Civil War (2024/USA) Movie Review

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Civil War is a dystopian tale set in the United States of America. Given the current state of affairs in the USA, it seems that this fictional movie issues a possible warning about the not-so-distant future of a divided nation.

In this anti-utopia film set in the foreseeable future, we experience an exhilarating but tension-filled journey. Its lead characters drive through a divided USA, which is teetering on the edge because of the ongoing civil war.

‘Civil War’ Is A Smart & Reflective Dystopian Film Set In The USA

Trailer: Civil War (2024/USA) Movie

Official Trailer – Civil War (2024/USA) Movie – A24 | YouTube.

Spoiler Free Review: Civil War (2024/USA) Movie

The storyline/plotline/synopsis/summary

It follows the journey of military-embedded journalists Lee (Kirsten Dunst), Joel (Wagner Moura), Jessie (Cailee Spaeny), and Sammy (Stephen McKinley Henderson), as they navigate through a dystopian America, striving to reach Washington D.C. (DC means District of Columbia) before rebel factions make their move on the White House, in a suspenseful race against time. Thus the narrative revolves around a group of journalists embarking on a journey from New York City to Washington, D.C. amidst a civil war that ensues between an authoritarian federal government and various regional factions throughout the United States of America.

We have seen actor Wagner Moura play the infamous role of Pablo Escobar in Narcos (2015) series. 

Set in New York City, Washington DC, and the extensive distance separating the two urban centres, this film predominantly utilized Atlanta as its primary filming location.

Sammy (Stephen McKinley Henderson) and Joel (Wagner Moura) – sitting at the front.
Lee (Kirsten Dunst) and Jessie (Cailee Spaeny) – sitting at the back. (Left to Right) in Civil War (2024) film.
These four principal actors spent the majority of their time in a car rigged with hidden cameras, receiving minimal interference from the camera crew. This forced them to quickly establish a camaraderie and get to know each other, resulting in a genuine dynamic among the central four actors who played the journalists in the film. 

We wonder, about the timing & content of the film.

It is interesting to note that the release date of the film was April 12, 2024, in the United States of America; while the commencement of the historical American Civil War took place precisely 163 years before that. During the real Civil War in 1861, Abraham Lincoln served as the president. However, in this fictional Civil War, there is no mention of any specific year. Also, we do not know the reasons that led to the War in the USA.

Now, as we watched this film, we did wonder as a non-American, why some people in the USA are talking about the Civil War nowadays? Even the dialogues and the scenes in the movie highlight the issue of the “War” in it.

Lee (Kirsten Dunst): Every time I survived a war zone, I thought I was sending a warning home - "Don't do this". But here we are.

With the easy availability of guns and ammunition in the USA, no wonder the idea of the “War” does not seem too far-fetched. Surprisingly, even so, many mass shooting incidents have failed to control the flow of guns.

Besides, the immigration (lawful and unlawful) issues have become a matter of grave concern among politicians and their supporters in the USA. So, pro-immigration versus anti-immigration has become a thing in the USA.

Our favourite scene from the film shocked us

Then in one of the most chilling and shocking scenes in the movie, we came across. Heartbreakingly, the movie scene highlights the ideological (and maybe racial too) divide in present-day American society.

Jesse Plemons in Civil War (2024) film.
Joel (Wagner Moura): There has to be some mistake. We're American, right?
Unnamed Soldier: Okay. What kind of American are you? You don't know?

Rather interestingly, in the crucial movie scene, Jesse Plemons is wearing rose-tinted glasses. We know that if you look at a person or situation through rose-coloured glasses, then you see only their good points and therefore your view of them is unrealistic. Therefore, in this brilliant movie scene, a bunch of soldiers led by the actor Jesse Plemons asks a simple question ‘What kind of American are you?’

But underneath that uncomplicated query lies a significant and harsh reality of a divided nation – racially, socially, economically, culturally, and historically. We wish to tell you more but that will act as a spoiler. However, we can share the fact that just days before the planned shooting of his scene, Jesse Plemons was brought on board the cast as a replacement for the original actor who had dropped out. Jesse was recommended to director Alex Garland by his wife, Kirsten Dunst.

The conclusion

We liked the realistic acting performances by its main actors Kirsten Dunst (Lee), Wagner Moura (Joel), Cailee Spaeny (Jessie), Stephen McKinley Henderson (Sammy), Nick Offerman (President), etc.

Alex Garland told a reporter at the premiere that the pairing of California and Texas was, in part, to obfuscate the politics but more importantly that these two states put aside political differences to challenge an unconstitutional, fascistic, and corrupt president who is killing American civilians. 

Alex further said, "Are you saying extremist politics would always remain more important than a president of this sort? That sounds crazy to me."

Alex Garland has written and directed this timely and thoughtful film. Should this fictional dystopian movie make Americans think about the future? Would they take it seriously? Well, we do not know. It is up to them.

Joel (Wagner Moura): Wait! Wait!
Joel (Wagner Moura): I need a quote.
President (Nick Offerman): Don't let... Don't let them kill me.
Joel (Wagner Moura): Yeah, that will do.

We have shared the above exchange of words for your contemplative examination in the concluding moments of the film. After watching the film, one has to admire the introspective writing by Alex in the well-made film.

Rating: Civil War (2024/USA) Movie

FM Rating3.85/5
FM Rating – Civil War (2024/USA) Movie.

Posters: Civil War (2024/USA) Movie

Key Details: Civil War (2024/USA) Movie

GenreAction, Adventure, Thriller, Drama
Original languageEnglish (USA)
Duration1 hour 49 minutes
WriterAlex Garland
DirectorAlex Garland
TaglinesAll empires fall.
Welcome to the frontline.
CastKirsten Dunst (Lee), Wagner Moura (Joel), Cailee Spaeny (Jessie), Stephen McKinley Henderson (Sammy), Nick Offerman (President), Jefferson White (Dave), etc.
About – Civil War (2024/USA) Movie.

Posters, Other and Featured Images of the Civil War (2024/USA) Movie are courtesy of A24.

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