This is one of my favorite movies, not in small part due to Tahar Rahim and his performance. I loved the speed of the movie, but most of all, the stoicism of Malik. It's amazing what Tahar can express by just the raising of his eyebrows. I don't even like crime dramas. Ever.
A masterfully told story about survival of the fittest. Malik enters prison a petty criminal who can't read or write and slowly rises through the criminal ranks on the inside and the outside with an innate, intense survival instinct. Claustrophobic, violent, smart and gritty, no matter what Malik does, he never looses his humanity, which keeps you on his side. A beautifully directed and acted film. A must-see.