Beasts of No Nation - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Beasts of No Nation Reviews

Top Critic
Alison Willmore
BuzzFeed News
November 10, 2015
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.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
October 16, 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.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
October 16, 2015
Attah is an industrious little actor, but his fall from innocence is not delineated with the same force as the carnage.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 16, 2015
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
David Sims
The Atlantic
October 16, 2015
Beasts tells a broadly traumatic story and tells it well, but lacks the kinds of specifics that could make it a truly memorable film.
Top Critic
Kevin C. Johnson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 16, 2015
The ugly world portrayed here isn't for all appetites, but it is depicted with a gripping authenticity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Matthew Lickona
San Diego Reader
October 15, 2015
A consuming, harrowing adventure story that holds onto hope in spite of horror.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
October 15, 2015
It poses some big questions and does so in a way that's most compelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
October 15, 2015
Your job is just to watch it, as hard and necessary as that may be.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 15, 2015
The country goes unnamed, the warring factions aren't always clear, but the nightmarish exploitation of children is made specific in the most vivid, visceral ways.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
October 15, 2015
This is a harrowing film to watch. In spite of the vibrant jungle greens and the searing sun, it's as bleak a vision of modern warfare as has ever been put on screen.
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 15, 2015
Although it's hard not to flinch every time a bullet fires, these are not shock tactics, but frightening parts of a compassionate, well-crafted film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
October 15, 2015
Idris Elba gives an intense performance as the boy's commanding officer and eventual father figure; his character comes across as monstrous at first but seems increasingly vulnerable as the story develops.
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
October 15, 2015
Crippling despair and the most fragile tendrils of hope battle for the human psyche in "Beasts of No Nation," writer- director Cary Joji Fukunaga's grim, beautiful and achingly sad portrait of man's inhumanity to man.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
October 15, 2015
"Beasts of No Nation" is an act of gripping empathy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
October 15, 2015
One could claim that the film is meant to present a perspective desensitized to violence-but then what is the movie sensitive to, aside from tastefully composing widescreen in thirds?
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
October 15, 2015
It's not only a moving film but, far rarer, an important one, calling our attention to one war that never ends: The war on innocence.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
October 15, 2015
An effective nightmare, and a solid piece of filmmaking, strong enough to make you wish that it could have borne the full weight of the tragedy it set out to depict.
Top Critic
Cary Darling
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
October 15, 2015
Director/writer Cary Joji Fukunaga hasn't made a film that's quite as revolutionary as either its distribution model or casting. But it's still an involving and searing tale of a boy surviving the horrors of being a child soldier.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
October 14, 2015
It is, at times, not the easiest film to watch, but it's artfully made and will leave audiences feeling as if their world has expanded.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
October 14, 2015
Simply a bloody revel in the hideous.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
October 12, 2015
We march through pillage and rape, and the Commandant tightens his power through abuse of his youthful charges; meanwhile, the film itself, supped full of horrors, begins to sicken and dwindle.
Top Critic
Leah Greenblatt
Entertainment Weekly
October 8, 2015
It's a credit to Fukunaga as a filmmaker-and his outstanding cast, nearly all of them first-timers aside from Elba-that Beasts is both audaciously styled and heartbreakingly human in scale.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
September 9, 2015
A humane and uncompromising portrait of one boy's experience as a child soldier in an unnamed African country.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
September 4, 2015
Never soft-pedals its bleakness, but it also manages to allow audiences to leave with some shred of hope for Agu and his future.
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
September 2, 2015
The unsentimental education of an African child soldier is captured with savage beauty and matter-of-fact horror in "Beasts of No Nation," a tough-minded, tough-viewing chronicle of a civil war as seen through the eyes of one of its youngest casualties.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
September 2, 2015
Grim, grueling and gripping.