- Cast: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Hichem Yacoubi, Reda Kateb, Jean-Philippe Ricci, Gilles Cohen, Antoine Basler, Leïla Bekhti, Pierre Leccia, Foued Nassah, Jean-Emmanuel Pagni, Frédéric Graziani, Slimane Dazi, Rabah Loucif, Taha Lemaizi, Mohamed Makhtoumi, Mamadou Minte, Guillaume Verdier, Mourad Frarema, Nathanaël Maïni, Pascal Henault, Mustapha Benstiti, Malaïc Mekeri, Cindy Danel, Abdelaziz Mahtou
- Director: Jacques Audiard
- Writers: Thomas Bidegain, Jacques Audiard, Abdel Raouf Dafri, Nicolas Peufaillit
- Producers: Lauranne Bourrachot, Martine Cassinelli, Marco Cherqui
- Art Direction: Etienne Rohde
- Casting: Richard Rousseau
- Costume Design: Virginie Montel
- D.O.P.: Stéphane Fontaine
- Editor: Juliette Welfling
- Makeup: Frédérique Ney
- Music: Alexandre Desplat
- Production Design: Michel Barthélémy
- Set Decoration: Boris Piot
Condemned to six years in prison, Malik El Djebena cannot read nor 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 who rules 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. But Malik is brave and a fast learner, daring to secretly develop his own plans.
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Filming Locations: Paris, France; Sao Paulo, Brazil
- MPAA Warning: Strong violence, sexual content, nudity, language and drug material
- Production Budget: €12 million
- Production Companies: Why Not Productions, Chic Films, Page 114, France 2 Cinéma, BIM Distribuzione, Union Générale Cinématographique (UGC), Celluloid Dreams
2010 Guide Analysis: "Finally scoring a limited release in the US in February, Jacques Audiard's violent and hard-edged prison drama won the Grand Prix at Cannes, scored Best Film at the London Film Festival, and is already the hotly tipped favourite to take the Oscar for Best Foreign Film late next month.
Reviews have been stellar around the world for the film which quickly became the most universally admired entry in the often hotly contentious first week of Cannes back in May. From a breakout performance by Tahar Rahim, to a well-regarded and complex screenplay, praise has been thrown with abandon at its mix of both deeper social issues and crowd-friendly genre entertainment.
There's also a strong level of realism helped by the hiring of former convicts as consultants. Many are expecting this to top both the acclaim level and box-office of 2008 Cannes crime hit "Gomorrah" which did great business in various international territories in 2009. The 150-minute runtime may sound a little daunting but considering the quality on offer, you're likely to leave this thinking that's simply not enough."