Creating an account with gives you access to more features and services, like our weekly newsletter and other special features just for the film community.

Large thehouseilivein marquee

7 Prison Movies to Stream This Weekend

Inspired by the riveting 'Starred Up,' we have prison movies on the brain.

Starred Up, now playing in theaters in NYC, tells the tale of Eric Love, a young criminal, who is reunited with his father in jail. When it seems clear that Eric is destined for a rough life of crime and incarceration, he has to rely on his father and a prison therapist for help.

The film premiered in the UK in 2013, earning a British Independent Film Award, then went on to see its NYC premiere earlier this year at TFF 2014. When it opens in theaters this weekend, the film will join a wealth of prison movies that seek to humanize inmates. Here are some of our favorites that are currently available to stream.

Bad Boys
Watch on Netflix
Directed by Rick Rosenthal

See Sean Penn as the fresh-faced, 16-year-old juvenile offender Mick O'Brien, who finds himself incarcerated for running over a child while trying to escape the police. At the juvenile detention center, Mick's criminal ambitions are realized once he gets wrapped up in the prison violence.

Double Jeopardy
Watch on Netflix
Directed by Bruce Beresford

Ashley Judd stars as Libby,  a vengeful housewife who is framed and unjustly imprisoned for her wealthy husband's murder. Upon her release, Libby aims to make good on the crime she supposedly committed. I wouldn't rely on this movie for any sort of understanding of how double jeopardy actually works, but it's definitely fun to watch. 

The House I Live In
Watch on Netflix
Directed by Eugene Jarecki

A movie that I would rely on for a factual understanding of how the legal system works isThe House I Live In, a detailed account of how the prison-industrial complex works. This documentary investigates the relationship between overcrowding in prisons and the US's controversial War on Drugs. 

Oz, Seasons 1-6
Watch on Amazon Prime
Created by Tom Fontana

Technically not a movie, Oz earns its place on this list because it's definitely one of the best filmed stories about incarceration. This late-90s show is centered around a fictional maximum security prison. The series tackles all the most sensitive issues of a place like this - like the politics of prison allegiances, sexual violence, and the psychology of confinement . Watch it while all six seasons are still available on Amazon Prime!

The Way Back
Watch on Netflix
Directed by Peter Weir

A young Polish prisoner of war is transferred to labor camp in Siberia, where he plans an escape with his fellow inmates. The group has to fight for survival once they learn that the harsh prison conditions are nothing compared to the brutal tundra of Northern Russia. 

Watch on Netflix
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

A refreshingly comedic take on prison movies, Bronson is based on the true story of Charles Bronson, who made headlines in the 70s for being the most violent prisoner in Her Majesty's Prison Service. Bronson follows his story as he picks fights with guards and inmates alike, starts riots, and protests on prison rooftops.

Silence of the Lambs
Watch on Netflix
Directed by Jonathan Demme

Another celebrity prisoner, Hannibal Lecter is recruited to help in an investigation surrounding a series of murders involving dismembered women. The fictional Lecter's custom jail cell made of bulletproof glass is rumored to be based on the custom cell of real life "Hannibal the Cannibal" - Robert Maudsley.



What you need to know today