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The Best Prison Movies and TV Shows on HBO

Finding a good Prison 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 Prison movies and TV shows of all time streaming on HBO.

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1. Life Is Beautiful

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.6/10
Reelgood Logo
92/100
Released: 1997Rated: PG-13
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: A touching story of an Italian book seller of Jewish ancestry who lives in his own little fairy tale. His creative and happy life would come to an abrupt halt when his entire family is deported to a concentration camp during World War II. While locked up he tries to convince his son that the whole thing is just a game.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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2. Walk the Line

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Reelgood Logo
86/100
Released: 2005Rated: PG-13
Drama, Romance

What it's about: A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash's life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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3. Fast Five

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Reelgood Logo
85/100
Released: 2011Rated: PG-13
Action & Adventure, Crime

What it's about: Former cop Brian O'Conner partners with ex-con Dom Toretto on the opposite side of the law. Since Brian and Mia Toretto broke Dom out of custody, they've blown across many borders to elude authorities. Now backed into a corner in Rio de Janeiro, they must pull one last job in order to gain their freedom.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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4. The Night Of

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.5/10
Reelgood Logo
84/100
Year: 2016-2020Rated: TV-MASeasons: 1
Drama, Crime

What it's about: After a night of partying with a female stranger, a man wakes up to find her stabbed to death and is charged with her murder.

Where to Watch: 8 episodes (100%) are available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO). 8 episodes (100%) are available to rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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5. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Reelgood Logo
83/100
Released: 2008Rated: PG-13
Drama

What it's about: When his family moves from their home in Berlin to a strange new house in Poland, young Bruno befriends Shmuel, a boy who lives on the other side of the fence where everyone seems to be wearing striped pajamas. Unaware of Shmuel's fate as a Jewish prisoner or the role his own Nazi father plays in his imprisonment, Bruno embarks on a dangerous journey inside the camp's walls.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (Google Play, Microsoft & 2 others).

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6. Oz

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.7/10
Reelgood Logo
83/100
Year: 1997-2020Rated: TV-MASeasons: 6
Drama, Crime

What it's about: The daily lives of prisoners in Emerald City, an experimental unit of the Oswald Maximum Security Prison where ingroups - Muslims, Latinos, Italians, Aryans - stick close to their mutual friends and terrorizes their mutual enemies.

Where to Watch: 56 episodes (100%) are available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO). 56 episodes (100%) are available to rent or buy from $1.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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7. The English Patient

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
Reelgood Logo
82/100
Released: 1996Rated: R
Drama, Romance

What it's about: In the 1930s, Count Almásy is a Hungarian map maker employed by the Royal Geographical Society to chart the vast expanses of the Sahara Desert along with several other prominent explorers. As World War II unfolds, Almásy enters into a world of love, betrayal, and politics.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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8. Half Nelson

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Reelgood Logo
79/100
Released: 2006Rated: R
Drama

What it's about: Despite his dedication to the junior-high students who fill his classroom, idealistic teacher Dan Dunne leads a secret life of addiction that the majority of his students will never know. But things change when a troubled student Drey makes a startling discovery of his secret life, causing a tenuous bond between the two that could either end disastrously or provide a catalyst of hope.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, HBO, Hoopla & 1 other) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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9. Spy Game

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Reelgood Logo
78/100
Released: 2001Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Crime

What it's about: On the day of his retirement, a veteran CIA agent learns that his former protégé has been arrested in China, is sentenced to die the next morning in Beijing, and that the CIA is considering letting that happen to avoid an international scandal.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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10. He Got Game

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
Reelgood Logo
76/100
Released: 1998Rated: R
Drama, Independent

What it's about: A basketball player's father must try to convince him to go to a college so he can get a shorter sentence.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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11. The Mustang

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
Reelgood Logo
74/100
Released: 2019Rated: R
Drama

What it's about: While participating in a rehabilitation program training wild mustangs, a convict at first struggles to connect with the horses and his fellow inmates, but he learns to confront his violent past as he soothes an especially feisty horse.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO) & rent or buy from $5.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Microsoft & Vudu).

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12. The Chronicles of Riddick

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
Reelgood Logo
74/100
Released: 2004Rated: PG-13
Action & Adventure, Science-Fiction

What it's about: After years of outrunning ruthless bounty hunters, escaped convict Riddick suddenly finds himself caught between opposing forces in a fight for the future of the human race. Now, waging incredible battles on fantastic and deadly worlds, this lone, reluctant hero will emerge as humanity's champion - and the last hope for a universe on the edge of annihilation.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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13. White Oleander

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Reelgood Logo
73/100
Released: 2002Rated: PG-13
Drama

What it's about: A teenager journeys through a series of foster homes after her mother goes to prison for committing a crime of passion.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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14. Alien³

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.5/10
Reelgood Logo
73/100
Released: 1992Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Horror

What it's about: After escaping with Newt and Hicks from the alien planet, Ripley crash lands on Fiorina 161, a prison planet and host to a correctional facility. Unfortunately, although Newt and Hicks do not survive the crash, a more unwelcome visitor does. The prison does not allow weapons of any kind, and with aid being a long time away, the prisoners must simply survive in any way they can.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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15. The Sugarland Express

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.8/10
Reelgood Logo
71/100
Released: 1974Rated: PG
Action & Adventure, Comedy

What it's about: Married small-time crooks Lou-Jean and Clovis Poplin lose their baby to the state of Texas and resolve to do whatever it takes to get him back. Lou-Jean gets Clovis out of jail, and the two steal their son from his foster home, in addition to taking a highway patrolman hostage. As a massive dragnet starts to pursue them across Texas, the couple become unlikely folk heroes and even start to bond with the captive policeman.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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16. Ricochet

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.2/10
Reelgood Logo
66/100
Released: 1991Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Crime

What it's about: An attorney is terrorized by the criminal he put away years ago when he was a cop.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO).

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17. O.G.

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.2/10
Reelgood Logo
65/100
Released: 2018Rated: R
Drama

What it's about: Louis Menkins is five weeks away from being released after 26 years in prison. He is faced with the decision to put his own release at risk in order to protect a young man named Beecher from growing gang controversies.

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

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18. Against the Wall

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
Reelgood Logo
64/100
Released: 1994Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: Based on the true story of the Attica Prison uprising of 1971.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO).

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19. Gamer

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
5.8/10
Reelgood Logo
64/100
Released: 2009Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Science-Fiction

What it's about: Mind-control technology has taken society by a storm, a multiplayer on-line game called "Slayers" allows players to control human prisoners in mass-scale. Simon controls Kable, the online champion of the game. Kable's ultimate challenge becomes regaining his identity and independence by defeating the game's mastermind.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (HBO) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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20. Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.6/10
Reelgood Logo
62/100
Released: 2018Rated: R
Documentary

What it's about: Sandra Bland was a bright, energetic activist whose life was cut short when a traffic stop resulted in a mysterious jail cell death just three days later.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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21. The Package

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.4/10
Reelgood Logo
60/100
Released: 1989Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Crime

What it's about: Experienced Green Beret sergeant Johnny Gallagher is escorting a prisoner, Airborne Ranger Thomas Boyette, back to the US, but Boyette escapes and Gallagher must risk life and limb to catch him.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Prime Video & Vudu).

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22. The Iceman and the Psychiatrist

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Reelgood Logo
49/100
Released: 2004
Documentary, Crime

What it's about: For the third time, HBO cameras go inside Trenton State Maximum Security Prison--and inside the mind of one of the most prolific killers in U.S. history--in this gripping documentary. Mafia hit man Richard Kuklinski freely admits to killing more than 100 people, but in this special, he speaks with top psychiatrist Dr. Park Dietz in an effort to face the truth about his condition. Filled with more never-before-revealed confessions, it's the most chillingly candid Iceman special yet as it combines often-confrontational interview footage between Kuklinski and Dietz with photos, crime reenactments and home movies that add new layers to this evolving and fascinating story.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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23. The Iceman Tapes: Conversations with a Killer

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Reelgood Logo
48/100
Released: 1992
Documentary

What it's about: Richard Kuklinski was a devoted husband, loving father--and ruthless killer of over 100 people. You'll meet him in this powerful documentary that features one of the most vivid and disturbing interviews ever recorded--taped behind the walls of the prison where Kuklinski is serving two consecutive life sentences for multiple homicide.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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24. True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.3/10
Reelgood Logo
48/100
Released: 2019Rated: R
Documentary

What it's about: An intimate portrait of Alabama public interest attorney Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, who for more than three decades has advocated on behalf of the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned, seeking to eradicate racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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25. Solitary

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Reelgood Logo
45/100
Released: 2016
Comedy, Documentary

What it's about: There are 100,000 US citizens in solitary confinement across the country, a staggering number prompting comment from both President Obama and the Pope. Situated in rural Virginia, 300 miles from any urban center, Red Onion State Prison is one of over 40 supermax prisons across the US built to hold prisoners in eight-by-ten-foot cells for 23 hours a day. Filmed over the course of one year, this eye-opening film braids stark prison imagery, stories from correction officers, and intimate reflections from the men who are locked up in isolation. The inmates share the paths that led them to prison and their daily struggles to maintain their sanity.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO).

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