Movie review: Beasts of No Nation

Alex Uninvolved
3 min readDec 17, 2017


A pretty good movie. Stop reading and go watch it.

It’s set in Africa, and it’s not offensive to say ‘Africa’ instead of naming a specific country because the title specifically says “no nation”.

It’s about a little boy who instead of growing up to be a soldier, decides to do those two things in the opposite order. He chops up a guy’s head while it’s still on his body (I think it was the black guy from Key and Peele) and shoots a woman in the face for not being his mum. She was being raped at the time, and also he gets raped. So yeah, it’s that kind of movie.

It was subtitles at the start, and so I felt superior and artsy for a while as I sat, essentially reading a book where someone else was turning the pages a little too fast while things were happening in the background that I probably should have been watching.

After about 20 minutes apparently everyone could speak English and there were no more subtitles, but in places it still could have used them. Particularly at the end there’s a whole bunch of wrapping up type talk and I missed a great deal of it, even with the volume up high enough to displease the cat.

I only just heard the muffled phrase ‘brown brown’ as the kid rambled on about something or other, which surely most people haven’t heard of. It only stood out to me because barely 20 minutes earlier I had googled “is snorting gunpowder a thing?”

True story.

It is a thing, and the Wikipedia references Beasts of No Nation so it can’t be a common thing.

Diversity of casting

This movie has exactly the same the same number of Asian actors as all 180 episodes of Seinfeld, so that’s something.

Also there is about a 50/50 split of males and females in the role of rapee.


It is the first short-sleeved suit jacket I’ve ever seen. Actually it looks kinda cool. The sleeves were longer than a normal short sleeved shirt, but not so long that the elbows were concealed. It was cream in colour, naturally.


No, there is no particular order in which I’m mentioning things.

The NFC is fighting the PPP and the NIC and everyone’s the good guy but also probably the bad guy. The UN is in there too saying “everybody, chill”.

All this has provided me with a new saying which I hope to use the next time I start a new job and am being shown the ropes: “jeez, there’s more acronyms than an African war”. This will appeal to people that are both familiar with the tendency of warring African factions to sport three letter acronyms, and also that haven’t lost a loved one in such a war. It will also give any pedants in the room to correct me and explain the difference between an acronym and an initialism, which they will get a boner over and thus will take the place of any Christmas gift I would have otherwise presented them with at the appropriate time of year.

The crippled girl dies in the end

Spoiler alert.



Alex Uninvolved

I only exist while you're reading my posts.