The prison movies from this era have been trying to either take us back to the past or keep us grounded in the future with realism or have gone all out and tried to make things seem so unreal in a realistic fashion that it makes our heads spin. Whatever the effect is that the filmmakers are going for it’s worked since people still love prison films and probably will continue to love them as the years go on. In the 2000s things moved into another gear yet again as the edge is still definitely there, but the morality filter has been improved upon as well, showing that there is a definite sense of right and wrong, but also showing that it’s not all as black and white as some might wish to have it. Since the 2000s started the idea of looking at things from different perspectives has been a very pervasive method in many movies, and in prison movies it’s allowed us to see things from an entirely different view.
Here are a few of the best prison movies from the 2000s.
5. The Count of Monte Cristo
It might be an older and more classic tale but the gray areas that exist in this story are nonetheless kind of obvious since the Count, formerly a young man with great aspirations to become a ship captain, is sent to prison on baseless charge and kept there for years until he can escape. But upon the day he does find his way back into the world he begins to plot on how to regain not only a life that’s worth living, but the revenge that burns in his heart as well. The prison scenes in this movie are absolutely horrific in that there is virtually no hope until the main character meets up with his mentor, the same man that instills him with hope for something more.
4. Death Race
Here’s where we go beyond the norm because as many people can already attest to such a thing would be highly suspect in the real world. But in this movie the prison system has become a part of the PPV system, meaning that prisoners get to compete for a possible parole if they win. The only trick about that is the fact that surviving isn’t the easiest thing in the world. It’s called Death Race for a reason, as the weapons systems, traps, and even the other racers are there to make the game as dangerous as humanly possible, and when the warden decides that she wants someone to keep racing then there’s no low she won’t stoop to in order to keep the game going.
3. Cell 211
There’s not as much loyalty as you would think when it comes to prison riots. The prisoners will be all for one and one for all until it comes down to their best interests. Few guards are getting paid enough to really stand up to the prisoners, who outnumber them so many to one. In this movie Juan, a guard about to start his first day, is left behind when a riot breaks out and has to act as if he was a prisoner being admitted. Eventually the inmates find out who he is, but not before Juan crosses the line by killing the guard that beat his pregnant wife to death when she tried to reach the prison.
Bronson is disturbing largely because despite the discrepancies between the story and the movie there’s still enough material in the movie that makes a person look at it with raised eyebrows throughout much of the film. The fact that this movie is based upon a real person should give people pause since Charlie Bronson has been known throughout history as one of Britain’s most famous prisoners. It’s not exactly a distinction that you would think a lot of people might try to reach, but it’s something that the notorious inmate has been proud of in past years it seems and has made a great number of headlines in his time.
1. Law-Abiding Citizen
This is the kind of movie that makes you think ‘what-if ?’, while at the same time wondering just how a man that could take out various people in the justice system with such precision could allow himself to get caught so easily. You really want to think that the people that work in the legal department are able to think around corners, but for guys like Clive you’d think it would be possible to think their way out of a locked and buried cell and come up with ways that one could go in and out and never be traced. That’s the problem with reaching too far however for revenge, it can make you forget about tiny details that others might uncover when looking at your back trail.
Prison movies are becoming a very complicated matter these days.