There is one train of thought that we come into this world with both good and evil inside of us. An individual has free will on which way they will go. The other possibility is that we are born with only good inside of us, that evil is something we have to learn. With that being the case and under the circumstances he faced, prisoner Malik El Djebena, played by Tahar Rahim (The Eagle, Black Gold) did not have free choice. Newly incarcerated into an adult prison; Malik was singled out by Cesar Luciai, played by Niels Arestrup (War Horse, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), leader of the Corsican inmates. The naive Malik was forced into servitude; he either had to kill a prisoner or be killed by Cesar’s minions. From this introduction into prison life and though he was of Arab heritage, Malik would be under the protection of the Corsicans. This was an intense prison movie with stabbings, fights and bloodshed. What kept me enthralled was the progression of character development, especially with Malik’s growth. The story had steady pacing with solid intensity. I want to mention there were racist remarks, but I understood what the writers were doing in setting up the conflicts between the different ethnic groups in the prison. One of the better movies of this genre, this film was exciting in a different way. With the prison being a breeding ground for evil, the excitement was watching how the prisoners chose to use it. French and Arabic with English subtitles.
3 1/3 stars — DVD