3 mins read

Movie Review: Civil War: A Country Splintered

     The 2010s saw the release of several hypothetical films where the American government falls to a foreign threat. This trend mainly focused on how the strength of the American spirit overcomes any adversity and how we can push back any threat no matter how big it may be. 

     Alex Garland’s Civil War serves as the antithesis of these films and their mentality making it one of the more interesting films released so far this year. 

     Civil War takes place in the near future where the country is embroiled in an all-out war against each other. 

     The movie never specifically states what the setup for this conflict is, or why there are specific states banded together.   

     The major background that the story provides is that several state factions are banding together to assassinate the president.

     The story of the film follows journalists as they make their way across the country in the hopes of getting a scoop on the president. The movie’s plot is set up like a road trip,with the characters driving 800 miles across a war-torn United States. 

     Along the way, the main characters of the film, Lee (Kirsten Dunst), Joel (Wagner Moura) and Jesse (Cailee Spaney) encounter different pockets of America that contain a range of scenarios from bloody battles to towns that hold some sense of normalcy. 

     What fascinated me most about this film is that even with its very politically charged subject matter there is very little mention of actual politcs. 

     Instead, it focuses on the adversities of war journalism and what life in America would be like if a civil war were to break out. 

     I was fully expecting the film to tell a “this type of government and politics are evil” story and with how volatile the current political climate is, it was probably for the best the writers didn’t go that route when filming. 

     The main message Civil War preaches is the senselessness of war and how people sometimes don’t even know what they are fighting for. 

     Some of the best scenes in this film display this message through very tense and well-acted situations. One of the scenes in question has the characters held at gunpoint by an U.S. soldier asking what type of “American” they are, with the wrong answer resulting in death.

     Civil War is a great watch especially if you’re itching to see how a hypothetical modern American Civil War would unfold. 

     It didn’t say as much about its very politically charged story as I would have liked, but the action and solid acting make up for the faults in its plot. I recommend this film to any action or war movie fans and I think it’s one of the best movies of the year so far.