Top Prison / POW Films

by cinefilikos | created - 12 Oct 2015 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

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1. A Man Escaped (1956)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Thriller, War

A captured French Resistance fighter during WWII engineers a daunting escape from a Nazi prison in France.

Director: Robert Bresson | Stars: François Leterrier, Charles Le Clainche, Maurice Beerblock, Roland Monod

Votes: 19,138

2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R | 142 min | Drama

80 Metascore

Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler

Votes: 2,337,643 | Gross: $28.34M

3. Papillon (1973)

R | 151 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

58 Metascore

A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory, Don Gordon

Votes: 121,454 | Gross: $53.27M

4. The Green Mile (1999)

R | 189 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy

61 Metascore

The lives of guards on Death Row are affected by one of their charges: a black man accused of child murder and rape, yet who has a mysterious gift.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt

Votes: 1,144,898 | Gross: $136.80M

5. Midnight Express (1978)

R | 121 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

59 Metascore

Billy Hayes, an American college student, is caught smuggling drugs out of Turkey and thrown into prison.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Brad Davis, Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins, Paolo Bonacelli

Votes: 73,573 | Gross: $35.00M

6. Son of Saul (2015)

R | 107 min | Drama, War

91 Metascore

A Jewish-Hungarian concentration camp prisoner sets out to give a child he mistook for his son a proper burial.

Director: László Nemes | Stars: Géza Röhrig, Levente Molnár, Urs Rechn, Todd Charmont

Votes: 44,988 | Gross: $1.78M

7. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

PG | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, War

87 Metascore

British POWs are forced to build a railway bridge across the river Kwai for their Japanese captors, not knowing that the allied forces are planning to destroy it.

Director: David Lean | Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa

Votes: 203,133 | Gross: $44.91M

8. The Great Escape (1963)

Approved | 172 min | Adventure, Drama, History

86 Metascore

Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson

Votes: 224,332 | Gross: $12.10M

9. Le Trou (1960)

Not Rated | 131 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

In prison four long-sentence inmates planning an elaborate escape cautiously induct a new inmate to join in their scheme which leads to distrust and uncertainty.

Director: Jacques Becker | Stars: André Bervil, Jean Keraudy, Michel Constantin, Philippe Leroy

Votes: 15,361 | Gross: $0.03M

10. Cool Hand Luke (1967)

GP | 127 min | Crime, Drama

92 Metascore

A laid back Southern man is sentenced to two years in a rural prison, but refuses to conform.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg | Stars: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin, J.D. Cannon

Votes: 161,611 | Gross: $16.22M

11. In the Name of the Father (1993)

R | 133 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

84 Metascore

A man's coerced confession to an I.R.A. bombing he did not commit results in the imprisonment of his father as well. An English lawyer fights to free them.

Director: Jim Sheridan | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Pete Postlethwaite, Alison Crosbie, Philip King

Votes: 156,509 | Gross: $25.01M

12. The Hurricane (1999)

R | 146 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

74 Metascore

The story of Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, a boxer wrongly imprisoned for murder, and the people who aided in his fight to prove his innocence.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Denzel Washington, Vicellous Shannon, Deborah Kara Unger, Liev Schreiber

Votes: 91,403 | Gross: $50.67M

13. War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

PG-13 | 140 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

82 Metascore

After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.

Director: Matt Reeves | Stars: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval

Votes: 227,379 | Gross: $146.88M

14. The Hill (1965)

Approved | 123 min | Drama, War

81 Metascore

In a North African military prison during World War II, five new prisoners struggle to survive in the face of brutal punishment and sadistic guards.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Sean Connery, Harry Andrews, Ian Bannen, Alfred Lynch

Votes: 12,736

15. La Grande Illusion (1937)

Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, War

During WWI, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are eventually sent to a seemingly inescapable fortress.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Jean Gabin, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay, Erich von Stroheim

Votes: 33,774 | Gross: $0.17M

16. Hunger (2008)

Not Rated | 96 min | Biography, Drama

82 Metascore

Irish republican Bobby Sands leads the inmates of a Northern Irish prison in a hunger strike.

Director: Steve McQueen | Stars: Stuart Graham, Laine Megaw, Brian Milligan, Liam McMahon

Votes: 65,932 | Gross: $0.15M

17. Stalag 17 (1953)

Not Rated | 120 min | Comedy, Drama, War

84 Metascore

When two escaping American World War II prisoners are killed, the German P.O.W. camp barracks black marketeer, J.J. Sefton, is suspected of being an informer.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss

Votes: 51,000

18. Victory (1981)

PG | 116 min | Drama, Sport, War

57 Metascore

As allied P.O.W.s prepare for a soccer game against the German National Team to be played in Nazi-occupied Paris, the French Resistance and British officers are making plans for the team's escape.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone, Pelé, Bobby Moore

Votes: 27,685 | Gross: $10.85M

19. Empire of the Sun (1987)

PG | 153 min | Action, Drama, History

62 Metascore

A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers

Votes: 115,478 | Gross: $22.24M

20. Escape from Alcatraz (1979)

PG | 112 min | Action, Biography, Crime

76 Metascore

Alcatraz is the most secure prison of its time. It is believed that no one can ever escape from it, until three daring men make a possible successful attempt at escaping from one of the most infamous prisons in the world.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Patrick McGoohan, Roberts Blossom, Jack Thibeau

Votes: 121,283 | Gross: $43.00M

21. The Last Note (2017)

Not Rated | 117 min | Drama, War

The execution of 200 Greek resistance fighters and Communists by the German occupiers on May 1st, 1944 in Kaisariani, as reprisal for the Greek Resistance ambush against Nazis.

Director: Pantelis Voulgaris | Stars: Andreas Konstantinou, André Hennicke, Melia Kreiling, Tasos Dimas

Votes: 2,641

22. Down by Law (1986)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

75 Metascore

Two men are framed and sent to jail, where they meet a murderer who helps them escape and leave the state.

Director: Jim Jarmusch | Stars: Tom Waits, John Lurie, Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi

Votes: 47,761 | Gross: $1.44M

23. Von Ryan's Express (1965)

Approved | 117 min | Action, Adventure, War

An American POW leads a group of mainly British prisoners to escape from the Germans in WWII.

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Trevor Howard, Raffaella Carrà, Brad Dexter

Votes: 12,632 | Gross: $17.11M

24. Sleepers (1996)

R | 147 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

49 Metascore

After a prank goes disastrously wrong, a group of boys are sent to a detention center where they are brutalized. Thirteen years later, an unexpected random encounter with a former guard gives them a chance for revenge.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt, Jason Patric

Votes: 186,434 | Gross: $49.10M

25. A Prophet (2009)

R | 155 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

A young Arab man is sent to a French prison.

Director: Jacques Audiard | Stars: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Reda Kateb

Votes: 93,410 | Gross: $2.08M

26. Felon (2008)

R | 104 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

58 Metascore

A family man convicted of killing an intruder must cope with life afterward in the violent penal system.

Director: Ric Roman Waugh | Stars: Stephen Dorff, Marisol Nichols, Vincent Miller, Anne Archer

Votes: 74,932 | Gross: $0.04M

27. Chicken Run (2000)

G | 84 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

88 Metascore

When a cockerel apparently flies into a chicken farm, the chickens see him as an opportunity to escape their evil owners.

Directors: Peter Lord, Nick Park | Stars: Mel Gibson, Julia Sawalha, Phil Daniels, Lynn Ferguson

Votes: 176,877 | Gross: $106.83M

28. Rescue Dawn (2006)

PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Biography, Drama

77 Metascore

A U.S. fighter pilot's epic struggle of survival after being shot down on a mission over Laos during the Vietnam War.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies, Zach Grenier

Votes: 100,949 | Gross: $5.49M

29. Chopper (2000)

R | 94 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

65 Metascore

Chopper tells the intense story of Mark "Chopper" Read, a legendary criminal who wrote his autobiography while serving a jail sentence in prison. His book, "From the Inside", upon which the film is based, was a best-seller.

Director: Andrew Dominik | Stars: Eric Bana, Simon Lyndon, Vince Colosimo, Renée Brack

Votes: 36,119 | Gross: $0.23M

30. Scum (1979)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama

An uncompromising story of life in a British juvenile offender institution in the 70's.

Director: Alan Clarke | Stars: Ray Winstone, Mick Ford, Julian Firth, John Blundell

Votes: 10,215

31. The Experiment (2001)

R | 120 min | Drama, Thriller

60 Metascore

For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The "prisoners" have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the "guards" are told to retain order without using physical violence.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel | Stars: Moritz Bleibtreu, Christian Berkel, Oliver Stokowski, Wotan Wilke Möhring

Votes: 90,774 | Gross: $0.14M

32. Bad Boys (1983)

R | 123 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

53 Metascore

Chicago crime kid Mick O'Brien is sent to reform school after accidentally killing a rival's kid brother.

Director: Rick Rosenthal | Stars: Sean Penn, Reni Santoni, Jim Moody, Eric Gurry

Votes: 13,918 | Gross: $9.20M

33. Escape from New York (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

76 Metascore

In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence

Votes: 126,206 | Gross: $25.24M

34. Celda 211 (2009)

113 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

The story of two men on different sides of a prison riot -- the inmate leading the rebellion and the young guard trapped in the revolt, who poses as a prisoner in a desperate attempt to survive the ordeal.

Director: Daniel Monzón | Stars: Luis Tosar, Alberto Ammann, Antonio Resines, Manuel Morón

Votes: 63,803

35. Starred Up (2013)

Not Rated | 106 min | Crime, Drama

81 Metascore

Eric Love, 19, is locked up in prison. On first day he assaults another inmate and several guards. He's offered group therapy and his dad, an inmate as well, tries to talk sense into him. Can he be rehabilitated?

Director: David Mackenzie | Stars: Jack O'Connell, Ben Mendelsohn, Rupert Friend, Sam Spruell

Votes: 43,361 | Gross: $0.03M

36. Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (1991)

R | 91 min | Action, Comedy, Thriller

A young man with superhuman strength is incarcerated at a prison run by corrupt officials and seeks to use his martial arts to clean up the system.

Director: Ngai Choi Lam | Stars: Siu-Wong Fan, Mei Sheng Fan, Ka-Kui Ho, Yukari Ôshima

Votes: 12,638



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