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The Best Escape Movies and TV Shows on The Criterion Channel

Finding a good Escape movie and TV show to watch can be hard, so we've ranked the best ones and included where to watch them. Check out our list of the best Escape movies and TV shows of all time streaming on The Criterion Channel.

VIEW: best
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1. Down by Law

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Reelgood Logo
80/100
Released: 1986Rated: R
Comedy, Crime

What it's about: A disc jockey, a pimp and an Italian tourist escape from jail in New Orleans.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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2. A Man Escaped

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.3/10
Reelgood Logo
80/100
Released: 1956
Drama, Thriller

What it's about: A captured French Resistance fighter during World War II engineers a daunting escape from prison.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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3. Le Cercle Rouge

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
Reelgood Logo
79/100
Released: 1970Rated: R
Crime, Drama

What it's about: When French criminal Corey gets released from prison, he resolves to never return. He is quickly pulled back into the underworld, however, after a chance encounter with escaped murderer Vogel. Along with former policeman and current alcoholic Jansen, they plot an intricate jewel heist. All the while, quirky Police Commissioner Mattei, who was the one to lose custody of Vogel, is determined to find him.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Google Play & YouTube).

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4. Great Expectations

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Reelgood Logo
79/100
Released: 1946
Drama, Romance

What it's about: In this Dickens adaptation, orphan Pip discovers through lawyer Mr. Jaggers that a mysterious benefactor wishes to ensure that he becomes a gentleman. Reunited with his childhood patron, Miss Havisham, and his first love, the beautiful but emotionally cold Estella, he discovers that the elderly spinster has gone mad from having been left at the altar as a young woman, and has made her charge into a warped, unfeeling heartbreaker.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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5. The Human Condition I: No Greater Love

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.5/10
Reelgood Logo
74/100
Released: 1959
Drama, History

What it's about: A Japanese pacifist and socialist, unable to face the dire consequences of conscientious objection, is transformed by his attempts to compromise with the demands of war-time Japan.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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6. The Crucified Lovers

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
Reelgood Logo
71/100
Released: 1954
Drama, History

What it's about: In 17th century Kyoto, Osan is married to Ishun, a wealthy miserly scroll-maker. When Osan is falsely accused of having an affair with the best worker, Mohei, the pair flee the city and declare their love for each other. Ishun orders his men to find them, and separate them to avoid public humiliation.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 1 service (Vudu).

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7. 49th Parallel

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
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71/100
Released: 1941
Drama, Thriller

What it's about: In the early days of World War II, a German U-boat is sunk in Canada's Hudson Bay. Hoping to evade capture, a small band of German soldiers led by commanding officer Lieutenant Hirth attempts to cross the border into the United States, which has not yet entered the war and is officially neutral. Along the way, the German soldiers encounter brave men such as a French-Canadian fur trapper, Johnnie, a leader of a Hutterite farming community, Peter, an author, Philip and a soldier, Andy Brock.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Tubi), stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Hoopla) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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8. À Nous la Liberté

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
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70/100
Released: 1931
Comedy, Musical

What it's about: In this classic French satire, Louis, a convict, escapes from prison and takes on legitimate work, making his way up in the business world. Eventually becoming the head of a successful factory, Louis opts to modernize his company with mechanical innovations. But when his friend Émile finally leaves jail years later and reunites with Louis, the past catches up with them. The two, worried about being apprehended by police, long to flee the confines of industry.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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9. Tabu

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Reelgood Logo
70/100
Released: 1931
Drama, Romance

What it's about: The youngsters Matahi and Reri are in love with each other. The old warrior Hitu announces that Reri is to be the new chosen virgin for the gods. This means she must stay untouched, otherwise she and her lover will be killed. But Matahi abducts and escapes with her to an island ruled by the white man, where their gods would be harmless and powerless.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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10. The Count of Monte Cristo

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
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66/100
Released: 1934Rated: PG
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: After greedy men have Edmound Dantes unjustly imprisoned for 20 years for innocently delivering a letter entrusted to him, he escapes to revenge himself on them.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel, Fandor & Kanopy).

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11. The Front Page

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
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64/100
Released: 1931Rated: PG
Comedy, Crime

What it's about: Hildy Johnson is an investigative reporter is looking for a bigger paycheck. When an accused murderer escapes from custody, Hildy sees an opportunity for the story of a lifetime. But when he finds the criminal, he learns that the man may not be guilty. With the help of his editor, Hildy attempts to hide the convict, uncover the conspiracy and write the scoop of his career.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video, HBO MAX, Epix & 2 others), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Epix) & rent or buy from $7.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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12. Strange Cargo

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
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60/100
Released: 1940
Drama, Romance

What it's about: Convicts escaping from Devil's Island come under the influence of a strange Christ-like figure.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Google Play & Vudu).

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13. The Handmaid's Tale

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.0/10
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58/100
Released: 1990Rated: R
Drama, Independent

What it's about: In a dystopicly polluted rightwing religious tyranny, a young woman is put in sexual slavery on account of her now rare fertility.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $9.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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14. The Emperor Jones

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.4/10
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56/100
Released: 1933
Drama, Musical

What it's about: Unscrupulously ambitious, Brutus Jones escapes from jail after killing a guard and through bluff and bravado he finds himself the emperor of a Caribbean island.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video, HBO MAX, Starz & 3 others), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Starz & Epix) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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15. Bumping Into Broadway

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
Reelgood Logo
43/100
Released: 1919Rated: G
Comedy

What it's about: A young playwright spends his last cent to pay the past-due rent for the pretty dancer who's his boarding house next-door neighbor. Soon after, he winds up at a gambling club, where he wins big - just before a police raid.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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