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A Prophet [Blu-ray] (2009)

Tahar Rahim , Niels Arestrup , Jacques Audiard  |  R |  Blu-ray
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

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Region 35354 encoding (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the US or Canada [Region 1]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup
  • Directors: Jacques Audiard
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English, French, German
  • Dubbed: German
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
  • DVD Release Date: August 3, 2010
  • Run Time: 155 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002BWP3UM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,844 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Prophet [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Academy Award Nominated, A PROPHET (2009, Best Foreign Language Film) details the gritty prison career of a nineteen-year-old Malik (Tahar Rahim, 2009 European Film Award Winner for Best Actor). Arriving at the jail, he is cornered by the leader of the ruling Corsican gang (Niels Arestrup, 2010 Cesar Award Winner for Best Supporting Actor) and forced to carry out a number of dangerous missions including drug trafficking and brutal hits. Over time Malik is able to earn the gang leader's confidence and rise up the prison ranks, all while secretly devising his own plans.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trajectory May 7, 2010
Malik El Djebena enters prison a blank slate of nineteen. Immediately you realize his youth, his vulnerability in a savage, organized world that only sees him as fresh bait. He becomes the means to a murderous end for fellow inmate the Corsican mob and thus begins his descent into its servitude. Ironically, it is his position as their dirty Arab that provides his escape.

Propelled by stellar, stoic acting on Tahar Rahim's behalf, this story gripped me from blinded beginning to free end. Throughout the film you empathize with Malik. He's as much if not more a victim of his environment as he is a Machiavellian strategist gripping all opportunities available to him. It's not always pleasant to watch his endeavors, but they have an authenticity, a type of logic, that is followed until the end.

An amazing film that has made a fan where previously only an aversion to its subject matter existed, Un Prophéte deserves all the praise it gets.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
'A Prophet' settles it: Jacques Audiard is the best filmmaker working today. His previous two films (Read My Lips, The Beat That My Heart Skipped) were superb, but 'A Prophet' is his best creation so far. For me, it's the best film of 2009. It was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film but was beaten out by El Secreto De Sus Ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes). I'll reserve judgment until I see that one, too, but it's hard to believe it's a better movie than Audiard's.

As another reviewer aptly notes on these pages, 'A Prophet' has more than subtle shades of 'The Godfather.' French Arab Malik (an amazing Tahar Rahim) starts the movie as a callow 19-year-old entering prison. Quickly, he's selected to carry out a hit by the Corsican gang that rules the prison. The hit itself is excruciatingly intense movie-making. The pressure was suffocating. [At least one fellow movie-goer left the theater and didn't return.]

After carrying out that task, Malik is protected by César Luciani (an equally mesmerizing Niels Arestrup) leader of the Corsicans in prison. In fact, Luciani effectively runs the prison. Thus begins a life for Malik in which the Corsicans see him as an Arab and the Arabs as a Corsican. But Malik proves himself more than an errand boy. As Malik is told by the character Reyeb, "the idea is to come out smarter than you came in." Reyeb is talking about book-smart intelligence, and - while Malik does take and excel at literacy training - Reyeb's epigram holds deeper meaning as well.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
If there is one thing I have appreciated about Jacques Audiard's work, you know you're in for a cinematic treat. I enjoyed his 1999 film "Venus Beauty Institute" (Vénus beauté institut), his 2001 film "Read My Lips" (Sur mes lèvres) and repeated his success with his 2005 film "The Beat That My Heart Skipped" (De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté) and in 2009, Audiard returned with "Un prophète" (A Prophet) which is based on the original screenplay by Abdel Raouf Dafri and Nicolas Peufaillit and rewritten by Audiard and Thomas Bidegain.

The film would receive critical praise and would go on to receive an Academy Award nomination in 2009, a winner of the 2009 Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix , won "Best Picture of the Year" at the London Film Festival and would join two films in the history of the César Awards by being nominated for 13 awards and the third film in French cinema history to win 9 or more César awards (the last two films was the 1980 film "The Last Metro" and the 1990 film "Cyrano de Bergerac").


"A Prophet" is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio). I've commented with nearly every Sony Blu-ray release of how these last two years have been fantastic in terms of overall presentation and quality. The picture quality for "A Prophet" is absolutely wonderful. You can see the detail of the grime around the prison, the weaves of fabric on the clothing, the scratches, cuts, wrinkles and skin pigmentation in HD and a color pallet that is full of detail and depending on the scene, great use of colors to showcase the cold prison life to the vibrant outdoor (and out of prison) scenes.

There is a fine layer of grain throughout the film and blacks are nice and deep.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long but engaging crime/prison film..... August 5, 2010
Jacques Audiard's 'A Prophet' is a mesmerizing drama. It manages to combine the elements of a prison film with the excitment of a crime thriller and despite it's two and a half hour length is gripping from start to finish.

The plot of 'A Prophet' follows the six year prison sentance of an Arab named Malik. Malik is quiet and illiterate but is given protection by the Corsican mafia if he helps them with their Arab rivals. After performing a murder, Malik is haunted by his victim's ghost as he gains repect from the Corsicans but decides to start making some plays for himself and forms his own connections in the criminal world. After gaining some power Malik pits both mafia gangs against each other. The story is very long and very violent with some plot threads that seem underdeveloped, but watching Malik change from shy-loner to self-assured kingpin is absolutely mesmerizing.

The acting in 'A Prophet' is fantastic as every characterization comes across so naturally you'd swear you were watching a documentary. Tahar Rahim is the obvious stand-out as Malik and deserves all the recognition he gets. Equally good is Niels Arestrup as the Corsican mob boss who starts to trust Malik but can't quite put a finger on his motives.

The film work in 'A Prophet' is excellent and the gritty prison shots will remind alot of people of HBO's 'Oz'. These scenes are perfectly contrasted to the ones shot outside the prison as the character Malik earnes 12-hour parole days (which he uses to carry out the mafia work). He feels the relief of wind on his face and you're feeling it with him. There's even some great camera shots as the director mixes quick-action cuts and slow tension building ones. This is the work of a professional!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
brilliant and gripping.
Published 24 days ago by teknician
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great movie
Published 1 month ago by Narwal
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 2 months ago by Fredrick
4.0 out of 5 stars it is his position as their dirty Arab that provides his escape
Malik El Djebena enters prison a blank slate of nineteen. Immediately you realize his youth, his vulnerability in a savage, organized world that only sees him as fresh bait. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dan
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it or hate it
Malik El Djebena enters prison a blank slate of nineteen. Immediately you realize his youth, his vulnerability in a savage, organized world that only sees him as fresh bait. Read more
Published 3 months ago by JPL
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the best films I have seen in a long time.
Published 3 months ago by Caleb Indenbaum
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing
just a phenomenal film, dealing with all aspects of criminal life. you have to be able to put up with subtitles and you have to be able to really pay attention though or else you... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Nicolas H. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed, French, Beatiful
A beautiful, Thoroughly desciptive french film. Very french, but the detail and length are perfect. The depth that the story line + character development goes into, the way the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to watch but on balance, a masterpiece!
This is one of those films like La Haine that seem at first merely violent, but then reveal layers of meaning and craft beneath the narrative. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Dan Duncan
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocked and amazed!
Wow wow wow! World class filmmaking with a story soo good it will knock your socks off. Starts slow BUT it's ment to when you realize why.
Published 11 months ago by Farfella
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Topic From this Discussion
Another languages & subtitles?
I have the canadian edition. Mine has French or German audio. Subtitles are english, french, german or turkish. Canadian edition has the same cover and is a Sony Pictures Classics as well. Hope this helps.
Nov 19, 2010 by L. Chausse |  See all 2 posts
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