NEW YORK (WABC) -- With Oscar season not far off, some of Hollywood's most serious stories are popping up as contenders.
The new movie "Beasts of No Nation" takes its story from a novel of the same name, and it is a harsh, violent and so worthwhile picture that it is fair to call it "essential."
The movie, filmed in Ghana, is poignant and leaves the audience feeling raw.
"Beasts Of No Nation" takes us to West Africa, where boys are literally forced to become men.
The film shows a group of so-called "child soldiers" under the command of Idris Elba's character.
He sends them to fight government troops after a military coup.
One of the boys, Agu, flees the fighting and is captured in the jungle by the rebels.
The commandant offers him a choice: kill or be killed.
What follows is a scene so brutal and harsh that it's difficult to watch it.
The movie is fascinating because we see how Elba keeps psychological control of his men.
Elba and newcomer Abraham Attah both deserve Oscar nominations, along with the film's director.
The film takes you into the heart of darkness and is scarier than any horror film.
Sandy Kenyon calls 'Beasts of No Nation' a must-see film
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