6.9/10
15,709
96 user 96 critic

A Prayer Before Dawn (2017)

Trailer
2:26 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ALL
The true story of an English boxer incarcerated in one of Thailand's most notorious prisons as he fights in Muay Thai tournaments to earn his freedom.

Writers:

Billy Moore (based on the memoir by), Jonathan Hirschbein (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,122 ( 19)
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Blindspotting (2018)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

While on probation, a man begins to re-evaluate his relationship with his volatile best friend.

Director: Carlos López Estrada
Stars: Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar
The Guilty (2018)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A police officer assigned alarm dispatch duty enters a race against time when he answers an emergency call from a kidnapped woman.

Director: Gustav Möller
Stars: Jakob Cedergren, Jessica Dinnage, Omar Shargawi
Upgrade (2018)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when Grey, a self-identified technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem.

Director: Leigh Whannell
Stars: Logan Marshall-Green, Melanie Vallejo, Steve Danielsen
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A traumatized veteran, unafraid of violence, tracks down missing girls for a living. When a job spins out of control, Joe's nightmares overtake him as a conspiracy is uncovered leading to what may be his death trip or his awakening.

Director: Lynne Ramsay
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Judith Roberts, Ekaterina Samsonov
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A father and his thirteen year-old daughter are living an ideal existence in a vast urban park in Portland, Oregon, when a small mistake derails their lives forever.

Director: Debra Granik
Stars: Thomasin McKenzie, Ben Foster, Jeffery Rifflard
The Rider (2017)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After suffering a near fatal head injury, a young cowboy undertakes a search for new identity and what it means to be a man in the heartland of America.

Director: Chloé Zhao
Stars: Brady Jandreau, Mooney, Tim Jandreau
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Four young men mistake their lives for a movie and attempt one of the most audacious heists in U.S. history.

Director: Bart Layton
Stars: Spencer Reinhard, Warren Lipka, Eric Borsuk
Papillon I (2017)
Adventure | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Wrongfully convicted for murder, Henri Charriere forms an unlikely relationship with fellow inmate and quirky convicted counterfeiter Louis Dega, in an attempt to escape from the notorious penal colony on Devil's Island.

Director: Michael Noer
Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Damijan Oklopdzic, Christopher Fairbank
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A former boxer-turned-drug runner lands in a prison battleground after a deal gets deadly.

Director: S. Craig Zahler
Stars: Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, Don Johnson
Dogman (2018)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A timid dog groomer living in a poor suburb sells cocaine on the side and stays out of trouble, while trying to deal with his unstable, violent acquaintance who is a menace to the whole neighborhood.

Director: Matteo Garrone
Stars: Marcello Fonte, Edoardo Pesce, Nunzia Schiano
Searching III (2018)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After his 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a desperate father breaks into her laptop to look for clues to find her.

Director: Aneesh Chaganty
Stars: John Cho, Debra Messing, Joseph Lee
Shot Caller (2017)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A newly released prisoner is forced by the leaders of his gang to orchestrate a major crime with a brutal rival gang on the streets of Southern California.

Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Stars: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Omari Hardwick, Lake Bell
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Joe Cole ... Billy Moore
Vithaya Pansringarm ... Officer Preecha
Panya Yimmumphai ... Keng
Pornchanok Mabklang Pornchanok Mabklang ... Fame
Billy Moore Billy Moore ... Billy Moore's Father
Sonephet Inthisome Sonephet Inthisome ... Tiffany
Nicolas Shake ... Doctor
Rex Basbas Rex Basbas ... Lady Boy
Pongrapee Rodmanee Pongrapee Rodmanee ... Trustee
Russel Galupo Russel Galupo ... Lady Boy
Nichakran Nabumrung Nichakran Nabumrung ... Gogo Girl
Siriwej Jaroenchom Siriwej Jaroenchom ... Police Officer
Sura Sirmalai Sura Sirmalai ... Chanachol
Sakda Niamhom Sakda Niamhom ... Saiyok
Paradorn Areepak Paradorn Areepak ... Boy
Edit

Storyline

Billy Moore, an English boxer, down on his luck, addicted to Ya Ba, and stuck in Thailand, ends up getting arrested and sent to Chiang Mai Prison, where he struggles to survive and eventually ends up fighting in Muay Tai boxing tournaments. Written by Gabe Hernandez

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fight Your Way Out See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence including a brutal rape sequence, drug use and language throughout, some sexual content and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

UK | France | China | Cambodia | USA | Germany

Language:

English | Thai

Release Date:

10 August 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Prayer Before Dawn See more »

Filming Locations:

Nakhon Pathom, Thailand See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 19, 2017. See more »

Goofs

In an early fight, Billy's left ear is injured (outside near top cut open) and after is shown being sown together by Thai inmate: latter shots showing same ear have no sign of such / healing / scar or (probable) likes injury: of note, when the real B. Moore turns up as a visitor (as his own father) at the end, it is clear that his (real Billy) left ear (outside top) is missing. See more »

Quotes

Billy Moore: I'm not going to beat up some fucking Muslims! Alright?
See more »

Soundtracks

B15-A
Performed by Scott Morgan as Loscil
Composed by Scott Morgan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Brutal, hellish and unrelenting, but also a painfully true story told with conviction.
18 July 2018 | by LloydBayerSee all my reviews

As much as I love the Rocky films and the franchise offspring Creed, I must admit that A Prayer Before Dawn makes those films seem like feel-good Hollywood fairytales. And as much as I recommend this film for its cinematic achievements, I must also say that this film isn't for everyone. Why? As a brutal assault on the senses, there isn't a single moment that allows the viewer to think "it's only a movie". Your only choice is to either look away, or absorb every horrific moment and wish it never happens to you or anyone you know.

Based on the memoirs of British boxer Billy Moore, his heroin addiction and ensuing drug bust in Bangkok, the film begins with his arrest and incarceration in a Thai prison. Not only is Billy (Joe Cole) the only white face in a prison cell with dozens of other hardened local criminals, the deplorable living conditions and lack of any sort of law and order would comparatively make life in Alcatraz seem like a privilege. And then, during his first night in, Billy is held with a knife to his throat and forced to watch an act of gut-wrenching, nerve-rattling brutality. French director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire uses this scene to set the tone for the rest of the film where it remains consistently bleak and unapologetic. After days of copious cruelty and violence (or months, as a timeline is not revealed), Billy realises that his survival depends on his skills as kick-boxer. With sympathetic help from a lady-boy he befriends in jail, Billy starts training as a Muay Thai fighter. It might just let him live another day.

Billy's training scenes are a stark contrast to the trumpet blaring training montage in any of the Rocky films. That's because this film isn't about the glory of winning a fight but solely about staying alive. Which is why A Prayer Before Dawn is first and foremost a survival film, followed by a blood sport film as a close second. Green Room actor Cole is remarkable as Billy and the main reason for recommending this film despite its ugly premise. Somewhere along the film's two-hour runtime, Cole's Billy transforms from a beat-down British expat to a fighter releasing his fears and frustration into every explosive blow with brute force. It's a physically demanding role that Cole gets right but also helped by the jarring camerawork that puts us in the ring and under the skin of relentlessly pounded flesh. It all feels so authentic and immersive that one can't really say if they are acting or beating each other senseless. Add to that, the film was not only shot in an actual Thai prison, Cole was also working with real life prisoners who were still under detention. For the millions of tourists who visit Thailand every year, this film doesn't paint a pretty picture and neither does it intend to. Like Nicolas Winding Refn's moody Only God Forgives, Sauvaire has a story to tell about Bangkok's seedy underworld that most tourists don't often see. The anti-drugs message is severe and the price to pay is extreme, but as a real life story told with conviction, A Prayer Before Dawn is about humanity's most defining virtue of persistence even in the most hellish of places.


75 of 105 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 96 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows to Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse all our free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed