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Matching Fukunaga's proven storytelling grace with a story truly worth the telling, the result is explosively authentic and yet lyrical, making an utterly inhumane and alien situation both completely real and completely abstract.
Cary Fukunaga’s stark, beautifully shot drama was likely never meant to be a blockbuster; its brutal account of a child soldier in an unnamed African country is far too discomfiting for wider audiences. It absolutely does belong on a big screen, though, and more important, it just deserves to be seen.
Fukunaga not only directed the film but also co-wrote the screenplay and served as director of photography. His efforts have resulted in a brazenly confident piece of cinematic art where every image immerses you deeper and deeper into Agu’s horror.
The necessity of circumstances dictates everything anyone does here and you can only react with varying degrees of outrage, anger, disgust, pity, empathy and, if you're a blind optimist, hope for something better.
Beasts of No Nation is the kind of sincere, powerful filmmaking that gives socially conscious drama a good name.
Fukunaga brings flair, muscular storytelling, directness and a persuasively epic sweep to this brutal, heartrending movie.
Full of committed performances, particularly from Elba and the impressive young actor Abraham Attah, Beasts Of No Nation is a project of considerable integrity which makes for a consistently-engrossing, if over-long, viewing experience.
Fukunaga and his actors - especially the two leads - have managed to create a riveting drama which is suitably appalling.
The film can get so emotionally and spiritually punishing that it needs Elba’s industrial magnetism to keep you on side. And vile as the Commandant may be, he’s a strong showcase for the actor’s talents.
While Fukunaga creates Agu’s world with an extraordinary attentiveness to detail, he hasn’t quite found a way to approximate the novel’s radically childlike perspective, or to bridge the gap between this child soldier’s psyche and our own.

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