Most Popular Prison Library Movies and TV Shows

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1. Orange Is the New Black (2013– )

TV-MA | 59 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Convicted of a decade old crime of transporting drug money to an ex-girlfriend, normally law-abiding Piper Chapman is sentenced to a year and a half behind bars to face the reality of how life-changing prison can really be.

Stars: Taylor Schilling, Danielle Brooks, Taryn Manning, Emma Myles

Votes: 255,392

2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R | 142 min | Drama

9.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  
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: 2,102,949 | Gross: $28.34M

3. Oz (1997–2003)

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

8.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A series chronicling the daily activities of an unusual prison facility and its criminal inhabitants.

Stars: Ernie Hudson, J.K. Simmons, Lee Tergesen, Dean Winters

Votes: 81,730

4. The Reader (2008)

R | 124 min | Drama, Romance

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
58 Metascore

Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial.

Director: Stephen Daldry | Stars: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz, Jeanette Hain

Votes: 217,990 | Gross: $34.19M

5. Escape from Alcatraz (1979)

PG | 112 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
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: 105,078 | Gross: $43.00M

6. I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)

R | 98 min | Biography, Comedy, Crime

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
65 Metascore

A cop turns con man once he comes out of the closet. Once imprisoned, he meets the second love of his life, whom he'll stop at nothing to be with.

Directors: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa | Stars: Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro

Votes: 87,327 | Gross: $2.04M

7. The MacKintosh Man (1973)

PG | 98 min | Thriller

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A member of British Intelligence assumes a fictitious criminal identity and allows himself to be caught, imprisoned, and freed in order to infiltrate a spy organization and expose a traitor.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Paul Newman, Dominique Sanda, James Mason, Harry Andrews

Votes: 3,814

8. A Prophet (2009)

R | 155 min | Crime, Drama

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
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: 88,190 | Gross: $2.08M

9. The Escapist (2008)

Not Rated | 102 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
56 Metascore

Frank Perry is an institutionalized convict fourteen years into a life sentence without parole. When his estranged daughter falls ill, he is determined to make peace with her before it's ... See full summary »

Director: Rupert Wyatt | Stars: Brian Cox, Damian Lewis, Joseph Fiennes, Seu Jorge

Votes: 15,872 | Gross: $0.01M

10. Greenfingers (2000)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
46 Metascore

A prison inmate with a green thumb goes on to compete in a national gardening competition. Based on a true story.

Director: Joel Hershman | Stars: Clive Owen, Helen Mirren, David Kelly, Warren Clarke

Votes: 5,235 | Gross: $1.44M

11. The United States of Leland (2003)

R | 108 min | Drama

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
37 Metascore

A young man's experience in a juvenile detention center that touches on the tumultuous changes that befall his family and the community in which he lives.

Director: Matthew Ryan Hoge | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Don Cheadle, Kevin Spacey, Chris Klein

Votes: 21,857 | Gross: $0.34M

12. The Wendell Baker Story (2005)

PG-13 | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

5.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
44 Metascore

Luke Wilson plays a good-hearted ex-con who gets a job in a retirement hotel. Three elderly residents help him win back his girlfriend as he lends them a hand in fighting hotel corruption.

Directors: Andrew Wilson, Luke Wilson | Stars: Luke Wilson, Eva Mendes, Seymour Cassel, Jacob Vargas

Votes: 5,443 | Gross: $0.13M

13. The Hard Word (2002)

R | 102 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

6.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
51 Metascore

Three fraternal bank robbers languishing in jail, discover a profitable (if not dodgy) way to spend their time. Crime can most certainly pay, if you "know wot I mean?" However when sex and ... See full summary »

Director: Scott Roberts | Stars: Guy Pearce, Rachel Griffiths, Joel Edgerton, Damien Richardson

Votes: 3,438 | Gross: $0.42M

14. Mourir d'aimer... (1971)

GP | 101 min | Drama

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A love story between a teacher, Daniele, 32 years and one of her students Gerard, 17 during the heated atmosphere of May 68. Daniele is a fiery young woman, very involved politically. ... See full summary »

Director: André Cayatte | Stars: Annie Girardot, Bruno Pradal, Claude Cerval, Jean Bouise

Votes: 248

15. Smashing the Money Ring (1939)

Passed | 57 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

5.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

T-Man Brass Bancroft goes undercover in a prison which has a secret counterfeit operation set up in the print shop.

Director: Terry O. Morse | Stars: Ronald Reagan, Margot Stevenson, Eddie Foy Jr., Joe Downing

Votes: 152

16. Angel of Death (1990 TV Movie)

86 min | Thriller

5.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An escaped convict (Harrison) becomes obsessed with an artist (Seymour) and her 6 year old son.

Director: Bill Norton | Stars: Jane Seymour, Gregory Harrison, Brian Bonsall, Peggy Rea

Votes: 97

17. Caged Men Plus One Woman (1971)

97 min | Crime, Drama

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Elliot is a loser who robbed a bank and landed in jail after being setup by his girlfriend. As the new guy, Elliot is considered fresh meat and encounters inmates trying to make him their own at every turn.

Director: Ed Forsyth | Stars: Ross Stephenson, Maureen McGill, Jeremy Hart, Edward Blessington

Votes: 46

18. Sleeper Cell (2005–2006)
Episode: Al-Faitha (2005)

TV-MA | 57 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.8
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Darwyn Al-Sayeed is a Muslim ex-con who has just been released from prison and finds his way to an Islamic extremist named Farik, who recruits him to join a terrorist sleeper cell planning an attack in Los Angeles.

Director: Clark Johnson | Stars: Michael Ealy, Oded Fehr, Henri Lubatti, Alex Nesic

Votes: 142

19. The Wire (2002–2008)
Episode: All Prologue (2003)

TV-MA | 58 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Trying to let go of police work and return to his marriage, McNulty gives up on identifying his Jane Doe. The detectives look into Sobotka and his money. For his union, Sobotka tries to ... See full summary »

Director: Steve Shill | Stars: Dominic West, Chris Bauer, Paul Ben-Victor, John Doman

Votes: 2,470

20. Porridge (1974–1977)
Episode: Disturbing the Peace (1975)

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy, Crime

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Mackay is temporarily away on a promotion course, but Fletch's joy is short-lived when he finds that the replacement is 'Napper' Wainwright, an extremely harsh officer who makes Mackay look... See full summary »

Director: Sydney Lotterby | Stars: Ronnie Barker, Brian Wilde, Fulton Mackay, Richard Beckinsale

Votes: 73

21. Bad Girls (1999–2006)
Episode: Episode #7.3 (2005)

46 min | Crime, Drama

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Fenner claims he was raped during his time in prison to get Di off his back. Arun suffers as Janine teams up with Buxton. Dr Nicholson continues his gold digging pursuit of Sylvia.

Director: Lance Kneeshaw | Stars: Jack Ellis, Tracey Wilkinson, Amanda Barrie, Stephanie Beacham

Votes: 16

22. Close to Home (2005–2007)
Episode: Escape (2006)

TV-PG | Drama

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

When a kidnapped prison librarian is found, Annabeth must resolve inconsistencies in her story in order to prosecute the correct perpetrator.

Director: Charles Beeson | Stars: Jennifer Finnigan, Kimberly Elise, John Carroll Lynch, Christian Kane

Votes: 42

23. NCIS (2003– )
Episode: Fragments (2018)

TV-14 | 43 min | Action, Crime, Drama

8.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

The team works to exonerate a Marine serving a life sentence for murder after the discovery of a 50-year-old tape recording of the victim.

Director: Michael Zinberg | Stars: Mark Harmon, Sean Murray, Wilmer Valderrama, Emily Wickersham

Votes: 302

24. The Wire (2002–2008)
Episode: Hot Shots (2003)

TV-MA | 58 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Lt Cedric Daniels lets it be known he is going to leave the department. McNulty pursues the identity of the Jane Doe found floating in the harbor. A pair of young longshoremen, Frank ... See full summary »

Director: Elodie Keene | Stars: Dominic West, Chris Bauer, Paul Ben-Victor, John Doman

Votes: 2,262

25. Cannon (1971–1976)
Episode: Murder by Moonlight (1972)

Not Rated | 51 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Convicted felon Mike Carr attends college under a prison rehab program. The incarcerated crime boss John Flatow forces Carr to ferry information to and from his outside people. Cannon agrees to help Carr break free of Flatow's control.

Director: Seymour Robbie | Stars: William Conrad, Burr DeBenning, Julie Gregg, Lin McCarthy

Votes: 39

26. The Simpsons (1989– )
Episode: Orange Is the New Yellow (2016)

TV-PG | 22 min | Animation, Comedy

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Marge lets Bart go to the park alone because he's too irritating, then she ends up getting arrested for leaving him unsupervised.

Directors: Matthew Faughnan, Mike B. Anderson | Stars: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith

Votes: 533

27. The Blacklist (2013– )
Episode: The Judge (No. 57) (2014)

TV-14 | 42 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Red investigates Jolene's life; Liz and Ressler go after a criminal known as The Judge, who incarcerates the ones that put innocent men away.

Director: Peter Werner | Stars: James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff, Ryan Eggold

Votes: 1,612

28. The Untouchables (1959–1963)
Episode: Three Thousand Suspects (1960)

52 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Just as a prisoner is about to turn stool pigeon, he is shot by someone on the inside. So Ness transfers a con from another prison to find the killer.

Director: John Peyser | Stars: Robert Stack, Bruce Gordon, Mary Sinclair, Bert Freed

Votes: 55



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