The Prey (2011 film)

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The Prey
La Proie poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Éric Valette
Produced by Luc Bossi
Written by Laurent Turner
Luc Bossi
Starring Albert Dupontel
Alice Taglioni
Stéphane Debac
Natacha Régnier
Cinematography Vincent Mathias
Edited by Fabrice Rouaud
Christophe Pinel
Distributed by StudioCanal
Release date
  • 13 April 2011 (2011-04-13) (France)[1]
Running time
102 minutes
Country France
Language French
Budget €8.9 million[2]
Box office $3 million[2]

The Prey (French: La Proie) is a 2011 French action thriller directed by Éric Valette, written by Laurent Turner and Luc Bossi, and starring Albert Dupontel as an escaped criminal who must outwit a dogged cop (Alice Taglioni) while he attempts to rescue his daughter (Jaïa Caltagirone) from a serial killer (Stéphane Debac).


After a successful heist, Franck Adrien and his partner are convicted and sent to prison. Adrien is the only one who knows the location of the stash, and he refuses to tell both his wife and his partner. However, despite his initially aloof relationship with Jean-Louis Maurel, Adrien comes to trust his cellmate and saves him from a savage beating by Russian mobsters. When Adrien's former partner puts him in the prison hospital, Maurel visits Adrien. Although Adrien does not trust Maurel enough to reveal the location of his stash, Adrien gives Maurel a hint to pass along to Anna, Adrien's wife, as Maurel is being released early due to his alleged victim recanting her charges of rape.

Adrien's peace of mind is ruined when Manuel Carrega, a member of the National Gendarmerie, visits him and requests information on Maurel, whom he insists is a serial killer and rapist. When the Russian mobsters ambush Adrien in retaliation for his earlier intervention, Adrien overpowers both them and a corrupt guard, and he escapes from the prison by using the guard's uniform. While Adrien attempts to check on his family, he encounters Claire Linné, a rising star who has been reassigned to capture him. Gambling that she will not shoot an unarmed man, Adrien flees her custody and attempts to locate his family. Unable to find them, he checks his stash, where he finds his wife's corpse hidden.

Using a cell phone, Adrien briefly makes contact with Maurel, who assures him that his daughter Amélie is safe – but only so long as Adrien stays away, as Christine, Maurel's wife, desires a child. Desperate, Adrien sneaks into Carrega's house and forces him at gunpoint to help him track down Maurel. Carrega reveals that he was dismissed from the Gendarmerie due to his obsession with Maurel, but, using his remaining contacts, he is able to find Maurel's last location. Meanwhile, Linné has come under increasing pressure to recapture Adrien now that Maurel has framed him. She hesitates once again when she finds Adrien at Carrega's house, and she is demoted to desk duty. Adrien does not escape unscathed, and he is shot in the side when Carrega returns to rescue him.

Carrega is critically injured when he breaks a police barricade, and he urges Adrien to abandon him. Adrien tracks Maurel on foot, and Linné researches Adrien, Carrega, and Maurel, whom she comes to believe is responsible for a recent rape. Her superior mocks her "feminine intuition" and refuses to investigate Maurel, so Linné confronts him alone. Adrien and Linné converge on Maurel's house at the same time, and Linné chooses to trust Adrien over Maurel during a standoff. Maurel wounds Linné and chases after Adrien, who has escaped with Amélie. Before Maurel can finish off Adrien, Linné kills Maurel. However, the father of one of Maurel's victims shoots Adrien in the mistaken belief that Adrien is the rapist. Adrien falls off a cliff and disappears. In the epilogue, Amélie receives a letter that is implied to be from her father.



The Prey was released in France on 13 April 2011.[1] Cohen Media Group released La Proie in the United States on 6 June 2013, where it grossed $13,959.


Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 65% of 20 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating was 6/10.[3] Metacritic, which assigns a normalized score, rated it 58/100 based on 12 reviews.[4] Xan Brooks of The Guardian rated it 2/5 stars and called it derivative of The Fugitive, Seven, and Tell No One.[5] Manohla Dargis of The New York Times called it a "ridiculously diverting" film that "shouldn't work yet does."[6] Robert Abele of the Los Angeles Times called it "a model of breathless efficiency".[7] David Fear of Time Out New York rated it 3/5 stars and wrote that the film does not fully exploit star Dupontel's charisma in such a derivative story.[8] Anna Smith of Time Out London wrote that the film's derivative and increasingly unbelievable script causes it to degenerate into a Jason Statham or Steven Seagal style B movie.[9] Tom Dawson of Total Film rated it 2/5 stars and called it a clichéd, ludicrous thriller.[10] Justin Chang of Variety wrote, "Anchored by Albert Dupontel's impressive turn, this giddily implausible crime yarn barrels ahead with a propulsive sense of energy."[11] Jordan Mintzer of The Hollywood Reporter described the film as having "a flawed script and a barrage of action film clichés."[1]


Steven Spielberg is attached to a possible American remake. Le Figaro named Liam Neeson and Jason Statham as possible stars.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Mintzer, Jordan (2011-04-12). "The Prey (La Proie): Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  2. ^ a b "La Proie (The Prey) (2011)". Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  3. ^ "The Prey (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  4. ^ "The Prey". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  5. ^ Brooks, Xan (2012-07-12). "The Prey – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  6. ^ Dargis, Manohla (2013-06-06). "A Criminal to Root For". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  7. ^ Abele, Robert (2013-06-07). "Review: French thriller 'The Prey' runs on outlandish energy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  8. ^ Fear, David (2013-06-04). "The Prey: movie review". Time Out New York. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  9. ^ Smith, Anna (2012-07-10). "The Prey". Time Out London. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  10. ^ Dawson, Tom (2012-07-09). "The Prey". Total Film. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  11. ^ Chang, Justin (2013-07-10). "Film Review: The Prey". Variety. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  12. ^ Legras, Sophie (2014-01-17). "Steven Spielberg veut tourner un remake de La Proie". Le Figaro (in French). Retrieved 2014-04-02. 

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