Review: A Prayer Before Dawn (2017)

Peaky Blinders and Green Room's Joe Cole stars in this true life story about boxer Billy Moore who ends up in a prison in Bangkok where he literally fights to stay alive. Going down after a drugs bust, Billy is thrown into a completely alien territory of brutality, language barriers and a whole new set of rules. He's sharing a prison dorm with Thai gangsters and one wrong move means violence or death.
It's an exemplary performance from Cole who is one of Britain's most exciting young actors and who surely has a stellar career ahead of him; this is his Jack O'Connell Starred Up moment or even Tom Hardy in Bronson or Warrior. As the audience, you feel as confused and bewildered as Billy as you're immersed in the Thai prison environment with him; you can almost feel the heat coming off the screen and the tension reaches boiling point as the gangsters argue in front of Billy. You never know when it's about to kick off.
Billy soon realises that to survive his prison experience he needs to join the boxing team there. The second half of the movie follows his determination to succeed and compete in an inter-prison boxing tournament. Blood splatters and it builds up to its Rocky moment. You'll feel every punch.
And if you want to know more, read the real Billy Moore's book A Prayer Before Dawn: My Nightmare in Thailand's Prisons.
Watch it for: Joe Cole's captivating performance
Watch out for: It's a brutal film