Beasts of No Nation is worth watching if:
- You want to see a realistic depiction of the child soldier life.
- You appreciate good child acting.
- You want to watch Idris Elba be an African warlord.
Beasts of No Nation is not worth watching if:
- You want a movie about puppies and rainbows.
- You’re looking for a film to throw on in the background.
- You want a movie based on actual people and real places.
- Great balance of action and character development.
- Believable acting from the entire cast, including the main child.
- Manages to remain surprisingly optimistic given its dark tone.
- The film being set in an ‘unspecified West African country’ might frustrate some.
- Could have perhaps utilized its child actors even further.
- Used up Netflix’s ‘one good original movie for every ten made’ token.
score: 85% CHILLIN
One sentence story summary: When civil war tears his family apart, a young West African boy is forced to join a unit of mercenary fighters and transform into a child soldier.
When it comes to Netflix Original films, it all started on October 16, 2015 when Beasts of No Nation was first released for streaming. Netflix’s intense and violent story featuring young Agu marked the very first time the company made its own movie, setting the groundwork for the hundreds of feature length productions that have followed in the years since. Given how well it turned out, there’s not much surprise the company chose Beasts of No Nation to be its premiere Original title. (And why it waited two months to release Adam Sandler‘s horrendous The Ridiculous 6 as its 2nd ever movie and first ever comedy.)
The film’s acting and directing rival that of any critically acclaimed film, as the movie combines great action, pace, and character development along with several intense moments that keep you engaged the whole way through. Sure the movie is about war, tragedy, and child soldiers, but it’s also a movie about persevering and finding happiness where one can. As with any great drama, there’s a wide array of emotions that get conjured over the course of Beasts of No Nation.
Great directing, great acting, and a compelling story that doesn’t need to be based on specific events to be very real and true to life. If all of Netflix’s movies turned out as good this first one…well there’d be a lot more good movies on Netflix.