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'Civil War' movie review: Intense, brutal dystopian drama

Intense, beautiful and brutal, 'Civil War' is a film we should all hope stays firmly in the world of cinema.
Last Updated : 27 April 2024, 00:41 IST
Last Updated : 27 April 2024, 00:41 IST

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Civil War
2024
3.5/5
Director:Alex Garland
Cast:Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura, Cailee Spaeny

What would happen if the United States president overstepped the Constitution and ran for a third election?

In his latest action film 'Civil War', writer and director Alex Garl imagines the chaos if a US president defied term limits.

This film is a horrific snapshot of a world where leaders stop playing by the rules, and the bloody anarchy that follows. This democratic nightmare makes for a fantastic film.

In this — hopefully — alternative universe, a team of photojournalists speed towards the White House to capture the final days of the authoritarian president before rebel forces retake the government, American monuments and rules of war be damned.

Viewers may be put off by the hyper-American and violent feel of the film. The storyline relies heavily on blood, gore and war. Instead of negotiating peace, the answer is always more violence. However, the film’s feats far outweigh its failures.

Distributed by hitmaker A24 ('Midsommar', 'Everything Everywhere All At Once', 'The Lighthouse', 'Ex Machina'), 'Civil War' looks like National Geographic shot the film. The gorgeous shots immerse the audience in the film.

The movie is a homage to photography, with pictures taken by the characters peppered throughout the movie.

Kirsten Dunst steals the show as Lee Smith, playing a broken journalist who has seen too much war. Her co-star Wagner Moura plays Joel. He is similarly powerful as he breaks down dealing with the trauma that comes with war reporting.

The story’s pace slows and accelerates throughout the film giving it forward motion, and enough time to digest the action on the screen. Similarly, the film is happy to let silence take over while the soundscape and score punctuate the scenes.

Intense, beautiful and brutal, 'Civil War' is a film we should all hope stays firmly in the world of cinema.

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Published 27 April 2024, 00:41 IST

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