with the entry of an intelligent criminal, Morris, who has a long history of prison escape.

 

He is sent here as Alcatraz is inescapable. The prison warden is a very cruel man, but Morris makes good friends here.

 

When his old friends, who are bank robbers, come to Alcatraz, he starts to plot his escape from here.

 

They successfully escape, and the warden is forced to retire for his failure. The film was well-received by audiences and critics.

 

Clint Eastwood received high praise for his superb performance.

 

 

23. Celda 211 (2009)

 

Celda 211 (2009)

 

Celda 211 is a prison thriller movie that was made in Spain. It was directed by Daniel Monzon and received high critical acclaim.

 

It was nominated for multiple GOYA awards, eight of them. Juan, a newly appointed prison guard, leaves his pregnant wife at home and joins work early.

 

While taking a tour of the prison, he is accidentally knocked unconscious. The guards immediately take him into an empty cell to help him recover.

 

When a prison fight breaks out, they leave Juan in the cell and run away.

 

When he wakes up and finds himself in this volatile situation, Juan tries to talk his way out by convincing the prisoners that he is also one of them.

 

He tries to diffuse the situation, from the inside. However, when the media gets wind of it and the prisoners start to target the Basque separatists inside, the authorities and government cut Juan loose, and there is no help coming his way.

 

The movie is a tense and gripping drama of loyalty and betrayal. It won 44 awards and has 27 more nominations.

 

The film is dedicated to a firefighter, Luis Angel Puente, who participated in eth filming, but died two weeks later while rescuing young boys from the river.

 

 

22. The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)

 

The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Count of Monte Cristo
Year 2002
Watch time 131 min
Directors Kevin Reynolds
Cast Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce, Christopher Adamson, JB Blanc
Box Office $54.23M
IMDb Rating 7.7
Metascore 61
Writers Alexandre Dumas
Music By Edward Shearmur
Cinematography By Andrew Dunn
Costume By Tom Rand

 

The Count of Monte Cristo is an adaptation of Alexander Dumas’ novel with the same name.

 

This adventure movie was directed by Kevin Reynolds and was well received by critics and audiences.

 

A young Edmond Dantes is betrayed by his close friend Fernand Mondego, who along with the first mate of his ship falsely implicate him of treason, and send him to Chateau d’If.

 

In jail, Dantes meets Abbe Faria and learns the necessary skills to exact revenge on those who betrayed him.

 

They plan to escape together, but Abbe dies and gives him the map to the hidden treasure of Spada.

 

With the help of a pirate ship, he returns to Marseilles and gets his vengeance.

 

He finally marries his lover Mercedes to have a happy life. The film was praised by the critics for being an old-fashioned yet enjoyable swashbuckler.

 

The scriptwriter felt that if Mondego and Dantes were close buddies, only then the betrayal would have a greater impact.

 

So he changed the story to add their friendship.

 

 

21. O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000)

 

O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000)

 

Entity Detail
Title O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Year 2000
Watch time 107 min
Directors Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman
Box Office $45.51M
IMDb Rating 7.7
Metascore 69
Writers Homer
Music By T Bone Burnett
Cinematography By Roger Deakins
Costume By Nancy Haigh

 

O Brother Where Art Thou? Is a comedy-crime movie that is said to be loosely based on Homer’s Odyssey as written, directed and produced by  Joel and Ethan Coen.

 

The film has a very successful soundtrack which was a runaway hit in 2000. Ulysses McGill is in jail and plans to escape with two others that he is chained with.

 

He bribes them with a story of a hidden treasure. During the 1930s Depression era, the three prisoners set out to cross the American south, in search of treasure.

 

Along the way, they encounter a black singer who sold his soul to the devil.

 

They single a country-folk song along with him that becomes an instant radio hit. They later meet a group of washerwomen who intoxicate them with whiskey and have one of them arrested.

 

They also run into the KKK and rescue the black singer. The film was met with average reviews.

 

It was not the typical Coen brothers movie. Yet, it was nominated for its screenplay and cinematography at the Academy Awards and BAFTAs.

 

The movie also won five Grammys for its musical score.

 

 

20. Malcolm X (1992)

 

Malcolm X (1992)

 

Entity Detail
Title Malcolm X
Year 1992
Watch time 202 min
Directors Spike Lee
Cast Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo, Spike Lee
Box Office $48.17M
IMDb Rating 7.7
Metascore 73
Writers Alex Haley
Music By Terence Blanchard
Cinematography By Ernest R. Dickerson
Costume By Wynn Thomas

 

Malcolm X is a biographical movie about the African American civil rights activist Malcolm X.

 

The story is largely based on Alex Haley’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X. It was written by Alex Haley and Malcolm X himself.

 

The film chronicles the life of Malcolm Little, whose father was also a black rights activist.

 

He was killed by the Black Legion members. This pushed Malcolm into the life of a small-time gangster, and he was also incarcerated.

 

In prison, he learns about the Nation of Islam writings by Elijah Muhammed. Malcolm soon travels to Mecca and converts to Islam.

 

He comes back to America and continues his activism for black rights. In 1965 as he goes out to speak about the need for African American unity at Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, members of the Nation of Islam shoot him down.

 

The film was praised by critics for Denzel Washington's powerful portrayal and Spike Lee’s amazing capability to bring to life the biopic of a monumental civil rights leader.

 

It was given an A rating by CinemaScore. Denzel Washington got an Academy Awards nomination for this role, apart from many other accolades.

 

 

19. The Hateful Eight (2015)

 

The Hateful Eight (2015)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Hateful Eight
Year 2015
Watch time 168 min
Directors Quentin Tarantino
Cast Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins
Box Office $54.12M
IMDb Rating 7.8
Metascore 68
Writers Quentin Tarantino
Music By Ennio Morricone
Cinematography By Robert Richardson
Costume By Yohei Taneda

 

The Hateful Eight is a post Civil war movie that was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.

 

It was Tarantino’s last film with The Weinstein Company before the sexual assault allegations surfaced in 2017.

 

The film is about a group of travellers forced to take shelter in Minnie's Haberdashery lodge to escape the blizzard.

 

The people who gather at the lodge include, Major Marquis Warren, a civil war veteran; a stagecoach driver, OB; A bounty hunter, John Ruth; a fugitive, Daisy Domergue; Chris Mannix, the new sheriff; a hangman, Oswaldo Mobray; cowboy Joe Gage; and Confederate general Sanford Smithers.

 

By the end of the film, none of them is left alive. The film suffered many setbacks since the start.

 

Even before filming, the script was leaked online, which almost made Tarantino scrap the film.

 

Women’s groups objected to the cruel treatment given to the character of Daisy Domergue. The film was boycotted by various police departments because Tarantino supported Black Lives Matter.

 

 

18. Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)

 

Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)

 

Entity Detail
Title Birdman of Alcatraz
Year 1962
Watch time 147 min
Directors John Frankenheimer
Cast Burt Lancaster, Karl Malden, Thelma Ritter, Neville Brand
Box Office ---
IMDb Rating 7.8
Metascore 76
Writers Guy Trosper
Music By Elmer Bernstein
Cinematography By Burnett Guffey John Alton
Costume By Robert J. Schiffer

 

Birdman of Alcatraz is a biographical tale of Robert Stroud. The film is a fictionalized account based on the book by Thomas E. Gaddis.

 

It was nominated for multiple Academy Awards in top categories. The film tells the story of Robert Stroud, a highly-intelligent young man with a disregard for authority.

 

He was jailed for murder, and while in prison, he was involved in many incidents against the prison guards and inmates.

 

In prison, he channeled his attention into taking care of birds and treating them. Soon, Stroud successfully found the cure for many bird diseases.

 

He became the famous ornithologist in Leavenworth state penitentiary. When he was moved to Alcatraz, he did not have access to birds, so he learned about the penal system and wrote a book on it.

 

The film was nominated for Oscars in categories like Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, and more awards.

 

 

17. Papillon (1973)

 

Papillon (1973)

 

Entity Detail
Title Papillon
Year 1973
Watch time 151 min
Directors Franklin J. Schaffner
Cast Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory, Don Gordon
Box Office $53.27M
IMDb Rating 8
Metascore 58
Writers Dalton Trumbo
Music By Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography By Fred J. Koenekamp
Costume By Anthony Masters

 

Papillon is a historical prison drama based on the French convict Henri Charriere. The screenplay is written by Dalton Trumbo and Lorenzo Semple Jr, based on the autobiography of Charriere.

 

Henri Charriere is a safecracker who takes on a job, but all goes wrong when he is framed for the murder he did not commit.

 

He is sentenced to life imprisonment in the penal system of French Guiana. While serving his sentence, he attempts to escape multiple times.

 

He made friends with Louis Dega and Maturette, and together, they faced many difficulties and landed on Devil's Island.

 

This last attempt to escape is successful, and Charriere is finally free. He is an old man now.

 

The film made many changes from the original autobiography, but the broad chain of events has remained accurate.

 

The film was nominated for an Oscar for the best musical score. Steve McQueen was nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Screen Awards in Germany.

 

 

16. The Raid 2 (2014)

 

The Raid 2 (2014)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Raid 2
Year 2014
Watch time 150 min
Directors Gareth Evans
Cast Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Arifin Putra, Oka Antara
Box Office $2.63M
IMDb Rating 8
Metascore 71
Writers Gareth Evans
Music By Aria Prayogi Joseph Trapanese Fajar Yuskemal
Cinematography By Matt Flannery Dimas Imam Subhono
Costume By Kumalasari Tanara

 

The Raid 2: Berandal is an action film set in the Indonesian prison system. This Gareth Evans film is the sequel to The Raid, which establishes Rama as the newly recruited cop who is an honest policeman who wants to clean up the system.

 

In Berandal, Rama is back as the honest cop who wants to uncover the nexus between the policing system and crime bosses in Indonesia.

 

He has survived the raid in the Jakarta apartment that resulted in establishing that the nexus exists.

 

Now, Rama goes undercover into the prison as a thug to get evidence on the corrupt officers who serve the major crime families in Jakarta.

 

He is again successful in bringing down the crime ring. Raid 2 is packed with a stunning martial arts display of Pencak Silat.

 

The film was praised for its high-energy plot but criticized for the excessive violence.

 

The Los Angeles Times reported that the film screening was exciting, and there was a lot of enthusiasm for it on social media.

 

 

15. Notorious (1946)

 

Notorious (1946)

 

Entity Detail
Title Notorious
Year 1946
Watch time 102 min
Directors Alfred Hitchcock
Cast Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Louis Calhern
Box Office $10.46M
IMDb Rating 8
Metascore 100
Writers Ben Hecht
Music By Roy Webb
Cinematography By Ted Tetzlaff
Costume By William Dorfman

 

Notorious is an espionage movie that is set in a time after the world war.

 

It is an Alfred Hitchcock movie that is considered by many as a watershed movie that highlights his artistry and themes of love.

 

The film starts with a Nazi spy being interrogated in prison. The US agents discover a sinister plot by the Nazi organization.

 

So they enlist the services of the American daughter of a German war criminal. They enlist Alicia Huberman to infiltrate the Nazi camp by pretending to be in love with Alex Sebastian.

 

The problem is that Huberman and the US agent, Devlin, are already in love with each other.

 

Yet, the tense and gripping espionage mission is undertaken with success. To make a believable film Alfred Hitchcock and screenwriter Ben Hecht consulted with a Nobel Prize-winning physicist to learn how to build an atomic bomb for their plot.

 

 

14. Stalag 17 (1953)

 

Stalag 17 (1953)

 

Entity Detail
Title Stalag 17
Year 1953
Watch time 120 min
Directors Billy Wilder
Cast William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss
Box Office ---
IMDb Rating 8
Metascore 84
Writers Billy Wilder
Music By Franz Waxman
Cinematography By Ernest Laszlo
Costume By Wally Westmore

 

Stalag 17 is a World War II movie about a prisoner of war camp somewhere along the Danube.

 

The screenwriter of the film, based the story on the experiences of the prisoners in the Stalag 17B in Austria.

 

In a prisoner of war camp along the Danube, there is a particular Stalag 17 which houses all the aircrew from different Allied nations and air force divisions.

 

In this barrack, there is a rising suspicion of a snitch who is leaking all details to the Germans.

 

It is time for the different people to locate the traitor at a time when everyone looks suspicious.

 

After a few hits and misses, the Allies locate the traitor and deal with him accordingly while one escape attempt is successful.

 

Stalag 17 was nominated for three Academy Awards, and it won the award for Best Actor for William Holden.

 

It was also nominated for the Directors Guild Awards, Writers Guild Awards, and more. A critic, Crowther, praised the film as being a crackerjack of a movie entertainer.

 

 

13. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

 

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Grand Budapest Hotel
Year 2014
Watch time 99 min
Directors Wes Anderson
Cast Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody
Box Office $59.10M
IMDb Rating 8.1
Metascore 88
Writers Stefan Zweig
Music By Alexandre Desplat
Cinematography By Robert D. Yeoman
Costume By Adam Stockhausen

 

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a comedy crime drama set in the 1930s. The director of the film, Wes Anderson, brings together an ensemble cast of seventeen big actors to create a fun entertainer.

 

In the Grand Budapest Hotel, an ageing concierge takes a young valet boy under his wings and teaches him how to survive by seducing hotel guests.

 

He tells him about his longest affair with Madame D, who has recently expired. When they both go to her estate, they are informed of her will where she has left a priceless painting to him.

 

Gustave, the concierge, is immediately arrested on suspicion of foul play. It is now up to the valet and a young baker to get Gustave out of prison, to prove his innocence.

 

The film was thoroughly praised for its use of history and the horrors of that period to make subtle jokes and mischievous humor The performance of Ralph Feinnes was superlative, while the rest of the ensemble cast added to the drama and comedy with great aplomb.

 

 

12. Shutter Island (2010)

 

Shutter Island (2010)

 

Entity Detail
Title Shutter Island
Year 2010
Watch time 138 min
Directors Martin Scorsese
Cast Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley
Box Office $128.01M
IMDb Rating 8.2
Metascore 63
Writers Laeta Kalogridis
Music By Robert Richardson
Cinematography By Thelma Schoonmaker
Costume By Max Biscoe Robert Guerra

 

Shutter Island is a psychological thriller that is set up in a mental asylum in Shutter Island.

 

The film is directed by Martin Scorsese based on a 2003 novel with the same name.

 

The film was chosen as one of the top movies of the year 2010. The film starts with two US Marshals, Teddy Daniels, and Edward Aule, coming to Shutter Island mental asylum to investigate the disappearance of a patient, Rachel Solandis.

 

As the investigation proceeds, it becomes clear that all is not well with the Asheford Hospital for the criminally insane.

 

As the film progresses, the audience discovers that Daniels is not a US Marshal, but in fact, he is one of the criminally insane patients being treated in the psychiatric ward.

 

He had murdered his wife and created an imaginary story about a patient called Solandis, and this investigation was a part of the treatment.

 

The film was well-received with generally favorable reviews. A critic said that this may not be the best work of Scorsese, but it was a great example of this genre of movie.

 

Another critic called the movie the collective guilt of a tortured and psychological soul.

 

 

11. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

 

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

 

Entity Detail
Title A Clockwork Orange
Year 1971
Watch time 136 min
Directors Stanley Kubrick
Cast Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke
Box Office $6.21M
IMDb Rating 8.3
Metascore 77
Writers Stanley Kubrick
Music By John Alcott
Cinematography By Bill Butler
Costume By Russell Hagg Peter Sheilds

 

A Clockwork Orange is based on the 1962 novel with the same name, by Anthony Burgess.

 

Stanley Kubrick adapted this novel into a screenplay. He directed and produced the film to present a dystopian crime drama.

 

The film is set in the near future in Britain and deals with juvenile delinquency, psychiatric issues, violence, and more.

 

Alex is an extremely violent youth with an antisocial personality and a tendency toward rape and theft.

 

He gets caught for his crimes and is sent to prison. He comes to know about a new program that will alter a prisoner’s personality to make him averse to violence and crime.

 

Although it is risky, he takes this program in hopes of an early release. After the treatment is given and Alex is released from prison, things do not go as expected.

 

Alex faces difficulties and almost commits suicide. He is brought back to the hospital with multiple injuries, but we are shown that his conditioning has been reversed.

 

The film won the New York Film Critics Award, and it was described as a brilliant but dangerous work.

 

It is dangerous because it is so brilliant in that way. The film was nominated for multiple awards at the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, British Association for Film Awards, and more.

 

 

10. The Great Escape (1963)

 

The Great Escape (1963)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Great Escape
Year 1963
Watch time 172 min
Directors John Sturges
Cast Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson
Box Office $12.10M
IMDb Rating 8.2
Metascore 86
Writers Paul Brickhill
Music By Elmer Bernstein
Cinematography By Daniel L. Fapp
Costume By Allen K. Wood

 

The Great Escape is a World War II prisoner of war movie based on the 1950’s novel with the same name, written by Paul Brickhill.

 

The film is set in the German POW camp in Stalag Luft III in Sagan, Poland.

 

In the POW camp, a large number of British Commonwealth prisoners of war are being held in this Stalag Luft III.

 

They are planning a mass escape attempt of allied soldiers from different departments and nationalities.

 

They face many teething issues in bringing together such a large group to work together.

 

Each soldier has a specific task of recon, procurement, digging, planning, and intelligence. However, the film mainly focuses on the American soldiers and their stories.

 

With The Great Escape, director John Sturges made the highest-grossing film of 1963. It also won the Best Actor Award for Steve McQueen at the Moscow International Film Festival.

 

The film was commercially and critically successful, but the New York Times critiqued the film, that it was longer than artfully essential.

 

The movie did not provide any human element, a peek into the character of the soldiers.

 

 

9. In The Name Of The Father (1993)

 

In The Name Of The Father (1993)

 

In The Name Of The Father is a biographical film about Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four and his fight for justice.

 

The film is based on his autobiography, Proved Innocent: The Story of Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four, written by Conlon himself.

 

The film starts with Gerry Conlon being sent to London to avoid trouble with the IRA.

 

In London, Conlon spends his time drinking and doing drugs in the park and returns to Belfast.

 

He is immediately arrested by the British Security forces and charged with the bombing of the Guildford pub.

 

Initially, Conlon maintains his innocence despite the torture from the police. The police cover up their shoddy investigation by arresting Conlon's father as well.

 

Eventually, senior Conlon dies in the prison, and this fuels Gerry’s fight to prove the innocence of his family.

 

Along with a human rights activist and lawyer, Gareth Pierce, Gerry, and the others can prove their innocence.

 

The film was nominated for multiple Academy Awards, BAFTAs, Golden Globes and more. Critics have praised the film for creating a rousing drama from the factual miscarriage of justice.

 

The performances of the cast and crew made the movie impactful.

 

 

8. Cool Hand Luke (1967)

 

Cool Hand Luke (1967)

 

Entity Detail
Title Cool Hand Luke
Year 1967
Watch time 127 min
Directors Stuart Rosenberg
Cast Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin, J.D. Cannon
Box Office $16.22M
IMDb Rating 8.1
Metascore 92
Writers Donn Pearce
Music By Lalo Schifrin
Cinematography By Conrad L. Hall
Costume By Fred Price

 

Cool Hand Luke is an anti-establishment movie released in the wake of Anti-Vietnam protests made during the late 1960s.

 

The film was nominated for multiple accolades and won an Academy Award for Best Actor in Supporting role for George Kennedy.

 

The film starts with a World War II veteran, Luke Jackson, having a drunken night out.

 

He destroys a few parking meters. He is jailed and set to work in chain gangs.

 

With his affable and charming personality that is always optimistic, Luke wins over the fellow prisoners and the guards.

 

When Luke’s mother dies, the warden deliberately puts him in solitary confinement to ensure he does not escape.

 

This fuels his desire to escape. After a few failed attempts at escaping, the wardens severely punish Luke till he breaks down.

 

The film was a commercial and critical success. The performance of Paul Newman and the scriptwriters received special mentions and praise.

 

The film was nominated for multiple Academy Awards, Directors Guild Awards, Golden Globes, and more.

 

 

7. Oldboy (2003)

 

Oldboy (2003)

 

Oldboy is a South Korean neo-noir thriller that was directed by Park Chan-Wook. It is based on a Japanese manga series.

 

The film is the second installment of the Vengeance trilogy by Park Chan-wook, and it garnered critical praise.

 

Oh Dae-Su is a businessman who gets drunk and misses his daughter’s fourth birthday party.

 

He is later kidnapped and wakes up in a strange prison that looks like a hotel room.

 

He is given timely food through a trap door and has a TV. He sees that his wife has been killed and his daughter is orphaned.

 

He tries to escape, but 15 years pass by. One day he finds himself on a rooftop, and he runs from there to track down the one who imprisoned him and his daughter.

 

With great difficulty, he tracks down the wealthy businessman who kidnapped him. He was a childhood classmate whose life was destroyed by Dae-Su when he spread the news about his sister.

 

The film won many accolades for its direction, story, and acting. It won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, where Quentin Tarantino was the President of the jury.

 

Critics praised the movie, saying it is a great film, not just for the great story but also for the depth of the human heart.

 

 

6. American History X (1998)

 

American History X (1998)

 

Entity Detail
Title American History X
Year 1998
Watch time 119 min
Directors Tony Kaye
Cast Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo, Jennifer Lien
Box Office $6.72M
IMDb Rating 8.5
Metascore 62
Writers David McKenna
Music By Anne Dudley
Cinematography By Tony Kaye
Costume By Jon Gary Steele Phill Zagajewski

 

American History X is a crime drama that depicts the life of two brothers who are neo-nazi skinheads and white supremacists.

 

The film is written by David McKenna and directed by Tony Kaye. Derek and Danny Vinyard are white supremacists and hate the African American community.

 

Their father was a firefighter who was killed by Black drug dealers. This spurs their hatred for that community.

 

They repeatedly and provocatively choose to express their Ne-Nazi outlook. In one incident Derek brutally beats up and kills three black youths who try to break into his truck.

 

He is sent to prison for three years for voluntary manslaughter. His prison term reforms Derek and changes his white-supremacy ideals.

 

He comes out and learns that his brother is walking on the same path as him and so tries to stop him and reform him.

 

The film was not a commercial success, but it was highly praised by critics. Edward Noton, who plays Derek Vinyard, was nominated for an Academy Award for his role.

 

The film opened to favorable reviews, and one critic said that the film demonstrates how hate is passed on from one generation to the next.

 

 

5. Black Friday (2004)

 

Black Friday (2004)

 

Black Friday is a Hindi crime thriller that follows the true events during and after the 1993 Bombay blasts.

 

The script is based on the book Black Friday: The True Story of the Bombay Bomb Blasts, written by Hussain Zaidi.

 

The film was made by Anurag Kashyap. The film starts with a small-time criminal informing the police about the likely bomb blasts in Mumbai.

 

The police are initially skeptical, but after the blasts, they swing into action with full force.

 

They track down the members of each of the Mumbai crime families and their associates and piece together the investigation.

 

The case is brought to the courts when the associates slowly realize that no one is ready to protect them, and hence they turn police witnesses.

 

The Mumbai police were also able to arrest Yakub Memon, the brother of Tiger Memon, one of the main perpetrators of the blasts.

 

The courts gave a stay order on the movie release until the judgment on the Bombay blasts case was delivered.

 

Hence it was released in India in 2007. The film premiered at Locarno International film festival and won the Golden Leopard among multiple other awards.

 

 

4. The Lizard (2004)

 

The Lizard (2004)

 

The Lizard is an Iranian crime comedy. It is a satire about the state of Iranian society, directed by Kamal Tabrizi and written by Peyman Ghasem Khani.

 

The film is an Iranian film, but we can find the version with English Subtitles online.

 

A small-time thief, by the name of Reza Mesghaly, is arrested by the cops for armed robbery.

 

He is well known in the criminal circles as Reza the Lizard because of the ease with which he can climb walls.

 

He is sentenced to serve in prison under a very strict warden. As time passes, Reza becomes frustrated with life and contemplates suicide.

 

In his attempt to commit suicide, he is injured and sent to a hospital. He meets a mullah (Cleric) during his stay.

 

Once both become friends, Reza gets the idea to disguise himself as a mullah and escape.

 

Although it is an impromptu plan, he gets stuck in this role for a long time.

 

The film was a commercial hit in Iran. It broke box-office records although, it played only for two weeks in theatres.

 

The film was well-received by the international community, and it was nominated at the Fajr Film Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, Filmfest Hamburg and more.

 

 

3. The Green Mile (1999)

 

The Green Mile (1999)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Green Mile
Year 1999
Watch time 189 min
Directors Frank Darabont
Cast Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt
Box Office $136.80M
IMDb Rating 8.6
Metascore 61
Writers Stephen King
Music By Thomas Newman
Cinematography By David Tattersall
Costume By Terence Marsh

 

The Green Mile is a fantasy film by Frank Darabont, based on a novel with the same name by Stephen King.

 

The film was critically acclaimed for the superb performances from Tom Hanks, Michael Duncan Clarke, and all the cast.

 

The film is set in the 1930s during The Great Depression. We see the experiences of a warden of the Cold Mountain penitentiary that houses death row prisoners.

 

To this place comes John Coffey, who is charged with the rape and murder of a little girl.

 

As long as he stays awaiting his punishment, many miracles occur around him. Coffey is a gentle giant who claims he is innocent and was wrongly charged.

 

He is able to resurrect Mr. Jingles, a rat, and cure the severe bladder infection of another person.

 

Despite believing his innocence, the warden cannot help but fulfill his last wish to watch a movie.

 

So, they watch TopHat. The film was praised by critics as an absorbing and emotionally powerful experience.

 

Another critic said through the easy-going beginning till the heart-wrenching finale, the movie keeps us high above the cynical ground.

 

 

2. O.J.: Made in America (2016)

 

O.J.: Made in America (2016)

 

O. J.: Made in America is a documentary film made by ESPN Films and directed by Ezra Edelman.

 

It is based on the most-watched court case of O. J. Simpson, an ex-footballer. The film is a five-part mini-series that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

 

O. J. Simpson was an African American rising star in the football world. He played for the University of Southern California.

 

In 2007, he was arrested for robbery and murder of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman.

 

This event sparked public outrage and racial tensions in Los Angeles. Through interviews, news footage, archival audio, and video coverage, this documentary shows the rising career of the footballer, the proceedings of the case, the botched police investigation, the trial, and the subsequent release of Simpson.

 

The film won an Academy Award for the Best Documentary Feature. The critics also praised it for being thorough and well balanced in presenting all the points of view.

 

The Hollywood Reporter claimed that the documentary was provocative, intelligent, and a thorough feature that keeps pace with a tragedy at every corner.

 

 

1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

 

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Shawshank Redemption
Year 1994
Watch time 142 min
Directors Frank Darabont
Cast Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler
Box Office $28.34M
IMDb Rating 9.3
Metascore 80
Writers Stephen King
Music By Thomas Newman
Cinematography By Roger Deakins
Costume By Terence Marsh Soheil

 

The Shawshank Redemption is another Frank Darabont film based on another Stephen King novella, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.

 

The film is arguably the best inspirational prison movie ever. The film tells the story of Andy Dufresne, a bank employee who is wrongly convicted of killing his wife and her lover.

 

He is sent to Shawshank penitentiary to serve his life sentence. He makes many friends like Red, Tommy, James and more.

 

One day he overhears a guard complaining about the high taxes he has to pay and offers to do the taxes of all the guards in exchange for privileges like library etc.

 

When his friend and the fellow inmate are killed in solitary, Andy decides to escape prison and get away with all the money he laundered from the tax planning of the prison guards.

 

The film received, generally, positive reviews. It is the highest-rated film on IMDb. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, and more.

 

It was also nominated for a multitude of other accolades. This was ENTOINs list of the best Prison movies ever made.

 

Hope you all enjoyed reading this list and agree with it. If you feel that any great movie was missed, please feel free to reach out to us.

 

Thank you.

 

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