Review: Civil War (2024)

Civil War. A24

The newest A24 film by director Alex Garland, Civil War distinguishes itself as one of the most memorable war films of this year so far. Its singularity is due to the fact that the film is told from a unique perspective compared to any other war film that has come out in this past decade or even millennia. The movie has a certain level of maturity that is amicable for its subject matter, making it much more impactful for a viewing experience. This is one of the rare moments of a well-produced and written action film that you only get the chance of viewing every couple of years.

Image credit: IMDB

The movie follows a couple of reporters for the media trying to take pictures and interview people during the ongoing war that is happening in the United States following Texas and California seceding from the government. The film is set in a fictionalized present-day America and a lot of the details of the war are purposefully portrayed as being vague throughout the whole movie to give the audience the illusion of not being able to fall onto one side of the war to figure out who’s “right” or “wrong.” It makes for a unique viewing perspective throughout the overall film.

Despite this gripping central conflict, a subplot emerges in the relationship between the characters Lee Smith (Kirsten Dunst) and Jessie (Cailee Spaeny); it’s a standard mother-daughter relationship throughout the movie that gradually builds stronger and stronger. It’s pretty standard– nothing that will blow you away in being unique with the character development of these two characters– but it isn’t why you should watch the film anyways.

Kirsten Dunst (center) stars in Civil War. COURTESY OF A24

The movie itself is a road trip film driving around America seeing all the destruction gives a sort of surreal experience seeing the places where you go and live demolished to the ground leaving nothing but murderous scavengers, degenerate mass murderers, and mini militias all spread about the whole countryside. It’s interesting to see the areas that you go to and live completely decayed and destroyed and how people would react to a lawless society.

I think the world-building in this film is really well done and people should go just to watch that– just to determine for themselves if they believe that any of that would or wouldn’t happen if our country was put in that same exact scenario. A final thing that I enjoyed about this film is that they purposefully removed politics out of this movie so no one viewing could have a charged belief of who is either in the right or wrong, because it doesn’t matter. In this world, it’s either “him or me,” and politics should be besides the point.

Anyways, I highly recommend anyone to see this film because it’s decently well constructed and makes for a good viewing experience.

Disclaimer: You should always check movie rating guidelines to determine whether or not you would be comfortable watching it. The R-Hi does not endorse any film and watching is at the viewer’s discretion.

Featured image credit: A24