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I’m going to tell you something that I’m sure every other woman will back me up on: I’m a HUGE fan of Idris Elba and I would pretty much watch him read the dictionary and still call it epic.

The man is fine.

But of course, chocolatey-goodness aside, he’s also insanely talented and his career trajectory over the last 2 years has only solidified that in my mind. So keeping all of those things in mind, as Vice President of the New York Chapter of the Idris Elba Appreciation Club, I’m mad behind on catching his latest dramatic turn in Netflix’s Beasts Of No Nation.

But I finally did it, guys. If you’ve already watched the intense film, please do share your thoughts and experiences below. But if you haven’t, well girl, I got you. I’m going to break down for you exactly how you should approach it.

Get your wine on deck, and let’s talk.


Beasts of No Nation chronicles the journey of a young boy, Agu, in West Africa (the country isn’t specified but it’s filmed in Ghana) who survives a war in his home country. His village is caught in the crosshairs when the government falls and rebels seize control. Agu attempts to flee but ultimately ends up being captured. From there, he is forced to become a child soldier.

And of course, as you’d imagine, things get real. Like, really real. There are some scenes where you will stand up and scream at your screen, others where you close your eyes and some that will even make you HATE BAEdris.

Ok, hate is a strong word. But don’t expect to see Idris in his usual delicious, sexy, fly, British, muscular, chocolatey …

(Crap, sorry, I got distracted.)

Basically, he’s not likable in the film. So don’t be checking for him in it.


All that being said, he’s still Idris. But prepare yourself for a sweaty costume, a seriously questionable hairline and an extremely gritty performance. It’s not exactly going to be enjoyable.


This is way too heavy for a date. Seriously, it’s about the opposite of a date movie. You’ll be so depressed, you’ll want to console yourself with an extra glass of wine. And then you’ll just want to cry and reflect on your life and what you’ve done for all the children you know. Not quite the ideal date scenario.

And don’t even think about Netflix and Chillin with this one. Unless maybe it’s that dude who’s been trying to get at you and you’re just not here for it. It’s the perfect NON sexy-time pick.


For this one, you’ll want to pull out your big wine glass. And don’t you dare come with a small bottle. Make it an extra, extra large one. Might as well make a pitcher of sangria while you’re at it, too.

As for snacks, keep it light — cheese and crackers or some popcorn and be done. Things can get a little gross, so you don’t wanna throw up those wings or pizza you just scarfed down.


I’m not gonna lie to you, especially when it comes to discussing important matters like Idris, but this movie is particularly intense. I put it off for months on account of that. And it was, honestly, even worse than I expected it to be in terms of solidly putting me in my feelings. I’m still a little affected by it.

The most difficult part of this film is that it’s based on real experiences. Beasts of No Nation forces reality right into the forefront of your consciousness. It’s brutal, intense, devastating and powerful. So get yourself ready, it’s deep.


This is a movie you should probably watch with a friend or a group of friends. Because … (see above). You don’t want to be drunk, alone and sad. (Unless it’s Monday night, in which case you may already be there.)


In spite of how dark the film is, it is absolutely worth your time. Idris’ performance is frighteningly good. He is unrecognizable in the role and it truly shows his scope as an actor. But it’s the child stars, especially Abraham Attah, who are really the heart of the film. The young actor will invoke emotions in you that are nothing short of incredible for a debut performance.

All in all, you won’t want to miss it. Even if it is hard to watch.

In conclusion, I leave you with this to make you feel better:

The NAACP Image Awards Show is back for its 47th year on Feb. 5. Will you be watching? Tune in on TV One at 8/7 C for the red carpet and 9/8 C for the ceremony! 


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The Girlfriend’s Guide To Watching ‘Beasts Of No Nation’  was originally published on