Beasts Of No Nation
A Netflix original, set in an undetermined West African state at some undetermined time in the recent past during a civil war of unpleasant intensity. A young boy (Abraham Attah) is separated from his family, most of whom are slaughtered, when fighting between government and rebel forces puts his village in the crossfire. He survives alone for a short time, but is soon found – and taken – by a roving band of insurgents, led by a charismatic bandit played by Idris Elba. This does not lead to happy things. Transcends the usual Hollywood arc, but still manages to leave behind crumbs of hope. Excellent stuff from director Cary Joji Fukunaga, who helmed the first season of True Detective.
Problematic, clearly not uncontested, but dramatically very engaging, with strong, memorable performances (Eric Bana, Ciarán Hind, Hanns Zischler, and Mathieu Amalric and Michael Lonsdale as the Corsican fixers) and well executed set pieces. Even if it does fizzle out a bit towards the end, even if it does avoid the whole Lillehammer fiasco, Spielberg still has the chops.