A Prophet (Un prophete)

2010

A Prophet (Un prophete)

Critics Consensus

Featuring an impressive star turn by newcomer Tahar Rahim, A Prophet is a French gangster film filled with arresting, immediate details.

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 158

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 24,944
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Movie Info

Condemned to six years in prison, Malik El Djebena, part Arab, part Corsican, cannot read or write. Arriving at the jail entirely alone, he appears younger and more fragile than the other convicts. He is 19 years old. Cornered by the leader of the Corsican gang currently ruling the prison, he is given a number of "missions" to carry out, toughening him up and gaining the gang leader's confidence in the process. Malik is a fast learner and rises up the prison ranks, all the while secretly devising his own plans.

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News & Interviews for A Prophet (Un prophete)

Critic Reviews for A Prophet (Un prophete)

All Critics (158) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (153) | Rotten (5)

  • A Prophet's distinction is its refusal to play to convention.

    January 22, 2020 | Full Review…
  • A film that is tense and crackling with fury, a visceral experience that threatens to leap from the screen.

    October 19, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • A taut, solidly crafted drama. Audiard's world is both fully realized and compelling, even if its consideration of Malik as some sort of modern day prophet seems halfhearted and ultimately beside the point.

    August 5, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • It wasn't a whole lot of fun at the time, but it was utterly compelling. It never felt less than real. And months later, it sits well.

    July 23, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Usually, I don't much like films in which males throw violence at any problem that comes their way... But this is such an intensely mature piece of work featuring such intensely mature performances that I was too involved to let it bother me.

    August 30, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Rahim more than rises to the challenge of making Malik utterly compelling throughout his journey. Mr. Arestrup manages to use his physical frailty to convey enormous threat in a way no English-speaking star of that generation would be willing to match.

    August 9, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Prophet (Un prophete)

  • Jul 22, 2014
    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?
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Oct 05, 2013
    gripping with more a sense of realism to it than the majority of prison dramas. no crime sprees and no insatiable urge from the protagonist for power, but more an insurmountable penchant for survival and the rest falling into place
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Jul 30, 2013
    This French prison drama directed by Jacques Audiard from a screenplay he co-wrote with Thomas Bidegain, Abdel Raouf Dafri and Nicolas Peufaillit, is something you cannot miss! If you do, you will be missing on some of the best in the world cinematography on this subject. It stars Tahar Rahim in the title role as an imprisoned petty criminal of Algerian origins who rises in the inmate hierarchy, as he initiates himself into the Corsican and then Muslim subcultures. It is a work of fiction, and for the director the film aimed "creating icons, images for people who don't have images in movies, like the Arabs in France." The character of Malik El Djebena (Tahar Rahim), nineteen years old, French of Algerian descent was so realistically portrayed that it is really hard to understand it as a fictional character, as well as the character of the Corsican mobster Cesar Luciani (Niels Arestrup). The director wanted to ensure the authenticity of the prison experience, and hired former convicts as advisors and extras... The screenplay was done exceptionally seamless and I wasn't even aware when the transitions unfolded most of the times. The main character had nothing when started and the indifference toward him slowly built up a change that he became someone we cared and wanted to succeed. Of course such screenplay and outstanding director could not be unnoticed: A Prophet won the Grand Prix at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, at the 53rd London Film Festival, it won the Best Film Award. After that won the Prix Louis Delluc 2009, nd at the 63rd British Academy Film Awards, it won a BAFTA for Best Film Not in the English Language. It was nominated for 13 César Awards, tying it with three other films for the most nominations of any film in César history. It won 9 Cesars at the ceremony, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. The film was nominated for the Grand Prix of the Belgian Syndicate of Cinema Critics. The film also won Best Foreign Film at the 13th annual British Independent Film Awards, which were held in London at the Old Billingsgate on December 5, 2010... still thinking of missing this? Don't!
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • Jul 17, 2013
    A morally complex and riveting study of the power struggle within the confines of prison.
    Pierluigi P Super Reviewer

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