The Ultimate List of Prison Movies on Netflix You Need to Watch

Prison movies on Netflix – Prison movies are a genre that never gets old. Whether they are based on true stories or fictional scenarios, they always offer a glimpse into the harsh realities of life behind bars. Prison movies can be thrilling, dramatic, funny, or even inspiring, depending on the plot and the characters. They can also teach us valuable lessons about human nature, justice, and redemption.

If you are looking for some prison movies to watch on Netflix, you are in luck. There are plenty of options to choose from, ranging from classics to recent releases. To help you narrow down your choices, we have compiled a list of the best prison movies on Netflix that you need to watch. These movies cover different themes, genres, and countries, so there is something for everyone.

Here are the top 10 prison movies on Netflix that you should not miss:

1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

This is arguably one of the best prison movies of all time and for good reason. Based on a novella by Stephen King, it tells the story of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a banker who is wrongly convicted of murdering his wife and her lover.

He is sentenced to life imprisonment at the Shawshank State Penitentiary, where he befriends Ellis “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman), a fellow inmate and smuggler. Together, they endure the brutality and corruption of the prison system, while Andy maintains his hope and dignity.

The Shawshank Redemption is a masterpiece of storytelling, with superb performances, memorable dialogue, and a satisfying ending. It is also a movie that explores themes such as friendship, freedom, justice, and redemption. It has been ranked as one of the greatest films of all time by various critics and audiences.

2. The Platform (2019)

This is a Spanish sci-fi horror thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It is set in a dystopian future where prisoners are housed in a vertical tower called the Pit. Each level has two inmates and a platform that descends from the top floor with food for everyone.

However, the food is scarce and unevenly distributed, creating a brutal hierarchy among the inmates. The lower you are, the less food you get.

The Platform follows Goreng (Ivan Massagué), a new inmate who volunteers to enter the Pit for six months in exchange for a diploma. He soon realizes the harsh reality of his situation and tries to find a way to survive and escape. Along the way, he meets different inmates who have their own motives and methods.

The Platform is a movie that will make you think and feel. It is a metaphor for social inequality, class struggle, and human nature. Furthermore, it is also a movie that will shock you with its graphic violence and gore. It is not for the faint-hearted.

3. Papillon (2017)

This is a remake of the 1973 classic starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. It is based on the autobiography of Henri “Papillon” Charrière (Charlie Hunnam), a French safecracker who was framed for murder and sent to the notorious penal colony of French Guiana in 1931.

There, he meets Louis Dega (Rami Malek), a wealthy counterfeiter who agrees to finance Papillon’s escape in exchange for protection. Together, they embark on a series of daring and dangerous attempts to break free from their hellish prison.

Papillon is a movie that will take you on an epic adventure of survival, courage, and loyalty. It is also a movie that will show you the harsh conditions and brutal treatment of the prisoners by the guards and the nature. The performances of Hunnam and Malek are outstanding and their chemistry is palpable.

4. Escape from Pretoria (2020)

This is another true story based prison escape movie that will keep you hooked. It follows Tim Jenkin (Daniel Radcliffe) and Stephen Lee (Daniel Webber), two white South African activists who were imprisoned in 1978 for their involvement in the anti-apartheid movement.

They were sent to Pretoria Central Prison, where they faced racial discrimination and harsh punishment. Using their ingenuity and determination, they devised a plan to escape using wooden keys that they carved themselves.

Escape from Pretoria is a movie that will make you root for the protagonists as they face numerous obstacles and challenges in their quest for freedom. It is also a movie that will shed light on the history and politics of South Africa during the apartheid era. The performances of Radcliffe and Webber are convincing and compelling.

5. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

This is a historical drama that depicts one of the most notorious trials in American history. It follows the case of seven anti-Vietnam War protesters who were charged with conspiracy, inciting to riot, and other offenses after the violent clashes with the police at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

The trial was marked by political bias, media attention, and cultural clashes. The defendants included Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen), Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne), Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong), and Bobby Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II).

They were represented by William Kunstler (Mark Rylance) and Leonard Weinglass (Ben Shenkman), while the prosecution was led by Richard Schultz (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Tom Foran (J.C. MacKenzie).

The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a movie that will make you witness the injustice and absurdity of the legal system. It is also a movie that will make you appreciate the courage and humor of the defendants who stood up for their beliefs and rights.

The movie is written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, who is known for his sharp dialogue and witty humor. The cast is stellar and delivers powerful performances.

6. The Green Mile (1999)

This is another adaptation of a Stephen King novel that will touch your heart and soul. It follows Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks), a death row guard at the Cold Mountain Penitentiary in 1935. He meets John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), a gentle giant who is convicted of raping and murdering two young girls. However, Paul soon discovers that John has a supernatural gift of healing and empathy, which makes him question his guilt and fate.

The Green Mile is a movie that will make you cry and smile. It is also a movie that will make you think about life, death, justice, and mercy. The movie is directed by Frank Darabont, who also directed The Shawshank Redemption. The performances of Hanks and Duncan are superb and unforgettable.

7. Bronson (2008)

This is a biographical crime drama that tells the story of Michael Peterson (Tom Hardy), who later changed his name to Charles Bronson after the famous actor.

He is Britain’s most notorious and violent prisoner, who spent most of his life in solitary confinement for various offenses and assaults. The movie depicts his childhood, his criminal career, his prison life, and his artistic aspirations.

Bronson is a movie that will make you fascinated and repulsed by the protagonist. It is also a movie that will make you admire the talent and charisma of Hardy, who delivers a stunning and transformative performance. The movie is directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, who is known for his stylish and visceral filmmaking.

8. Shot Caller (2017)

This is a crime thriller that follows Jacob Harlon (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), a successful businessman who is sentenced to prison after causing a fatal car accident while driving under the influence. He soon realizes that he has to adapt to the harsh and violent reality of prison life, where he joins a white supremacist gang for protection.

He rises through the ranks and becomes involved in illegal activities both inside and outside the prison walls. Furthermore, he also struggles to maintain his relationship with his wife (Lake Bell) and son (Jonathon McClendon).

Shot Caller is a movie that will make you see the dark side of the prison system and how it can change a person’s identity and morality. It is also a movie that will make you appreciate the performance of Coster-Waldau, who portrays a complex and conflicted character.

The movie is directed by Ric Roman Waugh, who is a former stuntman and has experience in prison documentaries.

9. I Am a Killer (2018-2020)

This is a documentary series that features interviews with death row inmates who have committed murder. Each episode focuses on one inmate, who tells their story from their perspective, including their background, their crime, their trial, their sentence, and their remorse or lack thereof.

The series also features interviews with family members, victims, lawyers, journalists, and experts who provide additional insights and context.

I Am a Killer is a series that will make you learn about the psychology and sociology of killers. It is also a series that will make you question your own views on crime, punishment, justice, and forgiveness. The series is produced by Netflix in collaboration with A+E Networks UK.

10. Orange Is the New Black (2013-2019)

This is a comedy-drama series that follows Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a privileged woman who is sentenced to 15 months in a minimum-security women’s prison for transporting drug money for her ex-girlfriend Alex Vause (Laura Prepon) 10 years ago. She has to adjust to

the new environment and the diverse inmates, who have their own stories and personalities. She also has to deal with her relationship with Alex, who is also in the same prison, and her fiancé Larry Bloom (Jason Biggs), who is on the outside.

Orange Is the New Black is a series that will make you laugh and cry. It is also a series that will make you aware of the issues and challenges that women face in prison, such as racism, sexism, abuse, corruption, mental health, and sexuality.

The series is based on the memoir of the same name by Piper Kerman and is created by Jenji Kohan. The cast is diverse and talented, featuring actors such as Uzo Aduba, Kate Mulgrew, Laverne Cox, Natasha Lyonne, and Danielle Brooks.

Related: 10 Best 3D Movies on Netflix to Watch Right Now

The Top Netflix prison movies for 2023

No.MoviesYear ReleasedWatch Time
140 Sticks20201h 32m
2All Day and a Night20202h 1m
3Below Zero20211h 46m
4Bronson20081h 32m
5Escape from Pretoria20201h 46m
6Escape From SpiderheadN/A (Expected in late December)N/A
7HomeN/A (Expected in early December)N/A
8I Am a Killer2018-2020Varies
9Miracle in Cell No.7 (Turkish Version) 1 2N/A (Expected in late January)N/A
10Orange Is the New Black2013-2019Varies
11Papillon20172h 13m
12Semper FiN/A (Expected in mid January)N/A
13Shot Caller20172h
14Spenser Confidential20201h 51m
15The Big HitN/A (Expected in early January)N/A
16The Green Mile19993h 9m
17The Platform20191h 34m
18The Shawshank Redemption19942h 22m
19The Trial of the Chicago 720202h 10m
20The UnforgivableN/A (Expected in late November)N/A


These are some of the best prison movies on Netflix that you need to watch. They will entertain you, educate you, and inspire you. They will also make you appreciate your freedom and your life. So, what are you waiting for? Grab some popcorn and start streaming these amazing prison movies on Netflix.

We hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful. If you did, please share it with your friends and family who might also be interested in prison movies on Netflix.

Also, let us know in the comments below what are your favorite prison movies on Netflix or any other platform. We would love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading and happy watching!

Olajide Towoju
Olajide Towoju

Towoju Olajide is a technology writer who covers topics ranging from consumer tech to the latest developments in artificial intelligence. Born and raised in Nigeria, Towoju developed an early fascination with technology that led him to pursue a degree in Computer Science. After completing his studies, he worked as a software developer for several years before transitioning into tech journalism.

Towoju's work has been featured in various publications, including TechCrunch, Wired, and The Verge. He is also a regular contributor to several technology blogs and podcasts, where he shares his insights on emerging trends and breakthroughs in the tech industry. In addition to his work as a writer, Towoju is an avid photographer and enjoys capturing the beauty of nature and wildlife in his spare time.

Over the years, Towoju has written several books on technology and its impact on society. His writing has been praised for its ability to break down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-understand language. Whether he's exploring the latest advancements in AI or discussing the future of smart cities, Towoju's goal is to make technology accessible to everyone.

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