Civil War

Alex Garland's Civil War is a suspenseful, adrenaline-fueled depiction of war journalism.


The film's central performances - from Kirsten Dunst, Cailee Spaeny, Wagner Moura and Stephen McKinley Henderson - are all excellent. They are given the space to feel like complex humans - supportive and engaging, determined and terrified.


Kirsten Dunst is particularly superb as hardened war photographer, Lee. Meanwhile, Jesse Plemons makes a chilling appearance in an incredibly tense and horrific scene.



Joining the journalists on their devastating road trip, it is hard not to appreciate the dangers inherent in every iconic, real life war photograph or video record (it also made me want to rewatch many of my favourite war documentaries, specifically McCullin).


While depicting their journey, Garland includes many striking and unsettling visuals. Civil War is certainly stunning to look at and the film's sound design is also incredibly impressive and immersive. It is definitely worth seeing Civil War on a big screen with a powerful sound system.


Garland's film has been criticised for being apolitical. I don't agree. Civil War is vague about the details of who did what and when - and deliberately so. It was, however, clear to me that the civil war in question was a desperate response to a facist regime. Despite this, I did find the film lacking in this area and wished that some issues had been explored in greater depth.


That being said we are, sadly, all too able to fill in the gaps.


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Jane Douglas-Jones
Jane Douglas-Jones



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