Movies are a great way to escape reality. You can put yourself in the protagonist or antagonist’s position, depending on how you feel. Some days, you feel like the triumphant hero and other days you feel like kicking someone’s behind. On other days, you just feel like getting away. Here are ten films that feature incredible escapes from different places, some you won’t believe.
Escape From New York (1981)
In a dystopian future, New York City has become a prison for criminals as well as “undesirables” who don’t fit the new regime’s idea of citizenry. A plane carrying the US President has crashed in the prison zone, and everyone including the US Military is afraid to go in for a rescue. Enter convicted criminal Snake Plissken, played by Kurt Russell. He is given an offer to escape the death penalty- rescue the President and his cargo, a cassette tape. This film has become a cult classic that I love to watch any time, any place.
Escape From L.A. (1996)
Snake was supposed to go free after New York City, but you know Snake; he’s been arrested and condemned based on a new set of charges. This time, the President’s wild and out of control daughter are traveling with a doomsday device (how realistic is that), and along with new terrorist boyfriend, are entrenched in the prison of Los Angeles. The device eliminates electrical current in a targeted country, making worth retrieving at all costs. The ending is classic Plissken.
Escape From Alcatraz (1979)
This film does not romanticize the infamous escape of Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin. Alcatraz prison was notorious for its brutality and horrific treatment of prisoners. Although two escape attempts throughout the prison’s history did not result in capture, this is the only one in which relatives of the men state they receive postcards and letters written in the escapee’s handwriting. The movie shows how the men gathered and made equipment, dug through the walls and escaped America’s worst prison. It is still an open investigation in the US Marshal’s office until at least 2026, when Frank Morris will turn 100 years old. That’s a long time to be on the run.
Escape From Planet Earth (2013)
When an S.O.S. is received at BASA mission control, national hero Scorch Supernova is ready to jump in and save the day. The problem is, although Scorch is the typical handsome hero, he’s an idiot. Without the help of his brainy, nerdy brother, Gary, he’d be lunch for every dangerous creature in the galaxy. When Scorch goes missing on Earth, it’s up to Gary to save him. Escaping from one place to another on this planet is hard enough, but escaping from it is an adventure all its own. Children will love this movie and so will adults.
The Great Escape (1963)
This movie is based on a true story of Allied prisoners escaping from an “escape-proof” POW camp. German forces sent air crew and naval prisoners to Stalag Luft III. The movie shows how the prisoners came together, made plans, kept the guards at bay and eventually pulled off one of the greatest POW escapes in history. This is an incredible movie that shows the human spirit will go to any lengths to be free.
Escape To Witch Mountain (1975)
There is a remake of this great movie, but the original is still the best. Two orphaned children enlist the help of a widower to escape an evil man that somehow has found out they are “special.” They have unusual abilities such as unlocking any lock and telekinesis, just to name a couple. They need to get to a place called Witch Mountain, where they will meet others like themselves. Turns out they’re not from around here.. This Disney movie is appropriate for all ages and is beautifully acted.
Escape Plan (2013)
What happens when the world’s best maximum-security prison designer is framed and locked up in his best facility? This star-studded film is incredible from beginning to end. Every performance is played perfectly, allowing you to believe that no matter how well designed the prison is, someone will find a way out. This is destined to become a cult classic, in my humble movie buff’s opinion.
Escape From The Planet Of The Apes (1971)
Imagine learning that two astronauts are rescued from a US spacecraft, only to find that it’s from the future. What’s more, the occupants aren’t human, they’re human-sized chimpanzees that can talk. The tale they tell about the future of humanity is horrific, and the end of the planet as a doomsday device is set off. This movie was powerful when it was released. It explores people’s reactions to fear, and trying to change the future. In the end, all the meddling people manage to do is set things up for the future to take place as described.
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)
This sequel picks up where the first movie left off. The animals have rebuilt the plane and escape from Madagascar in hopes of flying back to New York City and rejoining the cushy life at the zoo. Unfortunately, they crash land in Africa. They’re ill-equipped for life in the wild, but quickly find their strengths and instincts. This movie is funny from start to finish; look for the tougher than diamond New Jersey woman who puts up with no nonsense at all, from anyone or anything.
The Escapist (2008)
Set in a British prison, an man serving a life sentence receives a letter that is daughter is dying. He wants to go see her; an elaborate escape plan ensues. The movie is complex and put together like a master jigsaw puzzle that leaves you astounded at the ending. It’s worth watching and having in any DVD collection. Look for Stephen Farrelly, aka WWE’s Sheamus in the prison fight scene.
Source: The author of this article has over 40 years of experience in diverse subjects and skills such as DIY, home improvement and repair, crafting, designing, and building furniture, outdoor projects, RV’ing and a consummate movie fan.