Beasts of No Nation (2015)

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Cary Joji Fukunaga directs Abraham Attah, Idris Elba and Kurt Egyiawan in this African set war movie about an orphan lost to and indoctrinated into a squadron of child soldiers.

This was always going to be a hard watch at home… and I put it off for a fair few years for more obvious pleasures. It proves to be an expansive, uncompromising and gruelling, as expected. The imagery is vivid and the stylistic flourishes feel organic to the story rather than flashy overkill. Anchored by a powerful turn by Idris (he abandons suave and seemingly channels Tom Hardy’s or Oliver Reed’s trademark brutishness) and bluntly direct child performances, this is one of the finest war films in recent years.

8

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