Prison Break

Common Sense Media says

Prison drama is too violent for young viewers.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Main character works outside the system to free his brother from jail.


On-screen shootings and stabbings, lots of punching, hitting with blunt objects.


Sexual threats from prisoners.


Some mild profanity.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this show features some graphic violence, both inside and outside of the prison walls. Some episodes are much more violent than others are. It's occasionally bloody, and inmates occasionally terrorize women. Some lewd sexual comments are made. Criminals (both rightly and wrongly convicted) are portrayed in a sympathetic light.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Structural engineer Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) is convinced that his brother, Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell), has been wrongfully convicted of murdering the Vice President's brother. With Lincoln's execution date coming up, Michael robs a bank to get into jail alongside his brother so he can help him escape (he has intimate knowledge of the prison having had the blueprints for the jail tattooed on his torso). The brothers enlist the help of assorted crooks and cons in their elaborate plan to break out. On the outside, Lincoln's attorney (and ex-girlfriend) Veronica Donovan (Robin Tunney) tries to uncover the truth about the murder and is targeted by a shadowy cabal bent on using Burrows as their fall guy and intimidating anyone who gets in their way, including Burrows' 15-year-old son, LJ (Marshall Allman).

Is it any good?


Part mystery, part action drama, PRISON BREAK offers intricate plotting and shocking twists. The show is not afraid of killing off characters, portraying criminals as sympathetic, or linking the conspirators directly to a high-ranking government official -- just the sort of "edginess" one would expect from Fox. Its fast pace leaves little room for character development, and the intricacy of the plot may confuse less loyal viewers.

The show's appeal lies in watching someone try to break out of prison by using brains rather than brawn. Along with the intrigue of the corrupt government plot, it promises to be of interest to action drama fans. While kids are drawn to many action movies and shows, parents might want to exercise caution in allowing their kids to watch PRISON BREAK. It's far too violent for younger viewers, and should be reserved for older teens and adults only.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether or not Michael's crime and subsequent attempt to break his brother out of jail are justified. What if Michael and Lincoln were friends instead of brothers? Would Michael still owe the same allegiance to him? Can "bad guys" also be role models? How does the show make us empathize with criminals?

TV details

Cast:Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Prison Break was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byTom_Gamer_Tom June 24, 2010

Some very violent bits.

Prison break is a great series but has very violent bits in it. You normally have pretty entertaining and moderate bits all the way through. But some scenes are very violent, Like getting poked in the eyes with broken bottles. There are a lot more violent scenes. About 95% is alright but there are really violent and disturbing scenes. It shows brutality of prison. There are some bits of language but not too bad.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old Written byAsh20 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age


This show has way to much viloence and sex. I would recomad this show to any one 15 and up. Parents be careful if your child watches this I'ts not godd for young viewers even I can't watch it anymore and I am only 11. So please take my advice, this would be great w/o all the viloence and sex. I think it should have ben rated TV-MA

Teen, 14 years old Written byCoolKing1221 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age


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