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The Best Prison Movies and TV Shows on HBO MAX

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 MAX.

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1. The Green Mile

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.6/10
Reelgood Logo
86/100
Released: 1999Rated: R
Crime, Drama

What it's about: A supernatural tale set on death row in a Southern prison, where gentle giant John Coffey possesses the mysterious power to heal people's ailments. When the cell block's head guard, Paul Edgecomb, recognizes Coffey's miraculous gift, he tries desperately to help stave off the condemned man's execution.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, Philo, fuboTV & 1 other), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (AMC) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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2. Escape from New York

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Reelgood Logo
72/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Science-Fiction, Action & Adventure

What it's about: In 1997, the island of Manhattan has been walled off and turned into a giant maximum security prison within which the country's worst criminals are left to form their own anarchic society. However, when the President of the United States crash lands on the island, the authorities turn to a former soldier and current convict to rescue him.

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

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3. The Night Of

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.5/10
Reelgood Logo
89/100
Year: 2016-2021Rated: TV-MASeasons: 1
Crime, Drama

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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4. Oz

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.7/10
Reelgood Logo
82/100
Year: 1997-2021Rated: TV-MASeasons: 6
Drama, Thriller

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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5. Spy Game

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Reelgood Logo
71/100
Released: 2001
Crime, Action & Adventure

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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6. Papillon

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
Reelgood Logo
73/100
Released: 1973Rated: PG
Crime, Drama

What it's about: 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.

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

Have You Seen?
TV
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7. Superjail!

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.7/10
Reelgood Logo
59/100
Year: 2007-2021Rated: TV-MASeasons: 4
Action & Adventure, Comedy

What it's about: Superjail! is an American animated television series produced by Augenblick Studios the first season and Titmouse, Inc. the second and third season. The series follows the events that take place in an unusual prison. The pilot episode aired on television on May 13, 2007, and its first season began on September 28, 2008. Superjail! is characterized by its psychedelic shifts in setting and plot and extreme graphic violence, which give the series a TV-MA-V rating. These elements are depicted through highly elaborate animated sequences, which have been described as "baroque and complicated and hard to take in at a single viewing". A fourth season was confirmed on David Wain's Twitter.

Where to Watch: 5 episodes (13%) are available to watch free online (Adult Swim). 37 episodes (97%) are available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX). 5 episodes (13%) are available to stream on a TV everywhere service (Adult Swim). 37 episodes (97%) are available to rent or buy from $1.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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8. Let's Go to Prison

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.0/10
Reelgood Logo
62/100
Released: 2006Rated: R
Crime, Comedy

What it's about: When a career criminal's plan for revenge is thwarted by unlikely circumstances, he puts his intended victim's son in his place by putting him in prison...and then joining him.

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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9. Brute Force

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Reelgood Logo
63/100
Released: 1947
Thriller, Drama

What it's about: Timeworn Joe Collins and his fellow inmates live under the heavy thumb of the sadistic, power-tripping guard Captain Munsey. Only Collins' dreams of escape keep him going, but how can he possibly bust out of Munsey's chains?

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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10. Detention Adventure

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
Reelgood Logo
41/100
Year: 2019-2021Seasons: 2
Action & Adventure, Family

What it's about: Three nerdy friends and the school bully must get themselves thrown into detention to find the entrance to a labyrinth of trap-laden tunnels protecting the fabled hidden lab of Alexander Graham Bell.

Where to Watch: 20 episodes (100%) are available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX).

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11. Against the Wall

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
Reelgood Logo
69/100
Released: 1994Rated: R
Thriller, 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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12. Get Hard

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.0/10
Reelgood Logo
68/100
Released: 2015Rated: R
Crime, Comedy

What it's about: When obscenely rich hedge-fund manager James is convicted of fraud and sentenced to a stretch in San Quentin, the judge gives him one month to get his affairs in order. Knowing that he won't survive more than a few minutes in prison on his own, James desperately turns to Darnell-- a black businessman who's never even had a parking ticket -- for help. As Darnell puts James through the wringer, both learn that they were wrong about many things, including each other.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & fuboTV) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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13. The Longest Yard

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Reelgood Logo
62/100
Released: 1974Rated: R
Drama, Comedy

What it's about: In this rough-and-tumble yarn, actually filmed on-location at the Georgia State Prision, the cons are the heroes and the guards are the heavies. Eddie Albert is the sadistic warden who'll gladly make any sacrifice to push his guards' semi-pro football team to a national championship.

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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14. The Hurricane

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Reelgood Logo
70/100
Released: 1999Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Drama

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

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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15. Down by Law

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Reelgood Logo
85/100
Released: 1986Rated: R
Comedy, Drama

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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16. Locked Down

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
5.2/10
Reelgood Logo
62/100
Released: 2021Rated: R
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: During a COVID-19 lockdown, sparring couple Linda and Paxton call a truce to attempt a high-risk jewellery heist at one of the world's most exclusive department stores, Harrods.

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

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17. Longford

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Reelgood Logo
55/100
Released: 2006Rated: R
Crime, Drama

What it's about: A portrait of Lord Longford, a tireless British campaigner whose controversial beliefs often resulted in furious political debate and personal conflict.

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

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18. A Clockwork Orange

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.3/10
Reelgood Logo
82/100
Released: 1971Rated: R
Crime, Science-Fiction

What it's about: In a near-future Britain, young Alexander DeLarge and his pals get their kicks beating and raping anyone they please. When not destroying the lives of others, Alex swoons to the music of Beethoven. The state, eager to crack down on juvenile crime, gives an incarcerated Alex the option to undergo an invasive procedure that'll rob him of all personal agency. In a time when conscience is a commodity, can Alex change his tune?

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Netflix & HBO MAX) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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19. Money Talks

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.2/10
Reelgood Logo
63/100
Released: 1997Rated: R
Comedy, Action & Adventure

What it's about: Sought by police and criminals, a small-time huckster makes a deal with a TV newsman for protection.

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

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20. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.7/10
Reelgood Logo
83/100
Released: 1975Rated: R
Thriller, Drama

What it's about: While serving time for insanity at a state mental hospital, implacable rabble-rouser, Randle Patrick McMurphy, inspires his fellow patients to rebel against the authoritarian rule of head nurse, Mildred Ratched.

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

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21. Dead Man Walking

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Reelgood Logo
69/100
Released: 1995Rated: R
Crime, Drama

What it's about: A justice drama based on a true story about a man on death row who, in his last days, forms a strong relationship with a nun who teaches him forgiveness and gives him spirituality, as she accompanies him to his execution.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Prime Video & 2 others).

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22. Missing in Action 2: The Beginning

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
5.4/10
Reelgood Logo
50/100
Released: 1985Rated: R
Action & Adventure

What it's about: Prequel to the first Missing In Action, set in the early 1980s it shows the capture of Colonel Braddock during the Vietnam war in the 1970s, and his captivity with other American POWs in a brutal prison camp, and his plans to escape.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & HBO) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 1 service (iTunes).

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23. O.G.

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.2/10
Reelgood Logo
68/100
Released: 2018Rated: R
Thriller, 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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24. True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.3/10
Reelgood Logo
49/100
Released: 2019Rated: R
Drama, 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. Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
Reelgood Logo
48/100
Released: 2018Rated: R
Drama, 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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26. The Iceman and the Psychiatrist

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Reelgood Logo
51/100
Released: 2004
Crime, Documentary

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 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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27. The Iceman Tapes: Conversations with a Killer

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Reelgood Logo
50/100
Released: 1992
Animation, 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 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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28. L'Argent

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Reelgood Logo
78/100
Released: 1983
Crime, Drama

What it's about: A forged 500-franc note is passed from person to person and shop to shop, until it falls into the hands of a genuine innocent who doesn't see it for what it is - which will have devastating consequences on his life, causing him to turn to crime and murder.

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

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29. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Reelgood Logo
74/100
Released: 1962
Sport, Drama

What it's about: A rebellious youth sentenced to a reformatory for robbing a bakery rises through the ranks of the institution through his prowess as a long distance runner. During his solitary runs, reveries of his life and times before his incarceration lead him to re-evaluate his privileged status as a prized athlete.

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

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30. Victim

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.7/10
Reelgood Logo
79/100
Released: 1961
Crime, LGBTQ

What it's about: In early 1960s London, barrister Melville Farr is on the path to success. With his practice winning cases and a loving marriage to his wife, Farr's career and personal life are nearly idyllic. However, when blackmailers link Farr to a young gay man, everything Farr has worked for is threatened. As it turns out, Farr is a closeted homosexual -- which is problematic, due to Britain's anti-sodomy laws. But instead of giving in, Farr decides to fight.

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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