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Critic’s Choice: Jacques Audiard’s thrilling ‘A Prophet’ gets a midnight showing

Niels Arestrup, left, and Tahar Rahim in the movie “A Prophet.”
(Roger Arpajou/Sony Pictures Classics)
Film Critic

A work of unsparing toughness, moral acuity and bristling style, “A Prophet” (2009) put the French director Jacques Audiard squarely on the international map a decade ago. Winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes and an Oscar nominee for best foreign-language film, this absorbing, thrillingly intricate pulp fiction follows a young French Arab prison inmate named Malik (Tahar Rahim, in an unshowy but star-making performance) who ascends to new heights of criminality behind bars.

Audiard has made strong films since; his 2015 Palme d’Or winner, “Dheepan,” has its admirers, and I’m especially fond of “The Sisters Brothers,” his severely under-appreciated western starring John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix. But “A Prophet,” which will screen Saturday night in a 35-millimeter print at the Vista Theatre (co-presented by Secret Movie Club and La Collectionneuse), is widely considered his crowning achievement, and it isn’t hard to see why.

Where: Vista Theatre, 4473 Sunset Drive, Los Angeles

When: March 9, 11:59 p.m.

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Tickets: $12.75 - $20

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justin.chang@latimes.com

@JustinCChang


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