The Reel Review


Set in a dystopian, near-future America where a number of states have seceded and are at war with the federal government, a team of journalists race to reach Washington, DC before the secessionist rebels storm The White House. Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura, Stephen McKinley and Callie Spaeny star in this action/war thriller as the journalists, with Nick Offerman as the despotic three-term President.

Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura, Stephen McKinley and Cailee Spaeny in Civil War

You’ve got to hand it to writer/director Alex Garland – he always swings big for the fences, sometimes connecting (Annihilation, Ex Machina, his screenplay for 28 Days Later) and sometimes failing miserably (2022’s Men). This time it is the former, with a pulse-pounding story about the ethics of war journalism set to a deeply unsettling backdrop of a war-torn America, where refugees live in tent camps and where being from the wrong state can get you killed. Dunst deftly channels the emotional detachment that war correspondents must adopt to survive the job of chronicling the horrors of war with an also excellent Spaeny (Priscilla) as a very green photojournalist who must quickly adapt.

Nick Offerman in Civil War

And there are plenty of horrors – from terrorists wrapped in the American flag blowing themselves up, bodies hanging from highway overpasses, and vigilantes toting semi-automatic weapons as they dump the bodies of civilians in makeshift mass graves. Those seeking more story about what led to the civil war will be extremely disappointed – Garland’s focus, with only subtle political overtones, is more about the brutality of war, and to that effort, Civil War gets it right. That finale, with the rebels killing White House staffers in their hunt for the President is chilling.


• At a cost of $50 million, Civil War is A24’s most expensive movie ever made.

A map of the divided U.S. based on the film Civil War

• Alex Garland says this is his last film as a director

• Although set in New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Washington DC, Civil War was filmed in the Spring of 2022 in and around Atlanta, Philadelphia, and London.



Video & Photo

1 videos

Write a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.