A Prophet (Un prophete) (2010)
Critic Consensus: Featuring an impressive star turn by newcomer Tahar Rahim, A Prophet is a French gangster film filled with arresting, immediate details.
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as Malik El Djebena
as César Luciani
as Jordi le gitan
as Chef detention
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Critic Reviews for A Prophet (Un prophete)
A movie that stands with the best prison thrillers from any country; a film that vividly illustrates the connection between prison and the violent, radical form of Islam that keeps much of Europe on edge.
Audiard has talked about the prospects of a sequel to A Prophet. With the foundation he has built here, it would be a welcome one.
A Prophet is essential viewing for art-film buffs and crime-flick fans, but also for anyone who's looking for a great story, terrific acting and masterful filmmaking.
The success of Malik is sheer American dream via France: Anyone can make it if they try hard enough. Make it at what, of course, is always the question.
Audiard never overplays the new experiences facing Malik, be they violent or touching. Yet his tender regard for our complicated hero shines through.
The film never succumbs to the pitfalls of the prison-movie genre, and there's something poetic about how Audiard, in the midst of all this violence, manages to make a punch to the stomach seem like the most violent act of all.
Audience Reviews for A Prophet (Un prophete)
A gripping French gangster film that depicts the many brutal changes that a man can go through after entering prison, and the 19-year-old Arab-Corsican delinquent who slowly learns to become a murderer is played with an impressive intensity by Tahar Rahim.
An illiterate half-Arab, half-Corsican serves a prison sentence and rises to become a mob leader. This film is mediocre Martin Scorsese -- wait, it's not directed by Scorsese? Shocking! Then I guess this film is mediocre imitation Scorsese. It dark, depressing, virile, and remarkably violent. I make the Scorsese joke because films like Goodfellas and Casino achieve an impossible ethical feat: they make being a mobster seem cool; they make us say, "Gee, if I were a mobster, I'd be that cool, dressing in sherbet-colored suits." And A Prophet wants us to make the same type of ethical leap: they want us to sympathize with a character who goes through a profound ethical transformation from doe-eyed innocent to cold-blooded killer. But unlike the charming Ace Rothstein, Malik doesn't inspire, intrigue, or charm. The film's portrayal of Muslim fundamentalism doesn't get a lot of traction and its aim isn't that clear to me. Overall, Scorsese has done better - wait, are you sure he didn't direct this?
A morally complex and riveting study of the power struggle within the confines of prison.
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