Once again French crime (cinema) proves that it can get in the ring with the best of them, producing another stunning epic rivalling Mesrine (2008/9), The Beat My Heart Skipped, 36 and La Haine.
Tahar Rahim sizzles as Malik, the 'prophet' of the title (due to his prophetic dreams of what may come) - an illiterate French Arab who goes to prison for an uspecified crime. It doesn't take long for him to fall in with Luciani and his Corsican mafiosa who dominate every aspect of prison life, and as he becomes ostracised by the fellow Muslim inmates Malik learns to develop his skills to survive in this dog-eat-dog environment. However, as Malik continues to win favour with those he helps and greases the right palms, he becomes something more than the twentysomething hired hand and as he grows intellectually so does his sense of menace.
Audiard has directed a stunning piece of cinema and delivers his most visceral scene yet, showing the fresh-faced Malik learning the first of his prison tricks - carrying a razor in his mouth, which is executed with unnerving brilliance. Definitely a film to watch and possibly the finest prison drama, if not crime drama, to come out of France for decades.