You Got the Wrong Guy: 16 Movies Where a Main Character Is Framed

Few movie plots are as interesting as ones where the main character gets caught up in a web of lies and fake accusations. Whether they’re about justice, self-discovery, or the human spirit, these movies take us on exciting trips into the darker corners of life. Let’s look at how movies tell stories where people’s innocence is questioned, and justice isn’t always clear. 

1. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

The Picture of Dorian Gray 1945
Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

This famous movie is based on a book by Oscar Wilde. It’s about a young man named Dorian Gray, who makes a deal with Faust and agrees that his portrait will get older while he stays the same age. Dorian’s picture shows the bad things he has done, even though he keeps living a bad life. As the truth about his painting emerges, Dorian’s world starts falling apart.

2. The Fugitive (1993)

The Fugitive 1993
Image Credit: Kopelson Entertainment.

Harrison Ford plays Dr. Richard Kimble, who is wrongly found guilty of killing his wife. After fleeing from prison, he becomes a fugitive, and U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard, played by Tommy Lee Jones, follows him everywhere he goes. Kimble’s drive to clear his name and find the real killer is at the heart of the film’s exciting plot.

3. Stalag 17 (1953)

Stalag 17 1953
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

In a World War II German prisoner-of-war camp, suspicion falls on one of the American prisoners as a possible informant for the enemy. The film follows the efforts of the other prisoners to uncover the traitor in their midst. Stalag 17 masterfully blends humor and suspense as it explores themes of trust and betrayal.

4. Double Jeopardy (1999)

Double Jeopardy 1999
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Libby Parsons, played by Ashley Judd, is convicted of murdering her husband, who faked his death and framed her for the crime. After serving her sentence, she learns the truth and seeks revenge while avoiding a legal concept known as “double jeopardy,” which prevents her from being tried for the same crime twice.

5. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

Who Framed Roger Rabbit handcuffs 1988
Image Credit: Touchstone Pictures.

This movie takes place in a world where people and animated figures live together. Bob Hoskins plays private eye Eddie Valiant, who is looking into who killed Marvin Acme. Roger Rabbit, a cartoon figure, is wrongly blamed for a crime, which leads to a complicated and entertaining story about a plot and a mystery.

6. An Innocent Man (1989)

An Innocent Man 1989
Image Credit: Touchstone Pictures.

Tom Selleck plays Jimmie Rainwood, a regular guy whose life goes downhill when he is wrongly accused of drug trafficking. While he is in jail, he gets tougher and wants to get back at those who set him up. As Rainwood tries to get his life back, the movie looks at themes of justice and revenge.

7. The Shawshank Redemption (1994

The Shawshank Redemption 1994
Image Credit: Castle Rock Entertainment.

One of cinema’s most beloved films, The Shawshank Redemption, tells the story of Andy Dufresne, a banker wrongfully convicted of murder. While serving his sentence in Shawshank State Penitentiary, he forms a bond with fellow inmate Red, played by Morgan Freeman. The film’s enduring message of hope and redemption resonates as Andy meticulously plans his escape and seeks justice.

8. The Green Mile (1999)

The Green Mile 1999
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Based on a Stephen King novel, The Green Mile is set on death row at Cold Mountain Penitentiary. Prison guard Paul Edgecomb, portrayed by Tom Hanks, encounters John Coffey, an inmate with extraordinary healing powers. The film explores themes of injustice and the consequences of prejudice.

9. The Negotiator (1998)

The Negotiator 1998
Image Credit: Regency Enterprises.

Samuel L. Jackson plays Danny Roman, a brilliant hostage negotiator wrongly accused of embezzlement and murder. To clear his name and uncover the truth, Roman takes hostages within the police department and demands that another negotiator, played by Kevin Spacey, be brought in. The film is a thrilling cat-and-mouse game of wit and deception.

10. A Few Good Men (1992)

A Few Good Men 1992
Image Credit: Castle Rock Entertainment.

This courtroom drama is about the trial of two U.S. Marines who are accused of killing another Marine. Tom Cruise plays the defense lawyer, Lt. Daniel Kaffee, and Jack Nicholson plays the strong and intimidating Col. Nathan Jessup. As Kaffee tries to discover the truth, the movie looks at what happens when people do what they are told.

11. Extreme Measures (1996)

Extreme Measures 1992
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

In Extreme Measures, Hugh Grant plays Dr. Guy Luthan, a young doctor who discovers a horrifying plot involving medical trials on homeless people. As he looks into things, he becomes the target of a powerful group that wants to shut him up and blame him for a murder he didn’t commit.

12. A Murder of Crows (1998)

A Murder of Crows 1998
Image Credit: Franchise Pictures.

Cuba Gooding Jr. stars as Lawson Russell, a successful lawyer whose life unravels when he discovers a manuscript that describes a series of unsolved murders in detail. As the murders in the manuscript start happening in real life, Russell becomes the prime suspect and must uncover the truth to clear his name.

13. Fallen (1998)

Fallen 1998
Image Credit: Turner Pictures.

Denzel Washington portrays Detective John Hobbes, who investigates a series of bizarre and gruesome murders. He discovers that the crimes are linked to an evil entity that can possess different bodies, including innocent people. Hobbes is framed for the murders and must stop the evil force.

14. Disclosure (1994)

Disclosure 1994
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Michael Douglas plays Tom Sanders, a high-ranking executive who is wrongly accused of sexual harassment by his new female boss, played by Demi Moore. As he fights to clear his name and expose the truth, the film explores themes of gender dynamics and corporate power.

15. Minority Report (2002)

Minority Report 2002
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

In a futuristic world, John Anderton, portrayed by Tom Cruise, is the head of a specialized police unit that arrests criminals before they commit crimes based on precognitive visions. When Anderton is accused of a future murder, he becomes a fugitive and investigates a complex conspiracy.

16. Wrongfully Accused (1998)

Wrongfully Accused 1998
Image Credit: Morgan Creek Productions.

Leslie Nielsen stars in this comedic take on the framed protagonist trope. Nielsen plays Ryan Harrison, a renowned violinist accused of murder. The film humorously parodies various thriller and action movie clichés as Harrison navigates a series of absurd situations in his quest to clear his name.

50 Greatest Ensemble Casts in Cinematic History — Do You Agree?

The Outsiders 1983 cast
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Movies with star-studded casts are some of my favorites. From mysteries to dramas, comedies, and war films, these are some of cinematic history’s most extraordinary ensemble casts. Do you agree?

Top 25 Popular TV Shows That Would NEVER Be Made Today

Married with Children reunion
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures Television.

There is no contesting that pop culture is evolving, and what was acceptable in the past is being corrected for today. For example, many hit TV series were massive successes and would never be made today. Here are the top 25.

26 Comedy Films That Cancel Culture Forbids You From Laughing at Today

The Jerk 1979
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Has cancel culture come for your favorite films? There are several classic comedies that were once considered hilarious that are deemed offensive today. Here are twenty-six of them.

25 Nostalgic Movies Everyone Needs to See at Least Once in Their Lifetime

Stand by Me 1986
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Take a trip down memory lane with this hand-picked list of classic films that have forever changed the face of cinema. These movies represent the spirit of different times and genres, from inspiring stories of friendship and adventure to terrifying suspense and beautiful romance.

12 Plot Points That Popular Movies Didn’t Bother Resolving for Audiences

The Karate Kid 1984 Daniel and Ali
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Do any of your favorite films have plot holes that were never resolved? You’re not alone. An entertainment community poster asked for examples of said plot holes. Here is what the forum volunteered. Did you notice?