Graphicallly violent, BAFTA-winning prison drama from acclaimed French director Jacques Audiard ('Read My Lips', 'The Beat That My Heart Skipped'). Sentenced to six years in a brutal French prison, 19-year-old petty criminal Malik El Djebena (Tahar Rahim) soon realises he has to learn the ropes if he is to survive. With the inmates mostly members of either Corsican or Arab gangs, Malik finds himself having to carry out a series of brutal rites of passage as the leader of the prison's Corsican gang Cesar Luciani (Niels Arestrup) orders him to carry out a number of 'missions' aimed at proving his allegiance. As Malik rises to the challenges he is set, gaining respect from his peers, and with his confidence and power growing, he begins to develop his own plans, placing him on a collision course with his gang boss.
A very good film. Don't be put off by the subtitles it all flows soon enough and you forget they are there. Strong film good inner stories. Lots going on. It's not a Godfather but it is its own thing and unfair to compare. I give it 4 stars and a high recommendation that's for sure.
Excellent and violent french movies but extremelly witty and realistic .by the son of michel audiard jacques important french familly in the history of the cinema.tahar rahim and niels arelstrup are very good actor performance is so great a wonderful classic..for all time
I don't like gangster and prison movies as a genre, and the only thing that sets this movie apart from other such movies is Tahar Rahim's fantastic performance. Just discovering him made this movie definitely worth watching. Otherwise, it's not a particularly great or even interesting movie.
Unlike The Godfather, for example, this movie does not transcend its genre and become deeply rewarding far beyond a gangster movie. I loved Godfather despite its being a gangster movie, but A Prophet doesn't rise above its material.
Also (and this may seem petty, but it's my review so I can write whatever I want to), there's a really annoying song about midway through by some singer doing a Bob Dylan imitation. Another reviewer thought it WAS Dylan and praised the movie for using his song, but that person must never have heard the real thing. Maybe to French ears it sounds like Dylan, and the singer obviously is trying really hard to pull it off, but it just made me extremely angry.
It's not even a copycat singer singing a Dylan song - it's a fake Dylan singing a song he made up to sound like a Dylan song. How dare he? and how dare they give him an international venue for his plagiarism? If they want a Dylan song, dig up the cash and use a real one, not a cheap fake. I'm still angry about that.
So I recommend this movie ONLY for Rahim's fantastic performance. I'm going to watch whatever other movies with him are available and hope they have something to offer in addition to him, because great acting in mediocre movies only goes so far.