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The "Civil War" Movie

This awaited movie took more than five years to produce, but from many critics, shown by a score of 81% on Rotten Tomatoes, “Civil War” was worth the wait. The director, Alex Garland, said it was the last movie he would direct and, for the moment, he seems to end on a great note with a thought-provoking narrative.

The Plot

The movie is set in a divided America where the government's legitimacy has been questioned. The origin of the civil war is not mentioned, but the narrative indicates the government’s legitimacy is the main reason for the conflict. After a few months of war, the country is in disarray, the economy has fallen apart and being American has no value if you are not either protecting the government in the name of democracy or defeating the government in the name of freedom. 

In the movie, the audience follows photojournalists, considered independent in the ongoing civil war,  covering various battlefields from the rebels’ side. Throughout their journey, they immortalize the moments of darkness, injustice and cruelty that they witness.

The Director

Mostly recognized for his dystopian and sci-fi movies, Alex Garland ends his directorial career with this movie. After producing nationally appreciated movies like “Annihilation” and "Ex-Machina,” Garland decided to direct his final movie, “Civil War,” fueling the debate about the growing polarization in the United States during an election year.

Garland was surprised back in 2018 that there wasn’t more civil disobedience” going on. “There’s a lot to protest about” he added. To name a few, since 2018, pro-Trump, anti-Trump, gun control, climate change and Brexit were all issues that caused massive protests in the United States and the United Kingdom. 

He wanted to direct a movie that would demonstrate the importance of journalism in such difficult times and show “the speed at which the other side shuts down” when they disagree with our side on political issues. With this movie, he tries to be “polarizing” and “to find points of agreement.”

Success for the Moment

A24 production took a big risk when they decided to produce Civil War. The movie has the biggest budget they ever allowed ($50 million). This bet paid off, though. Civil War is the biggest box office hit of A24, even only after a few days following its release. 

The movie is getting many great critical reviews but also concerns. The movie may inform Americans of the dangers and atrocities of a civil war in the country and may also have the opposite effect by bringing people to think this is what the country needs for its survival. Many celebrities like RuPaul wrote that they were very concerned about a potential civil war in the country because All the signs are there.” However, historians state that it is unlikely that it will happen. Only time will tell.

1 Comment

Jeff Hall
Jeff Hall
May 12

I saw the movie a week ago. I'm still not sure what to make of it. It's very troubling. I hated seeing all the American-on-American violence. I'm not sure journalists come out looking very good in all this. I think the message, for me, anyway, was: 1) This could happen; 2) It will be awful if it does happen; and 3) Something needs to change to make sure this doesn't happen.

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