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Movies about Prison

We tend to watch a large amount of movies in our lifetime. Some movies, despite being fictional, can accurately display what life is like in certain situations. That leads us to the topic of prison movies. There are tons of movies that take place in prison or show scenes of prison life. But what movies accurately depict what prison is really like? If you’re interested in learning about life in prison, check out the following list of prison movies:

Shawshank Redemption:

Often hailed as one of the best movies of all time, Shawshank Redemption tells a story of hope, value and perseverance while serving time in prison. The story behind the movie is fictional, however there are some key things that the movie hits the mark on. One point being perseverance. In prison, you have to keep pushing forward, no matter how difficult. Keep hope alive or your time served will only be that much harder. Another accurate point was that of treatment from other prisoners. Often times in prison, guys like the main character, Andy, are picked on the most. Andy is quiet but stands out because he doesn’t fit the mold of what a traditional prisoner looks like. This leads to him being targeted by other prisoners until they eventually see the value he has.

Shot Caller:

This film shows you the story of a regular man who goes to prison for a deadly drunk driving accident. This leads to the main character, Money, going down a path he can’t go back on. He chooses to join a gang of white supremacists so that he can survive prison. While this film is fictional as well, it offers a look at the dangers of joining a gang in prison and the horrible acts that have to be committed along the way.

The Stanford Prison Experiment:

While this film is exactly so much about life in prison, it is based on a real event and shows the effects that power has on the human mind. The Stanford Prison experiment was an actual experiment ran in 1971 in which college students were placed into a mock prison simulation. Some students were assigned as guards and others were assigned as prisoners. The experiment was abandoned early as the experiment quickly turned into a draining experience. Many of those who were assigned to the guards started inflicting psychological torture on the prisoner students. They embraced their role as a guard and became cruel as they experienced a power trip. It’s certainly an interesting watch as it can show the effects power has on guards and how relationships between guards and prisoners can be.

Hollywood isn’t exactly the best place to look at if you’re hoping to get a truly accurate look at prison life. Movies tend to exaggerate the horrible and dangerous parts of prison. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t offer some insight. The above listed movies all have value in learning about certain aspects of prison, even if they are a bit glorified by Hollywood.