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A Prophet [DVD] (2009)

Tahar Rahim , Niels Arestrup , Jacques Audiard    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
Price: £8.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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A Prophet [DVD] (2009) + Mesrine - Parts 1 & 2  [DVD] + La Haine (Special Edition) [DVD] [1995]
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Product details

  • Actors: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Hichem Yacoubi, Reda Kadeb
  • Directors: Jacques Audiard
  • Format: PAL, Subtitled, Widescreen, Dolby, Digital Sound
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Optimum
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Jun 2010
  • Run Time: 149 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00368BTD0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,424 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Winner of the 2010 BAFTA Award for Best Film Not In The English Language.

Gritty, shocking and unforgettable, A Prophet is an epic crime masterpiece that can't be missed. A nineteen-year-old troublemaker starts a six year sentence in a notorious prison, a concrete hell where violence is the only language understood. Taken under the wing of a powerful mafia boss, he is initiated into a vicious and brutal way of life. As the years pass, he proves his worth, moving up the ranks within the prison. However, he has his own plans, and they don't involve taking orders from anyone. Using his ruthless cunning to extend his influence beyond the walls of the jail, he arranges drugs runs, hostage exchanges and violent assassinations. Once merely a petty criminal, he is soon on his way to establishing a criminal empire of his own. Directed by celebrated filmmaker Jacques Audiard (The Beat That My Heart Skipped), A Prophet has become an instant crime classic.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
72 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scarface meets Scum 13 Aug 2010
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
A quote on the box describes A Prophet as ''Scarface meets the Godfather''; I think a more accurate description would be Scarface meets The Shawshank redemption. An even more accurate description still would be Scarface meets Scum.

The story follows a young man, thrown into Jail at the tender age of 19 - rejected by most of the prison gangs he eventually finds a home of sorts amongst a group of Mafioso; who tolerate him rather than embrace him. He spends his time doing chores for the gang and cultivating his mind, before eventually rising to power for himself.

As you'd imaging there are some rather brutal scenes in this film, but it is not through violence our hero rises to power. It's more through clever navigation of prison politics and knowing when to pick a fight and with who. Violence is not the main thrust here. The film is far cleverer than that, and you'll really have to watch and pay attention to understand what's going on.

Both I and my flat mate were glued to the TV last night as this epic unfolded - cursing the fact that we couldn't pull our eyes away or switch it off, despite its 155minute running time keeping us up well past our bedtime. The story, in this sense also, is just like scarface - epic - spanning many years and taking its time to unfold.

The way the story is told is excellent - with plans being set in motion and names dropped well in advance of exciting outcomes and anything happening - and I suspect it'll be even better on a second viewing. The acting is excellent, and you really like, admire, and feel for the star as his predicaments arise one after the other. You can taste the tension, and moments - particularly at the start - are terrifying, as you try to imagine what on earth you'd do if put in his situation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crime and Punishment 11 Jun 2010
This is a long, long film but one that uses every second to trace the development of its petty crook hero through to, well, I'll let you find out where to. In an odd way it is a hymn to education, multi-culturalism, and negotiation but (in this case) in the service of criminal entrepreneurship. British viewers need to know from the start that the main gang is Corsican because you may not pick this up unless you are listening to the accents or the news item about Sarkozy. It has plenty of gore but at heart is a film about using brain rather than brawn. An engaging film though not in the same vein as La Trou or La Balance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'LL SEE WHAT I CAN DO 18 July 2013
By The Movie Guy TOP 500 REVIEWER
Malik (Tahar Rahim) goes to prison. He is of mixed French-Arab descent and can speak both languages. He is recruited (forced) to do a job for Cesar (Niels Arestrup) a Corsican crime boss. He works his way up, but his loyalty is to himself. He also does some "free lance" crime work for the Arabs to the dismay of Cesar. This results in problems but Malik has the street smarts to navigate through the whole thing.

This is one of the better prison crime dramas I have seen. It seemed extremely realistic, although to be honest I have never been to a French prison. The subtitles wasn't so much as an issue as was the length of the film: 155 minutes. I was well into the film before I realized how long it was. If you use the first fast forward speed the subtitles still appear.

F-bomb, sex, nudity (male and female) some homosexual references, killing and blood.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A poetic prison movie 14 Feb 2011
The FHM quote on the box which likens A PROPHET to Scarface and The Godfather is quite simply ridiculous. This French prison film is a million miles from the star-studded world of Hollywood method acting. Instead, director Jacques Audiard goes for something a little more beguiling and poetic with an almost entirely unknown cast of actors. That's right, a poetic prison movie. He achieves this by inserting dream sequences and other non-realistic devices which steer the action away from generic prison film formulas. While A PROPHET has its testosterone-fuelled moments of brutual violence, it spends as much time slowly building up a complex identity for its main character Malik who is as vulnerable as he is violent. We see him walking the tightrope between the Corsican and Arab factions in the prison, learning the art of survival in a violent environment where to be an outsider - which is essentially what he is - is to be a victim. The film was awarded a major prize at the Cannes film festival in 2009, which is more than a little surprising since it's not a major artistic achievement; nevertheless, it's a darn sight more thought-provoking than most prison movies. The blu-ray transfer is pretty good too.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rough-cut gem 3 Jan 2011
Films like Un Prophete don't come about very often, but when they do, they can hardly afford to be missed. I didn't really know much about this film as I picked it up on the basis of a very strong recommendation from a lot of people, with a few likenesses banded about comparing it to The Godfather and Scarface. It was only when I read the comment from FHM on the box that I realised these comparisons were hardly original, seeing as they were written on the box.

I don't think that Un Prophete is adequately described by those similes, as it stands up perfectly well on its own two feet. The most important fact that isn't obvious from those recommendations is that this is essentially a prison drama. Instead of telling an epic Disney-style story of The Shawshank Redemption, this film owes far more to the grimy realism of Taxi Driver, complete with the violence that is enough to make most people squirm a little in a couple of places early on in the film.

The whole film is a masterpiece to behold. I wouldn't necessarily call it a film to enjoy; it's not the sort of thing to watch with a bowl of popcorn in between a couple on a romantic night in. The acting leads are understatedly brilliant. I almost didn't notice the acting, simply because they drew me right into their world (even though one of the lead characters does look very much like Antony Worral Thompson). Every time I though the film was about to run out of steam, the director manages to pace the film perfectly, keeping me interested and immersed into the Machievellian power play being drawn out by the two leads, watching the shift in power, which culminates in a brilliant scene at the end, which has no audible dialogue but whose images convey flawlessly the shift in power and the usurping of the king.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Well received as a present for a Film buff
Published 25 days ago by alidolally
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It's good to have in the collection
Published 1 month ago by cvetok
2.0 out of 5 stars not a bad movie
not a bad movie, just not my taste at all
Published 1 month ago by john
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty French Drama
Interesting movie but not if prison movies turn you off. Well done I thought and worth having a copy in your collection. Rated highly by most European critics when it was released.
Published 3 months ago by awakeinaustin
5.0 out of 5 stars Up there.
Amazing film. Watch it and then get the DVD. And then watch it again. And then again and keep on watching it.
Published 5 months ago by Anas
4.0 out of 5 stars Good enough.
Good prison film, for sure one that's going to be watched again. There's so many good foreign films out there it's a shame you have to buy them to know if they are good or not. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mr. Steven Blease
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and dramatic performances from start to finish
A truly riveting performance by a cast of superb actors. Powerful and dramatic. You will be transfixed to the screen and you will want to watch this movie again and again for the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by G. I. Smart
5.0 out of 5 stars Top
Great tale don't know which came first Lock Stock or this histoire de Woe,similar narrative / style but trait
closer to classics(Macbeth? Read more
Published 8 months ago by Nat
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
Another French masterpiece where the cover almost gives the impression of young man, goes to prison and moves up the ranks in the gangster world by means of pure violence. Read more
Published 9 months ago by fh1981
5.0 out of 5 stars A Prophet, a masterpiece
This is a genuinely good film. I like the way it is realistic, especially the main character. One would almost assume from the cover and description that it is a young man who goes... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Barbara Vincent
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