6 Best Movies Like The Shawshank Redemption That You Should Watch

Everyone loves a good prison break movie and The Shawshank Redemption stays at the top of the list. The suspense and the excitement built up since the prisoner decides to break out, till they do, it is nail-biting. 

One of the best prison break movies of all time The Shawshank Redemption.

The Shawshank Redemption has created a benchmark for other prison break movies with its slow-paced triumph of the human spirit over the wrongful conviction of a man. Thus, we have compiled a list of the top prison break movies like The Shawshank Redemption if you love that one as much as we do!

1. Escape from Alcatraz 

Based on a true story, Escape from Alcatraz is one of the best prison break movies ever made. It is about the most infamous attempt of breaking from one of the most dangerous prisons in the world. 

The film captures the lives of three inmates convicted for different crimes and sent to Alcatraz prison on an island in San Francisco. The prison exists in real life and is said to be unbreakable. With a plan and great endurance, the three prisoners try to break out from the prison. If you like to watch a thrilling prison break movie, then Escape from Alcatraz might be the perfect choice for you.

2. The Green Mile 

Directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tom Hanks, The Green Mile is a movie filled with thought-provoking messages that will leave you spellbound. 

Everything in this movie well-executed, the acting, the dialogues, and whatnot. Just like The Shawshank Redemption, this movie will leave you with a tear in your eye. 

The film focuses specifically on the life of one giant prisoner who is convicted for molestation and the killing of two little girls. However, he is not what he seems. The Green Mile is complex and a long movie but not even once will you want to switch it off.

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3. Papillion 

The 1973 prison break movie, Papillion is a semi-biographical film about the life of Henry Charriere also known as ‘Papillion’, played by Steve McQueen and directed by Franklin J. Schaffner.

Just like The Shawshank Redemption, this prison break movie shares the same themes of friendship between the inmates and endurance under a perilous time of the inmates’ lives. The friendship between the prisoners grows as they face the horrible penal conditions and solitary confinement. By the end of the film, you will root for the inmates. 

Papillion, with its applaudable direction, acting and screenplay has become a hallmark in French cinema and otherwise as well. It is a prison break movie that should not be missed.

4. Cool Hand Luke 

Paul Newman’s stellar performance is just one great thing about Cool Hand Luke. A typical cat and mouse chase story, this prison break film oozes with class and the cool air of the ’40s.

Cool Hand Luke is about the life of a man who refuses to conform to the rules of a rural prison. And just like The Shawshank Redemption, this prison break movie has its central theme revolving around the resilience of the human spirit and what it feels like to be locked up under harsh circumstances and inhumane treatment. It is a classic prison film with all the thrilling pizzazz about how the inmate Luke Johnson does not allow the prison to break his spirit while being convicted for his crimes. 

The unbearable conditions and exertion of human power over others will leave you baffled. Cool Hand Luke is a stepping stone for many other prison break movies.

5. Animal Factory 

Another movie like The Shawshank Redemption that takes you to an intriguing view of life inside a prison is this crime and drama movie Animal Factory. An overlooked and underappreciated film, you can say that Animal Factory is exactly like The Shawshank Redemption, except it’s more horrifying and gruesome. 

The story of this prison movie revolves around a young naive man named Ron Decker who is sent to prison with a long sentence. Unaware of the harsh conditions of the prison, Ron faces cruel prison guards who constantly bully and abuse him. 

Being a perfect place to start a never-ending friendship as seen in several prison break movies, Ron befriends an ex-gang Earl Copen, played by William Defoe, leader for guidance and protection.

Animal Factory portrays the brutal reality of what it is to live in a prison in an extremely natural manner. It is one of the best prison movies to be made.

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6. The Great Escape 

Directed by John Sturges, The Great Escape has been the backdrop of almost all other prison break movies to ever exist. It is a war film and can be seen as an inspiration for The Shawshank Redemption.

The Great Escape shows the story of the real-life escape of Allied prisoners of war from an inescapable German prison during the Second World War. 

The relentless obsession of escaping from the prison and the war itself, and the sheer courage and endurance the prisoners had to show while they risked their lives is bewildering. 

This prison break movie can capture the realism of the details and seriousness of the situation in which the prisoners find themselves. It is one of the best prison break movies and you should definitely watch it if you loved watching The Shawshank Redemption.

Even though there are many great prison break movies but none can be like The Shawshank Redemption. You can stream it on Netflix. What are the other prison break movies that you like? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Ilina Singh
Escaping into films is more than just a hobby for me.

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