Sky in a box: 20 series about life in prison

Series about places not so remote are action-packed dramas and dynamic action movies that tell about the everyday life of prisoners and guards, real and fictional escapes, well-deserved sentences and miscarriages of justice. For everyone who wants to see prison life from the inside, we have prepared a selection of series about prison – from new movies to old, but no less exciting movies.

For life (2020 – 2021)

A foreign series about a prison, released in 2020, will tell an unusual story about the struggle for justice. Aaron Wallace was sentenced to life in prison for a crime he did not commit. While in prison, a man decides to become a lawyer in order to prove his innocence. In parallel, he helps other prisoners in legal matters.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
For Life

Genre:
Drama, crime, biography

Actors:
Nicholas Pinnock, Indira Varma, Joy Bryant …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.6


When They See Us (2019)

A highly rated miniseries based on true events that will highlight the 1989 trial. One night will change the lives of five Harlem teenagers forever. A woman was found in the park. The victim was severely beaten, raped and does not remember anything. The police, in search of the perpetrators, begin to interrogate teenagers who were walking in the neighborhood on the night the crime was committed. Through deceit, manipulation, and intimidation, the detectives manage to extract confessions from several of them.

Original title:
When They See Us

Genre:
Drama, Crime

Actors:
Jarrell Jerome, Asante Blackk, Kahlil Harris…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 8.9


Prison Doctor (2019)

The South Korean series about prison life will tell the amazing story of a doctor’s revenge on his detractors. Unforeseen circumstances destroyed the reputation of the brilliant surgeon Ye-Jae. As a result of a scandalous incident , a doctor is released from work in an elite medical center. The man decides to continue his practice in the prison hospital. Open and open-minded, Ye-Jae will quickly gain the trust of both staff and prisoners.

Original title:
Dakteo peurijeuneo

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Namgun Min, Kwon Na-ra, Kim Byeong-chul…

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.8


Escape from Dannemore Prison (2018)

The events of 2015, when the prisoners managed to escape from the most secure prison in the United States, inspired the creators of this interesting series. Richard Mutt got 25 years for killing his employer. David Smith got time for killing a police officer. Tilly Mitchell runs a sewing shop where prisoners work. The woman is bored in this secluded place, and is ready to have an affair with criminals. A romantic relationship leads Tilly to decide to help her friends escape.

Original title:
Escape at Dannemora

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime, biography

Actors:
Benicio Del Toro, Patricia Arquette, Paul Dano…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 8.0


Prisoner (2018)

The list of the best series about prison will be supplemented by a Mexican crime drama. Lázaro Mendoz ends up in a maximum security prison for a triple murder. However, the man is not exactly who he claims to be, but a mishandled Cossack. He must infiltrate a dangerous group of guards and prisoners who have teamed up and are doing criminal business inside and outside the prison. Lazaro’s goal is to find out who kidnapped the judge’s daughter and where the American is being held.

Original title:
El Recluso

Genre:
Thriller, drama

Actors:
Ignacio Serrichio, Ana Claudia Talancon, Flavio Medina…

Country:
Mexico

Rating:
IMDb – 7.0


Prison wisdom (2017 – 2018)

A promising baseball player received a year in prison for using physical force against his sister’s abuser. In prison, he meets his old friend, who works as a warden, and gets to know other prisoners. Everyone has their own story – someone got here by an absurd accident, and someone’s cruelty really knows no bounds.

Original title:
Seulgiroun gamppangsaenghwal

Genre:
Drama, Crime

Actors:
Park Hae-soo, Jung Kyung-ho, Krystal Jung…

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.7, IMDb – 8.4


Mindhunter (2017 – 2019)

Do you want to look into the black abyss of consciousness of psychopaths and maniacs? Then start watching an interesting crime series from David Fincher about prisoners. Agents Bill Tench and Holden Ford are testing a new branch of psychology by interviewing convicted criminals to uncover and analyze in detail the mindsets of killers. The series, which received numerous reviews from viewers, is an adaptation of a book written by a real FBI agent.

Original title:
Mindhunter

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime, detective

Actors:
Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 8.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Defendant (2017)

One of the best employees of the Seoul prosecutor’s office got into an incredible mess. A few months ago, he had a career, a beloved wife and daughter. And now he wakes up in prison and finds out that he was sentenced to death for the murder of his wife. There is hope that the daughter is alive, because the girl’s body has not been found. But how to get out of a terrible situation if you suffer from memory lapses and do not know what happened?

Original title:
Pigoin

Genre:
Drama, thriller, detective, crime

Actors:
Chi Sung, Om Gi-jun, Kwon Yu-ri …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 8.2

Age limit:
16+


Prisoners (2017)

The main idea of ​​the Icelandic series about life in prison is that everyone is equal before the law. A spoiled girl, a representative of golden youth, has no advantages within the walls of a correctional institution. Here everyone is equally humiliated and oppressed. Linda ends up behind bars after being accused of brutally assaulting her father. The girl will have to face the world of crime unknown to her and try to survive, forgetting about privileges and comfort.

Original title:
Fangar

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Thorsteinn Bachman, Adndis Hrodn Egilsdottir, Nina Dögg Philippusdottir…

Country:
Iceland

Rating:
IMDb – 7.1


One Night (2016)

Nasir gets into trouble. An attractive girl gets into his car and asks for a ride to the beach. She looks and acts strange, but Nasir agrees to help her. The guy spends a stormy night with a beauty, and the next morning he finds her stabbed to death, but does not remember what happened. Frightened, he leaves the scene of the crime, but is soon arrested for a traffic violation. During a search in the pocket of a young man, they find a knife identical to the instrument of crime.

Original title:
The Night Of

Genre:
Drama, crime

Actors:
John Turturro, Riz Ahmed, Michael Kenneth Williams…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 8.5

Age restrictions:
18+


Vis-a-vis (2015 – 2019)

A young girl agrees to commit several illegal bookkeeping manipulations for the sake of her lover. Further, the events of the Spanish prison survival series are developing rapidly. Macarena is accused of four financial crimes and sentenced to seven years in prison. Arriving at the place, the girl immediately attracts the attention of one of the most dangerous criminals, and now every day behind bars may be her last.

Original title:
Vis a vis

Genre:
Thriller, drama

Actors:
Alba Flores, Maria Isabel Diaz, Martha Aledo…

Country:
Spain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 8.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Orange is the hit of the season (2013 – 2019)

During her turbulent youth, Piper Chapman foolishly committed a crime – she participated in drug smuggling. Years later, a pretty blonde lives a normal life and is about to get married. However, a dark past comes to light and Piper is sentenced to 15 months in a minimum security camp. A white girl from a decent family will have a hard time among seasoned criminals.

Original title:
Orange Is the New Black

Genre:
Drama, Comedy, Crime

Actors:
Taylor Schilling, Kate Mulgrew, Uzo Aduba…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 8.0

Age Limits :
16+


Wentworth (2013 – 2021)

The top series about prison continues with a drama with a dynamic and exciting plot. On charges of attempted murder of her husband, Bee Smith ends up in a secret women’s prison in Australia. This place has its own rules, non-observance of which can cost lives. Each episode is the story of one heroine, revealing her character and the reasons why the lady ended up here.

Original title:
Wentworth

Genre:
Drama, crime

Actors:
Kate Atkinson, Katrina Milosevic, Robbie Magasiva…

Country:
Australia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 8.6


Wives of prisoners (2012 – 2013)

The main characters of the series are the wives and close women of prisoners. It seemed that the ideal husband of Gemma was not capable of anything bad, and now he is arrested on suspicion of murder. Francesca is a socialite, the wife of a gangster who does not get out of prisons. The only son of an elderly woman, Harriet, went to jail for stupidity. For some of the heroines, the arrest of a loved one was a real blow, and for someone – a long-awaited freedom.

Original title:
Prisoners Wives

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Pippa Haywood, Polly Walker, Phoebe Dynevor …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
18+


Alcatraz (2011)

The crime series about life behind bars is a mix of fantasy, detective and drama. From the most guarded and isolated prison, 300 prisoners and several guards mysteriously disappear. A few years later, they all begin to gradually appear within the walls of the same, but already closed institution. Solve the riddle is taken by Dr. Diego Soto – the best connoisseur of the history of Alcatraz.

Original title:
Alcatraz

Genre:
Fiction, action

Actors:
Sarah Jones, Sam Neil, Jorge Garcia …

Country:
USA, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
12+


Breakout Kings (2011 – 2012)

How to track down a dangerous criminal who escaped from custody? U.S. Marshals Charlie Duchamp and Ray Zankenelli decide on an adventurous venture – add prisoners to the team to catch the fugitives. Servants of the law and criminals who previously escaped themselves have their own good reasons for such a joint work. If the former need to return violators behind bars, then the latter get the opportunity to reduce the term of imprisonment.

Original title:
Breakout Kings

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime

Actors:
Domenic Lombardozzi, Brooke Nevin, Malcolm Goodwin …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
16+


Prisoner (2009)

The protagonist of a British fantasy mini-series wakes up in the middle of the desert. He has no memories: he does not remember who he is and how he ended up in a mysterious place where all people have numbers instead of names. Soon he was given the nickname – “sixth”. Peace and prosperity reign in a strange community, but you cannot leave the settlement, and many residents believe that there is nothing else around. However, the “sixth” does not intend to blindly trust what was said and decides to escape along with a company of other freedom seekers.

Original title:
The Prisoner

Genre:
Fantasy, thriller, drama

Actors:
Ian McKellen, James Caviezel, Ruth Wilson …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
0+


Escape (2005 – 2017)

The escape series has been banned from a number of real prisons around the world. Michael commits a crime and does everything so that he is immediately caught. In the Fox River maximum security prison, where he will be sent after the verdict, his own brother is sitting, who went to jail without guilt. Michael’s goal is to get into this penitentiary and escape from there with his brother. It would seem that the plan is not feasible. However, Michael himself designed Fox River and all the drawings are still stored in his head, and an encrypted map is stamped on his body.

Original title:
Prison Break

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, crime, detective

Actors:
Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, Amory Nolasco …

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.4, IMDb – 8.3

Age restrictions:
16+


Bad Girls (1999 – 2006)

The British series shows the women’s prison through the eyes of its inhabitants, who lost everything but did not give up. This is the story of the prisoners and guards of Larkhall, and each of the women has her own sad fate. One of the prisoners is pregnant and does not know what to do with the child. The second suffers constant bullying from the guards. The third cannot accept a life sentence.

Original title:
Bad Girls

Genre:
Drama, crime

Actors:
Kika Mirilis, Victoria Alcock, Helen Fraser …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 7.9

Age restrictions:
18+


Prison “OZ” (1997 – 2003)

The American crime thriller tells about the new experimental block of one of the penitentiary institutions in the United States. A variety of criminals are detained here – drug dealers, maniacs, serial killers and ordinary scammers . Some are fighting for power, others manage to earn extra money on the drug trade, others are just trying to survive. At night, the cells have their own rules – gambling , showdown and violent skirmishes.

Original title:
Oz

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime

Actors:
Ernie Hudson, Terry Kinney, Adewale Akinoye-Agbaje…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 8.7

Age restrictions:
18+


Rating
( No ratings yet )
Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

Leave a Reply

My Release Date - schedule of all popular series
Support Ukraine