Best Drama Movies on Netflix Right Now (2020)

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SANTA MONICA, CA – FEBRUARY 27: Actor Idris Elba (C) accepts the Best Supporting Male award for ‘Beasts of No Nation’ from actress Patricia Arquette (L) with actor Abraham Attah (R) onstage during the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 27, 2016, in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA – FEBRUARY 27: Actor Idris Elba (C) accepts the Best Supporting Male award for ‘Beasts of No Nation’ from actress Patricia Arquette (L) with actor Abraham Attah (R) onstage during the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 27, 2016, in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

No. 20 – Beasts of No Nation (2015)

Written by: Cary Joji Fukunaga (Screenplay)/Uzodinma Iweala (novel)

Directed by: Cary Joji Fukunaga

Starring Abraham Attah and Idris Elba

Another heartbreaker, Beasts of No Nation tells the story of Agu (Attah), a young boy from an unnamed West African country, whose family is killed during the civil war in his country, and he is forced to join the militia forces led by the Commandant (Elba). The Commandant’s forces are primarily made of young boys and children, as he brainwashes them into becoming killers to do his deeds during the war. Agu’s transformation into a child soldier takes us into a rarely seen corner of the world, filled with brutal violence and a loss of innocence and sanity these children may never get back.

Looking back at last year’s awards season, it’s hard to understand how neither Idris Elba nor Abraham Attah was able to find more nominations after two stellar performances in this film. Elba’s Commandant is charismatic and charming, yet below the surface, we find that he is a child rapist and an emperor with no clothes, very similar to real-life figure Joseph Kony. Attah, on the other hand, plays Agu’s shock and numbness to his family’s death with absolute perfection from an actor who’s only 14 years old.

Beasts of No Nation is beautifully shot as well, as Fukunaga makes sure to show us the destruction of the cities around these children’s lives all while showing the ways in which they destroy themselves. Make sure to look for an incredible tracking shot midway through the film, as it is one of the best shot scenes in any film of last year.