Beasts of No Nation

Critics Consensus

Beasts of No Nation finds writer-director Cary Fukunaga working with a talented cast to offer a sobering, uncompromising, yet still somehow hopeful picture of war's human cost.



Total Count: 137


Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,999
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Movie Info

In West Africa, the life of young Agu (Abraham Attah) is disrupted when his father is slaughtered in a civil war and he is inscripted as a child soldier into a mercenary unit led by the sadistic Commandant (Idris Elba).


Idris Elba
as Commandant
Francis Weddey
as Big Brother
Grace Nortey
as Old Witch Woman
Vera Nyarkoah Antwi
as Little Sister
Fred Amugi
as Pastor
Richard Pepple
as Father Friday
Kwaku Ankomah
as NRC Corporal
Dagbeh Tweh
as Chicken Legs
Opeyemi Fagbohungbe
as NRC Sergeant
Ernest Abbequay
as Paramount Chief
Ricky Adelayitor
as Village Constable
Andrew Adote
as Ecomod 2nd Lieutenant
John Arthur
as Angry Bush Taxi Driver
Emmary Brown
as Grandfather
Matthew Mpoke Bigg
as BBC Correspondent
Nana Mensah
as Young Girl
Kwame Gadago
as Village Man #1
Emmanuel Ato Ghartey
as Village Man #2
Brian Angels
as Village Man #3
Albert Jackson O'Davis
as Village Man #4
Andrew Edwards
as Bush Taxi Driver
Cephus Asiedu
as NRC Boy Soldier
Christopher Minnie
as Small Boy Unit Soldier #1
Eric Cole
as Small Boy Unit Soldier #2
James Pachebo
as Small Boy Unit Soldier #3
Richard Lamptey
as Small Boy Unit Soldier #4
Joe B. Youlo
as Chief Intelligence Officer
Alyscioys Johnson
as NDF Officer #1
Tamba Foday
as NDF Officer #2
Collins Carr
as NDF Officer #3
Moses N. Brimaganda
as Chief Priest
Ishak Al-Muminin
as Initiator #1
Arnold Bowman
as Initiator #2
Jose DeBois
as Radio Operator
Akuoko Albert
as Charcoal NDF Soldier
Prince Kotay
as Coastal NDF Soldier
Jude Akuwudike
as Supreme Commander Dada Goodblood
Sarfurat Jararu
as Old T.A.R. Woman
Chimi Tako
as Young Girl #1
Lisa Awuku
as Young Girl #2
Churly Gee
as Prostitute
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News & Interviews for Beasts of No Nation

Critic Reviews for Beasts of No Nation

All Critics (137) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (126) | Rotten (11)

  • Fukunaga gives the film a visual grandeur that makes it feel like it's taking place after the world has ended, and all that's left for Agu is this morass of endless, uncaring violence.

    Nov 10, 2015
  • Fukunaga's hurtling camera and taut cutting keep Beasts of No Nation only just this side of hallucinatory, and Elba is the kind of titanic actor to kick it to a near-mythic level.

    Oct 16, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Attah is an industrious little actor, but his fall from innocence is not delineated with the same force as the carnage.

    Oct 16, 2015 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • Idris Elba gives a powerhouse performance as the warlord of a rebel African army that trains children as soldiers. The Oscar for Best Supporting Actor should have his name on it.

    Oct 16, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Beasts tells a broadly traumatic story and tells it well, but lacks the kinds of specifics that could make it a truly memorable film.

    Oct 16, 2015 | Full Review…
  • The ugly world portrayed here isn't for all appetites, but it is depicted with a gripping authenticity.

    Oct 16, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Beasts of No Nation

  • Feb 07, 2016
    Another film that's as powerful as it is important.
    Maymay A Super Reviewer
  • Feb 06, 2016
    Two results of watching this: 1) one discovers that the Third World does indeed carry humanity despite one's prejudices and not simply uncivilized savages and, 2) the idea that "war is hell" is only amplified when children are seen fighting it. Remarkable work here, eye-opening.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 09, 2016
    Harrowing and devastating depiction of a child soldier; it's overlong but made with power and intent, and Abraham Attah is superb.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • Jan 07, 2016
    In an unknown place in the world, and after the loss of his family, young Agu runs off only to find a clan of young ones lead by a Commandant. As they teach him to hold his own in the war and kill, the raw human emotion begins to leap off the screen. This Netflix released picture really shows that they know how to find quality content for their streaming service, because at one point this film was being considered for Oscar buzz. Not only is this a powerful story, but Idris Elba really makes you believe this clan exists and the way he forces his kids to do things is brutally realistic. "Beasts of No Nation" does suffer from an extended running time and a slightly over calculated screenplay, which to me felt a little tame compared to it's subject matter. I felt as though the film explored more than it explained, which was a very odd thing to do in my opinion. In the end, this is a very solid film that can be hard to watch a times, but I would still highly recommend. Very well-executed picture!
    KJ P Super Reviewer

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