First-rate crime pic stars rookie actor Tahar Rahim as Malik, a nineteen-year-old, half-French, half-Arab petty criminal who lands in a French prison and must make split-second decisions in order to survive. Malik’s progress through the underworld is vividly etched by director Jacques Audiard (The Beat that My Heart Skipped), with a screenplay he wrote with Thomas Bidegain, adapted from a script by Abdel Raouf Dafri and Nicolas Peufaillit. A thrilling portrait of multi-culti criminal life in the South of France, Malik’s adventures take him from the Corsican mafia (with actor Niels Arestrup as the prison godfather) to Arab and Italian gangsters in Marseille, all gleefully double-crossing each other in the dope trade. Compares favorably to the classic policiers of Jean-Pierre Melville, with touches of Jamaa Fanaka’s Penitentiary films and the Italian Gomorra. Cold as lunch meat (155 min.).
Director: Jacques Audiard
Writer: Thomas Bidegain, Jacques Audiard, Abdel Raouf Dafri and Nicolas Peufaillit
Producer: Martine Cassinelli and Antonin Dedet
Cast: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Hichem Yacoubi, Reda Kateb, Antoine Basler, Gilles Cohen, Farid Elouardi, Sonia Hell and Pascal Henault