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732 Ratings

Beasts of No Nation

Directed by Cary Fukunaga
United States, 2015
Drama, War


A drama based on the experiences of Agu, a child soldier fighting in the civil war of an unnamed African country.

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Beasts of No Nation Directed by Cary Fukunaga

Awards & Festivals

Venice Film Festival

2015 | 2 wins including: CICT-UNESCO Enrico Fulchignoni Award

Independent Spirit Awards

2016 | 2 wins including: Best Male Lead

2016 | 3 nominations including: Best Feature

Indiewire Critics' Poll

2015 | Nominee: Best Supporting Actor

National Board of Review

2015 | 2 wins including: Freedom of Expression Award

Fukunaga is a wonderful visual stylist, and there’s a virtuosic freshness to the cinematography that, as with True Detective, carries you quite far before it starts to get stale. But just as True Detective’s much-lauded aesthetic achievement eventually revealed itself as just old noir in new bottles, Beasts ultimately goes nowhere. It not only draws on its predecessors: it is imprisoned by them.
November 11, 2015
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To remind us that [the adult commander is] actually a psychopath, the film’s child protagonist is forced to give his leader a blow job (off screen), neatly transforming the commander into a pedophile. The scene comes straight from the novel but plays as if something beyond the pale and unrelated to warfare had to be introduced to get things back on the morally correct track. And this is only the most blatant example of the film’s perniciousness.
November 04, 2015
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In one particular sequence, the camera snakes its way – at length and without any cuts – through a raided building, tracking Agu, high and traumatised, as he first tries to embrace a terrified woman whom he has mistaken for his mother, and then, after seeing his comrades begin to rape her, shoots her dead himself, before surveying the murder and mayhem taking place in the town below. The sheer technical bravura of this single take embeds and implicates us in the action with Agu.
October 30, 2015

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