Beasts of No Nation

Beasts of No Nation

Cary Fukunaga (2015)



Our Score
Though it was bought by Netflix to promote its home-streaming service, this overlong but intense and extraordinary war story from the director of the first season of HBO's True Detective is probably best experienced on the big screen. The setting is an unnamed African country, where young boy Agu (Abraham Attah) lives in a military-run village with his family. Agu's childhood is short-lived - when rebel soldiers invade, his mother flees and his father is executed. Now abandoned, Agu runs off into the woods, where is recruited by the charismatic yet barbarous Commandant (Idris Elba) to his ragtag band of foot soldiers. Agu's disintegration from kid to killing machine is not easy to watch, but the chilling plausibility of Attah's performance anchors an Apocalypse Now-style study of civil war. Even better is Elba's powerhouse performance as the Commandant, a vicious tyrant who, at heart, is just as lost and lonely as the boys that he abuses.

Cast & Crew

Commandant Idris Elba
Agu Abraham Attah
Second in command Kurt Egyiawan
Supreme Commander Dada Goodblood Jude Akuwudike
Strika Emmanuel "King Kong" Nii Adom Quaye
Mother Ama Abebrese
Father Friday Richard Pepple
Director Cary Fukunaga
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColour