“Les Miserables” (Amazon)

Damien Bonnard, Alexis Manenti, and Djebril Zonga star in a scene from the movie "Les Miserables." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS/Amazon Studios)

By Catholic News Service

Set in a rundown Paris suburb with a large community of Muslim immigrants, this drama traces the slow breakdown of its public order.

Director Ladj Ly, who co-wrote the screenplay with Giordano Gederlini and Alexis Manenti, uses the outline of a police procedural — the film mostly takes place over a single day in the work of a three-man street crime unit (Damien Bonnard, Djebril Zonga and Manenti) — to form a powerful message about bigotry, suspicion and the abuse of authority. After a boy (Issa Perica) with a talent for theft is accidentally shot by the cops, they have to keep him out of sight while they hunt for the memory card of a drone camera owned by another lad (Ly’s son, Al-Hassan) that recorded the incident.

In French. English subtitles. Some physical violence, frequent racist and sexual slurs, pervasive rough and fleeting crass language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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