Prison Break

TV review by
Elliot Panek, Common Sense Media
Prison Break TV Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Prison drama is too violent for young viewers.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 50 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some smoking.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDiscipline December 24, 2015

Appropriate, child must be able to handle violence.

There are great role models for children to follow and look up to. reading all these reviews has me baffled and are all over exaggerated! and this is coming fro... Continue reading
Parent of a 10-year-old Written byWalied87 November 28, 2019

Masterpiece with no sex but some violence

Masterpiece with no sex but some violence and very bad words but its for everyone. Its a tv show to watch with your family
Teen, 17 years old Written byarman1234k January 27, 2016

Prison Break (Season 5 returning)

I was 11 years old and I used to independently watch this show,
Watching it for the first time was an unforgettable and an emotional experience, and it is very... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byNikkolette October 17, 2020

One of my favorite shows!

I truly love, adore, and look up to Wentworth Miller so very much. He is a very talented actor and does an astonishing job of getting into character. Also, the... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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

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