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14 Movies Similar to Prison Break (the TV Show)

14 Movies Similar to Prison Break (the TV Show)

The Shawshank Redemption and The Fugitive are two great movies similar to Prison Break, but for different reasons. Prison Break is the award-winning story of a brother expressing his deep love for his framed older sibling, who he thought was long dead. So deep is his commitment to family to the extent of coming up with an ingenious plan to free him from a super-maximum prison.

He commits a crime to ensure he is imprisoned in the same penitentiary as his elder brother. He goes in equipped with the prison’s layout hidden in his full-body tattoos, which they use to escape. The series is created by Paul Scheuring and features Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell as Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows, respectively. Other members of the cast include Robert Knepper, Amaury Nolasco, and Sarah Wayne Callies.

Related: 17 TV shows similar to Prison Break

The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption

The 1994 film is a deep story of friendship between Andy Dufresne, a smart banker, and long-term inmate Ellis Boyd nicknamed Red, played by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. The tale depicts the harsh life in prison and the challenges faced therein, indicating similarity to the Prison Break series. Another similarity is the innocence of a man convicted for a crime he did not commit and an intriguing well-planned escape.

The Shawshank Redemption is written by Stephen King for the short story and Frank Darabont for the screenplay. Other members of the cast include Bob Gunton and William Sadler. Directed by Frank Darabont, this movie has been nominated for 7 Oscars, won 21 other awards, and has 43 nominations in total. The motion picture had an estimated budget of 25 million dollars, grossing over 28 million dollars in the US and Canada, with over 700 thousand dollars realized in the opening weekend.

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The Fugitive

The Fugitive (1993)

The 1993 movie depicts a man wrongfully framed for his wife’s murder who manages to escape in transit to prison. It is a story of two strong-minded individuals, the convict – Dr. Richard Kimble, played by Harrison Ford, and the Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard, played by Tommy Lee Jones, trying to outwit each other. Kimble is determined to find out who his wife’s real killer is, luring the team of detectives chasing after him to join in on the investigation without putting him behind bars. The strong-mindedness and determination resemble that of the two brothers in Prison Break.

The Fugitive is written by Roy Huggins (characters), Jeb Stuart (screenplay), and David Twohy (story and screenplay). Directed by Andrew Davis and featuring Julianne Moore and Sela Ward in the cast, the film has won 1 Oscar, 13 other awards, and received 37 nominations. Its estimated budget was 44 million dollars, grossing over 183 million dollars in the US and Canada alone and over 368 million worldwide. In the opening weekend in the US and Canada, it grossed over 23 million dollars.

O, Brother, Where Art Thou?

O' Brother, Where Art Thou?

The 2000 comical adventure film tells a tale of three escaped convicts, similar to the Prison Break series. The story takes the convicts on a journey to the deep south in search of a bank heist loot in Everett’s hometown. The movie’s soundtrack was an award winner, hitting #1 on the Billboard Album Charts, capturing the Country Music Awards for Single of the Year and Album of the Year, in addition to 5 Grammy’s.

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O, Brother, Where Art Thou? is written and directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen. Cast members include George Clooney, who plays Everett, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, and John Goodman. The epic movie was nominated for 2 Oscars, 7 other wins, and 39 nominations in total. Its estimated budget was 26 million dollars, grossing over 71 million globally and over 45 million dollars in the US and Canada. During the opening weekend in the US and Canada, it grossed slightly over 195 thousand dollars.

Escape From Alcatraz

Escape From Alcatraz

The 1979 film features an exceptionally intelligent inmate, a bank robber named Frank, an escapee from other penitentiary facilities. Taken to Alcatraz for its unbroken record of no chronicled escapes, Frank breaks that twenty-nine-year record proving that the impenetrable federal prison is indeed, daringly and meticulously planned penetrable. The movie’s well-calculated escape draws many similarities to the series Prison Break.

Written by Richard Tuggle for the screenplay based on the book by J. Campbell Bruce, Escape From Alcatraz was directed by Don Siegel. It features Frank Morris, played by Clint Eastwood, and the Warden, played by Patrick McGoohan. Other cast members include Roberts Blossom and Jack Thibeau. The film had an estimated 8-million-dollar budget and grossed 43 million dollars in the US and Canada and slightly above that globally. During the opening weekend, it grossed over 5 million dollars in the US and Canada.

Escape Plan

Escape Plan Poster ( 11 x 17 - 28cm x 44cm ) (Style D) (2013)

The 2013 film depicts a wrongfully jailed structural-security authority figure, Ray Breslin – played by Sylvester Stallone, behind the bars of one of the most secure penitentiaries in the world. He goes in on an assignment but getting back out becomes a challenge. Finally, he is forced to find a way out and seeks the help of a fellow prisoner, Rottmayer – played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. A well schemed, successful escape plan shows similarity to Prison Break.

The Escape Plan is directed by Mikael Håfström and written by Miles Chapman and Jason Keller. The film has received two nominations and had an estimated budget of 50 million dollars. It grossed over 25 million dollars in the US and Canada, with over 9 million during the opening weekend. Globally, it grossed over 137 million dollars.

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U.S. Marshals

U.S. Marshals

The 1998 film is similar to The Fugitive and Prison Break as they all depict the capture and sentencing of innocent men and involve a calculated escape from capture. U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard, played by Tommy Lee Jones, is pursuing an exceptional fugitive, Mark Sheridan, played by Wesley Snipes. Unfortunately, the convict escapes during transportation to his facility, and the chase leaves the Marshal with lots of questions about the prisoner.

U.S. Marshals are written by Roy Huggins (characters) and John Pogue and directed by Stuart Baird. Other cast members are Robert Downey Jr. and Joe Pantoliano. It has been nominated for 1 award. The movie had an estimated budget of 60 million dollars and grossed over 102 million worldwide. It grossed over 57 million dollars in the US and Canada, of which more than 16 million was grossed during the opening weekend.

Anything For Her

Anything for Her [Import United Kingdom]

Similar to Prison Break in that a family member seeks to breakout their loved one out of prison, the 2008 film is a story of a high school teacher, Julien, who has limited resources and intends to rescuing his innocently imprisoned wife, Lisa. The married couple lives a simple, drama-free life with Oscar, their son, until one fateful day when the police arrest Lisa. Her sentence is 20 years, but a determined husband, convinced of his wife’s innocence, will do anything for her.

Anything for Her is written and directed by Fred Cavayé, alongside the original idea and scenario co-writer, Guillaume Lemans. Vincent Lindon plays Julien Auclert, and Diane Kruger plays his wife, Lisa. Other cast members include Lancelot Roch and Olivier Marchal. The movie had an estimated budget of 7.9 million dollars and grossed over 6.5 million worldwide.

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Down by Law

Down By Law

The similarity of this 1986 movie to Prison Break is the framing of innocent men, a jail term, and subsequent escape. Pimp Jack, played by John Lurie, and DJ Zack, played by Tom Waits, find themselves behind bars for crimes they haven’t committed and didn’t bother to prove their innocence. However, they meet a murdered Italian, Roberto, played by Roberto Benigni, who knows an escape route.

Down by Law is a four-time award winner with six nominations. It is written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. Its estimated budget was 1.1 million dollars, grossing over 1.4 million in the US and Canada and slightly over 1.5 million globally.

The Great Escape

Posterazzi The Escape Movie Masterprint Poster Print, (8 x 10)

The 1963 film is based on a true story and depicts the escape from a highly secured German camp facility for prisoners of war during the 2nd World War. The prison escape depicts similarity to Prison Break. It has several key roles of The Cooler King, The Scrounger, Big X, The SBO, Tunnel King, and The Forger, all depicting their roles in the escape. These were played by Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, James Donald, Charles Bronson, and Donald Pleasence.

Directed by John Sturges, The Great Escape’s screenplay is written by James Clavell and W.R. Burnett based on Paul Brickhill’s book. The movie was nominated for 1 Oscar, won 3 other awards, and got nominated for 11. It grossed over 220 thousand dollars worldwide and had an estimated budget of 4 million.

Breakout Kings

Breakout Kings: Season 1

The 2011-2012 TV series sees US Marshals partnering with former fugitives to track convicts who escape prison facilities. The promise is that the convicts will get reduced sentences due to their cooperation. The similarity between this series and Prison Break is that they dwell on prison escapees and their attempted capture.

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Breakout Kings was created by Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora and features a cast of Domenick Lombardozzi (Ray Zancanelli), Brooke Nevin (Julianne Simms), Malcolm Goodwin (Shea Daniels), Jimmi Simpson (Lloyd Lowery), all of whom acted in 23 episodes, and Serinda Swan (Erica Reed), who acted in 22 episodes.

The Next Three Days

NEXT THREE DAYS (2010) Original Authentic Movie Poster 27x40 - Double-Sided - Russell Crowe - Brian Dennehy - RZA - Moran Atias

The 2010 film is a heart-wrenching story of a mother, Lara Brennan (Elizabeth Banks), separated from her son who allegedly murdered her boss, based on the evidence. Her husband, John Brennan (Russell Crowe), is convinced she is innocent and does everything in his power to seek justice and her release. However, after years of not finding evidence that can prove her innocence, and as the strain of the separation from her son takes a toll on her, John tries to find a way to break her out. Like Prison Break, a loved one’s effort is what saves one from living behind bars.

The Next Three Days is written by Paul Haggis, Fred Cavayé and Guillaume Lemans. Directed by Paul Haggis, it has received 3 nominations. The movie had an estimated budget of 30 million dollars and grossed over 21 million in the US and Canada, out of which over 6.5 million was grossed on the opening weekend. Globally, it grossed over 67 million dollars.


Ham Poster Tin Sign Plate Metal TV Drama Poster (A-TVS00422) Wall Decor 8x12 inches Artwork

The only similarity of this 2013-2016 series to Prison Break is that it involves an ex-con. The story revolves around Lucas Hood, a master thief, played by Anthony Starr, who assumes the identity of a town’s murdered sheriff. He uses his position to impose new ways of justice with violence at the forefront.

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Banshee has won 1 Primetime Emmy, 2 other awards, and 9 nominations. Other key cast members include Ivana Milicevic – playing Carrie Hopewell, Ulrich Thomsen – playing Kai Proctor, and Frankie Faison – playing Sugar Bates. David Schickler and Jonathan Tropper created the series.

The Prisoner

The Prisoner Poster Patrick McGoohan I am not a number

The 1967-1968 TV series finds Patrick McGoohan, the creator of the series, in a bizarre prison after his resignation as a secret agent and abduction thereafter. Forced to give out information, he is adamant, focusing only on his planned escape. He is referred to as prisoner Number Six throughout the series. Prison Break is similar to this series in the intricate planning of prison escape.

The Prisoner has received 1 award and 1 nomination. Other cast members include Angelo Muscat, who plays the role of The Butler, Peter Swanwick – The Supervisor, and Peter Brace – The 1st Guardian.



The 1973 movie’s storyline revolves around Papillon (Henri Charrière), a nickname derived from his butterfly tattoo, and the deep friendship and business arrangement with a fellow convict, Louis Dega. Locked up on a dreadful island, the two conspire to break out of the prison despite all factors altering their plans. The breakout storyline is similar to Prison Break.

The cast includes Steve McQueen (Papillon), Dustin Hoffman (Dega), Victor Jory (Indian Chief), and Don Gordon (Julot). Papillon was directed by Franklin Schaffner and written by Dalton Trumbo and Lorenzo Semple Jr. it was nominated for 1 Oscar, 2 other awards, and 2 nominations. The movie’s budget was estimated at 12 million dollars, and it grossed over 53 million worldwide.

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