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Top 10 Movie Prison Fights

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by James Owens. These inmates just can’t catch a break. Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 prison fights in movies. For this list, we’re choosing big screen scenes in which at least one character fights another person while in prison. We wouldn’t want to get involved in these prison fights, as at least one person usually comes out looking a little different. Special thanks to our users Jonathan Orr, Wee Gerard, thenewjord50, Margaret Rd, Élie Renard Delisle-lafortune and Tristan Hartup for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by James Owens.

Top 10 Movie Prison Fights

These inmates just can’t catch a break. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 prison fights in movies.

For this list, we’re choosing big screen scenes in which at least one character fights another person while in prison.

#10: Ambush
“Tango & Cash” (1989)

Here’s a movie fight so big that Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell had to team up to bring it to life. In this buddy cop action comedy, Stallone plays Ray Tango and Russell plays Gabriel Cash, two officers who are arrested for a crime they didn’t commit. As they try to escape prison, they receive a surprise visit from other inmates. In the group is an old enemy of Tango’s, who has injuries from a previous fight with him. Knowing they have to defend themselves, the lieutenants launch a surprise attack so startling it’ll make you jump outta your seat.

#9: Anti-Rape Tactic
“Big Stan” (2007)

Big Stan, played by Rob Schneider, is sent to prison for fraud. Having prepared himself for months as a martial artist with training by The Master himself, David Carradine, he begins his prison stay by showing the rest of the inmates that he’s not to be messed with – or raped. He does this by locating the most dangerous sexual predator in prison. After some insults, Schneider hilariously and unexpectedly cuts the giant down to size and, for good measure, even drops his pants. This leads the others to confront Stan, but that turns out to be a massive mistake. His fight may be number nine on this list, but when it comes to biggest ego, Big Stan would certainly rank number one.

#8: You’re Not the Devil; You’re Practice
“Batman Begins” (2005)

In this franchise reboot, Bruce Wayne is shown to have had an especially turbulent life following the death of his parents, and ends up in an Asian prison. While in line for food, a large inmate walks up and knocks food out of his hand. After the man hits Bruce, he fights back by head butting him. Seeing the fight, the other prisoners attack him. However, he manages to beat every attacker until the guards take him away. When he asks the guards about protection, they say the protection’s not for him, but for the others. We’d expect nothing less from the Batman.

#7: Oh Yeah!
“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)

Bradley Cooper voices Rocket the Raccoon who, along with the rest of his gang, is imprisoned in the Kyln for stealing a powerful orb. So, he comes up with a plan for them to escape, which includes obtaining several items, such as a battery from a column. However, grabbing the battery sets off the alarms, causes the security droids to activate, and triggers a riot. Gun-nut Rocket manages to get his hands on a weapon, and with his pal Groot takes on the security droids, before mounting their escape. This insane plan will have you in stitches while you wait in suspense to see if they succeed.

#6: I Am Castor Troy
“Face/Off” (1997)

In this film, John Travolta plays an FBI agent who takes on the face and identity of Nic Cage’s terrorist Castor Troy. Sent undercover to a prison to get close to Troy’s brother, he soon has to prove himself. Getting into a fight with another inmate, he knocks him to the ground and beats him repeatedly while announcing to the entire crowd that he is Castor Troy. As the fight continues, he picks up a tray to finish the job. However, being an actual good guy, he hesitates. Throughout the entire scene, you can’t help but be entranced by the character’s insanity, and wonder how they could fit Travolta in a Cage suit.

#5: Relax; It’s Pretend
“Escape Plan” (2013)

In this action thriller, Stallone plays Ray Breslin, a specialist hired by the government to test their newest high security prison by adopting a false identity and attempting escape. Along the way he encounters Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose character is known for providing favors. Once Stallone finds him, Schwarzenegger instigates a ruse of a fight to initiate the first step in their now joint escape plan. What results is a brutal, albeit "play fight" between Stallone and Schwarzenegger, something moviegoers could only dream of before.

#4: Don’t Mess with Bronson
“Bronson” (2008)

This drama sees Tom Hardy playing Charles Bronson, who gets thrown into prison for robbing a post office. He spends his time in there constantly training and working out. What we find out next is that Hardy’s character doesn’t work out for nothing; when several prison guards come after him, he attempts to fight back. However, the officers manage to bring him to the floor. After the fight, Hardy is black, blue and red all over. Literally. Fighting inmates is one thing, but you probably shouldn’t mess with authority.

#3: Nowhere to Run
“Fast & Furious 6” (2013)

In the 6th installment of “The Fast and the Furious” franchise, Paul Walker returns as Brian O’Conner, and this time around, he gets himself locked up to gain information about an enemy solider named Shaw. At one point, a couple of prisoners show up outside of Brian’s cell and open it. To O’Conner’s surprise, they are armed with knives. He fights all of the prisoners, and stabs one of them to force him to spill the beans about Shaw. Thanks to the brilliant idea of filming this scene inside a cell in which Walker’s obviously got no room to run simultaneously leaves audiences with only the edge of our seats to sit on.

#2: Prison Rescue
“Watchmen” (2009)

In this graphic novel adaptation, Silk Spectre and Nite Owl II decide to go rescue their incarcerated superhero buddy Rorschach. However, they get there right as a full-on prison revolt is taking place. Needless to say, they have to defend themselves. The superheroes manage to defeat all of the inmates in true super style. In addition to the awesome fighting, the film’s use of slow motion and diverse camera angles makes sure that audiences have a serious adrenaline rush all throughout.

Before we release our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Prison Escape
“Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” (2011)
- Boxing Match
“Cool Hand Luke” (1967)
- He Has a Knife
“Escape from Alcatraz” (1979)
- Desperate Struggle
“Death Warrant” (1990)
- Pole Finisher
“In Hell” (2003)

#1: Mud Fight
“The Raid 2” (2014)

This Indonesian action crime thriller sees Iko Uwais as Rama, a cop who goes undercover to a deadly prison in order to gain information about corrupt cops and their shady dealings. While there, Rama – known as Yuda – protects an inmate who is being attacked, but this sparks a riot. This means he has to defend himself from the inmates, but they throw him into the mud while guards rush out to try and stop them. What happens next is an epic fight between the guards and inmates, and choreography so amazing that this fight had to top our list. When it ends, you can’t help but still be pumped from all its incredible action.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite movie prison fight? For more fascinating Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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