Starring Kirsten Dunst, Alex Garland’s newest dystopian action film is thought provoking and mind-blowingly raw. 

From 28 Days Later (2002) to Never Let Me Go (2010) and Ex Machina (2014), English novelist and screenwriter Alex Garland is leading the way for dystopian films that are raw, edgy and brutally captivating.

Set to be released in Australian cinemas this Thursday 11 April 2024, Civil War showcases a dystopian-like America where a team of journalists set out on a journey to Washington D.C before rebel groups descend upon the White House.

With the likes of Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura (Narcos) and the 2023 Priscilla star Cailee Spaeny, Civil War also includes an understated and finely executed cast including Jesse Plemons (Killers of the Flower Moon), Stephen McKinley Henderson (Dune) as well as Parks and Recreation’s Nick Offerman.

Dunst, the leading role in the film, impressively shows off her skills and boss-bitch-like attitude for the first time in three years. And, to say that we’re impressed is an understatement. Taking on Lee Smith, a war driven photojournalist, Dunst immerses herself completely to Civil War with her inspiring, courageous and cold-hearted nature.


Civil War 2024. Image via Roadshow Films library

Civil War 2024. Image via Roadshow Films library

Lee, alongside Joel (Wagner Moura), team up to teach newcomer Jessie (played by Cailee Spaeny) the specs of the job – the realness, the reality and, most importantly, the raw emotion it entails. The trio are invigorating and inspirational, forcing viewers to feel as if they’ve joined in on the journey, being the accomplice on the job.

On top of the exceptional cast, Civil War stands out with its beautifully crafted cinematography by Rob Hardy. A true testament to his skillset, something we feel like we’ve never seen before, Hardy immerses viewers directly into the frontline of the film with the real-life reality of war zones. Film watchers feel as if they are themselves fighting to snap-up the perfect picture. Despite this, Hardy somehow finds a way to highlight little pockets of beauty and moments where, between bloodshed and brutality, the small things in life are truly heavenly.

Finally, Civil War creates a level of horror and an on-the-edge-of-your-seat sensation with its outstanding selection of sound. Throughout the film there were moments where watchers jumped and covered their ears in absolute fear thinking that they were truly there watching all of the action unfold firsthand.

Overall, Civil War is an immersive, thought-provoking, captivating and equally raw film the world needs to see. It’s not just an action film about an unrealistic future dystopia, Civil War showcases a world that is a reality today and is, unfortunately, too close to home. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best films about journalism we’ve seen in a while. A definite must watch.

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Feature image: Civil War 2024. Image via Roadshow Films library.
Editor’s Note: Hunter and Bligh was gifted an experience by Roadshow. All reviews are authentic and are in no way influenced by our partnership.