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4.8 out of 5 stars383
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 23 September 2012
Got about a series and a half through this when it was out but thought I would revisit it when i saw it on Amazon for just £48!! Now back up to almost £100, glad I purchased and now enjoying at least a couple of episodes a night! Great series and the first season is just brilliant!
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on 30 August 2013
Not due to personal experience, of course, I'm a big fan of prison-related Film, Books and TV, fictional or non-fictional, I like everything from the classic "Shawshank Redemption" to "The Great Escape" to "Midnight Express" to every episode of the gritty late 90s/early 00s British ITV women's prison TV drama "Bad Girls". I'm also a fan of conspiracy thrillers, so FOX's "Prison Break" was naturally always on the to-watch-at-some-point list, having heard a lot of good things about the serial over the years.

Lately, I finally managed to watch the series, every episode from the beginning "Pilot" episode to the 90 minute special/finale "The Final Break", and what a journey it has been! "Prison Break" comprises of four seasons which aired from 2005 - 2008, while the fundamental plot is the same, each season is based on a different story arc.
*Minor spoilers*

The first series (2005) is set in the notorious Fox River State Penitentiary based in Illinois USA, where the softly-spoken empathetic but highly intelligent structural engineer Michael Scofield, played by the devilishly handsome, Drop Dead Gorgeous Wentworth Miller, gets himself deliberately imprisoned in the aim of breaking out his brother Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell), who has been framed for the murder of the Vice President's brother. The first series is by far the best and strongest of all four series. The acting is superb, the plot is well paced and intense, and you really cannot watch one episode without wanting to watch the next. The finale is an epic climax.
(*5/5)

The second series (2006) takes place after the Break, just like in the first series, the plot is fast paced and gets even more complicated, as the FBI and other authorities and media are hot on the tail of the Fox River fugitives as they race across the U.S. in search of a fortune and of course south of the U.S. border into Mexico and beyond to evade the authorities and avoid recapture.
(*4/5)

The third series (2007) is pretty much "Banged Up Abroad" Prison Break style. Michael Scofield and some of the others end up in complicated circumstances once again, and end up incarcerated in the notorious Sona Prison in Panama. While this series comes across as rather contrived at many points, that is easily forgiven by the welcome return of the series 1 prison grit and brutality and the fact it keeps the momentum from the previous two series going.
(*4/5)

The fourth and final series (2008) is where Michael Scofield and friends work to take down the organisation responsible for their troubles and the conspiracies which shadow the series. To be honest, I really dislike this series. This is the series where the penny drops. The plot completely loses it's momentum and urgency, and is really doomed from the start to finish. The plot and character contrivances from the third series become unbearable. Scofield and his friends are no longer fugitives in a desperate situation, they're suddenly the A-Team or something. Former minor enemies/joke characters are suddenly and bizarrely either the best of friends/heroes or standing side by side with the arch-nemesis. Then there is the brutal overuse of Hollywood-style cliches - men in suits wearing sunglasses engaging in urban gun-play where the protagonists magically seem to dodge bullets/capture attempts from enemy goons and cops, car chases, too many damsel in distress moments, too many soppy moments, plot holes and an unnecessary retcon. Zzzz, it just gets really boring.

The finale "The Final Break" - a 90 or so minute special is a cute homage to series 1 and will leave most fans in tears by the conclusion (me included). I personally felt this special was best off being treated as a what-if, spin-off special, and I actually thought it was at first, but in actual fact it's the real final episode of the series - and when you look at it from that perspective it is really unnecessary and again, very contrived.

Apart from the finale this series has nothing really to do with prison, is a pee poor thriller and just a disappointing end to an otherwise great serial. I actually think it should have ended after the third series and that maybe the story was concluded in a feature length film or something.
(*1/5)

I will most certainly be watching series 1-3 again at some point in the future, but I won't be watching the fourth again.

To conclude: I would recommend "Prison Break" to anyone that's a fan of the prison/escape or thriller based genres - be it Shawshank Redemption or 24.
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Prison Break is one of my favorite tv programmes. It's unapologetically macho and a real breath of fresh air in this politically paranoid society we live in. The plot gets a little silly at times, but that just adds to the charm of the programme (to me) and I don't think it would work so well if it took itself too seriously.

It follows genius engineer Michael Schofield, who gets himself put into the prison he designed so that he can free his older brother (Lincoln, who is on death row for killing the vice president's brother). Michael has the blueprints for the prison tattooed all over his body, but his planning can only take him so far and before long he has been forced to enlist the help of a motley crew of degenerate misfits (all wanting in on the escape plan). A mafia boss, a killer and rapist, an old school train robber, a former soldier who turned to crime after Iraq and Michael's Mexican cell-mate form the main "crew" and there are quite a few great secondary characters (notably Stacey Keach (yes, "Mike Hammer" himself, for those who can remember it!) as the Prison's Warden). On the outside, Lincoln's lawyer and son are pursued by the secret service, as they follow the trail that Lincoln was framed by the government for the murder.

It may sound daft, and it's true it is a bit daft, but it really works well just as a good old fashioned action thriller. It's exciting, nailbiting, humorous and also surprisingly touching at times (though there's no melodramatics or sentimentality). The characters are all great and you really get caught up in their capers! If there is a downside, it's probably that the second 2 seasons do get a bit too far-fetched at times, but despite that I still enjoyed them as much. I doubt it won many awards, but it does win my award for being least poncy show I've seen in donkeys years.
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on 6 June 2014
I love prision break, watched it a few times on sky but my other half had never seen it so decided to buy the box set. And the new packaging one was at a great price, its nice and compact with all the dvds in one box,opens like a book. And has the final break included
BUT...... towards the end of the 1st season we noticed the picture would freeze then jump at little, we didnt think much of it until it started happening more. maybe cheap over produced discs.
Id give the show itself 100 stars but the quality of the discs is poor thats why ive rated 3
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on 17 September 2012
What lengths would you go to, to help out family? For Michael Schofield it means holding up a bank and thereby putting himself in Prison all so he can break his brother out before he ends up swinging from the end of a rope ( I'm being dramatic....it's actually a lethal injection). This sounds like a seriously crazy proposition dreamed up a screenwriter high on Coke and without some extra-ordinarily good acting the series could have ended up being really really awful....
But it isn't. Instead you get a set of series full of twists and turns, good and evil, more redemption than 'A Tale of Two Cities' and more 'back-from the Dead' storylines than 'The Autobiography of Lazarus'. What secures it's brilliance however is the acting- especially that of the central protagonists and brothers who you desperately, desperately want to succeed.

In my humble opinion the first two series are stand-outs and perhaps two of the best of any series I have ever seen anywhere; so much so that part of me wishes that they had ended the programme there with the brothers disappearing off into the sunset.....
Season 3 is still good, as is season four, but I just didnt love the ending. (others did.)
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on 13 January 2016
Well what can i say iv watched this through about 4 times now possibly 5 it is one i watch through once a year and is still as good as the first time, i think everyone knows the story and if not a lot of people have wrote reviews explaining the plot so i won't bore you with it what i will say is if you haven't yet watched it then this is a must the story is great the acting is excellent from all the cast every episode is exciting and has you aching for more, 4 excellent explosive action packed seasons and very unpredictable there are parts where you are just left speechless, Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, Robert Knepper, Sarah Wayne Callies, William Fichtner, Amaury Nolasko and Marshall Allman all play there parts very well. I heard about there being a Prison Break sequel and thought no way but looked it up and looks like it's going ahead not reeally sure what to make of that idea or what they can even do to further the story i think it will be a genius idea or a disastrous idea, i sure hope it works. Anyways 10/10 for Prison Break, highly recommend.
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on 20 July 2014
This has got to be the best TV show I have ever watched everything about it was amazing and exciting from the storyline to the prison plot, this show has amazing actors like wentworth miller and Dominic percell who deserved an oscar for their performance. The person behind this show is truly gifted the way these inmates break out of the prison it is so smart and clever and each episode keeps you hooked you just want to see what is going to happen next this makes you want to keep watching plus each episode ends with an amazing cliffhanger. The show basically starts out with Michael schofield played by wentworth miller who gets himself put in jail to break out his brother Lincoln burrows played by Dominic Purcell who is an innocent man and who had been put on death row for a crime he did not commit which was killing the Vice Presidents brother but along the way they make new friends in the prison and some enimies like the baddie t-bag who you love to hate, when they do escape they are on the run for quite some time and the whole season it just fantastic there is not one dull season out of the 4 and I wish they had made more because now that's I've watched it all I don't know what do do next the ending was amazing and lived up to expectations plus it did not let the series down, I cannot recommend this highly enough anyone who loves a good drama watch this you will not regret it it's FAB!!!
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on 10 November 2014
I just loved this series when it came out but my daughter was very young and in bed when it was broadcast. I decided to treat myself and buy the box set earlier this year and casually told my daughter that I thought she would enjoy it herself now she is older. We ended up watching it together, she was completely hooked from the first episode. It's the first thing we've watched together for ages (our tastes in viewing are usually miles apart) - but we watched this almost every night for about 4 weeks and cried together at the end. Because she hadn't ever really talked about the storyline with anyone, she was stunned at the end. I remember feeling the same the first time I saw it yet, knowing how it ends took nothing from the whole viewing experience. Apart from 24 - It's the only box set I own and I know that I will watch this over and over again. It's great to have something that has a Start, a Middle and an End. No loose ends and no adverts.
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on 9 May 2013
I heard so much about this but i thought nah not my thing well i got my kindle and was watching it on lovefilm.com i couldnt leave my boyfriend brought it for me for an early birthday pressent and omg, its a fantastic series and the ending is one that you wish was'nt but at a fantastic ending and they finished it when it was still brilliant instead off killing it by putting another series after another like many tv shows do, they knew when too stop and its made you want more, even though they cant, its very on par in my eyes as Alias, i never thought something other than Alias could leave me screaching and goading my fav characters on it shocks you i think its a good job i never watched it on tv the suspence in itself would have killed me lol, i watched all 4 seasons in 4 weeks lol, a must buy for any fan of government conspiracys, shock, horror, love, thrill seekers and needing a fantastic ending to that you dont like but do :D
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on 13 May 2014
Lincoln Burrows is on death row for the murder of the vice president's brother. He insists he's innocent and only his brother Michael Scofield believes him. As an engineer who helped design the prison where Lincoln is being held, Michael takes drastic measures to help his brother. He gets himself arrested and sent to the same prison so that with his knowledge of the building the two of them can escape together. However, while inside, Michael discovers a massive conspiracy that is determined to see Lincoln's sentence carried out. Breaking out will be more difficult than he thought, but he's still going to try.

Well directed, good acting, good cast,good strong performances from the main leads. intresting concept, keeps you watching throughout the series to the very last, addictive from start to finish. Enjoy!

Overall a good series, would recommend this to anyone and at great value for money.
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