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What Makes Civil War An Artisan Film

March 7th, 2024What Makes Civil War An Artisan Film

CIVIL WAR open April 12

Writer and director Alex Garland has a way of turning society’s deepest fears into cinema that is not only fascinating and entertaining, but also frighteningly realistic. He made the zombie apocalypse seem plausible as writer of 2002’s 28 DAYS LATER, envisioned a not-too-distant future of technological advancement with his 2015 directorial debut, EX MACHINA, and later got a bit weirder with more surreal horror flicks, ANNIHILATION and MEN. In 2023, he is returning to realism with CIVIL WAR.

The film – which is heading to AMC Theatres on April 12 – comes from multi-award-winning production company A24 and is the studio’s most expensive endeavor yet, costing approximately $50 million, as Variety reported.

Ahead of its release into theatres, CIVIL WAR has been selected as an AMC Artisan Film. Take a closer look at Garland’s latest masterpiece and understand why this is a battle worth fighting for in our following breakdown below.

Brings A Unique Vision And Perspective

CIVIL WAR is a thriller set in the near future that foretells a United States violently torn apart by an ongoing war between the government and rebelling factions. The conflict is seen from the perspective of a group of dedicated reporters struggling to navigate what remains of the country and survive as they race to the White House.

When speaking to ScreenDaily, Garland himself even referred to CIVIL WAR as a “war movie,” but in a more contemporary sense of the term given its modern setting. However, it does call to mind some of the genre’s most acclaimed period dramas – such as during a nerve-racking depiction of a violent invasion that may be the most harrowing scene of its kind since the iconic D-Day sequence from the beginning of Steven Spielberg’s 1998 classic SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. Not to mention, the true unsung hero of this film is the glorious sound mixing, which only enhances the already intense moments of heart-stopping combat.

Pushes Boundaries And Sparks Conversation

Many other well-known examples of films that revolve around the fall of society – such as George A. Romero’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and its sequels and the MAD MAX franchise, to name just a few – borrow much of their subject from real-life circumstances. CIVIL WAR is certainly no exception and intends to serve as a commentary on cultural division over political opinion, particularly among the American people. In an interview with Garland from 2022, at the time he was still shooting CIVIL WAR, The Telegraph described the film as “a sci-fi allegory for our currently polarized predicament.”

The story imagines a violent escalation to the United States’ increasingly intense political divide that goes to an extreme which has not occurred in this country in more than a century. CIVIL WAR is a piece of combat fiction that results in a deeply thought-provoking and intensely sobering experience.

Unites An Acclaimed Cast

Alex Garland has worked with many of Hollywood’s most talented individuals in his feature-length efforts and his small screen endeavors alike and the CIVIL WAR cast boasts one of the filmmaker’s most exciting ensembles yet. Leading the pack – in her first collaboration with Garland – is Kirsten Dunst, fresh off her Academy AwardⓇ-nominated performance in Netflix’s acclaimed Western, THE POWER OF THE DOG. This also marks the first Garland film for Brazilian actor Wagner Moura, who previously starred in another futuristic societal commentary, Neill Blomkamp’s ELYSIUM from 2013, in the role of Spider. Dunst’s frequent collaborator – and real-life spouse – Jesse Plemons, of “Breaking Bad” and VICE fame, also has a role as a soldier who gives our protagonists trouble.

CIVIL WAR marks a reunion between Garland and three of the cast members from his 2020 FX original miniseries, “Devs” – Cailee Spaeny, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Nick Offerman. Spaeny was most recently seen making her A24 debut in the title role of writer and director Sofia Coppola’s 2023 biopic, PRISCILLA, and Henderson is a fellow A24 veteran – known for 2017’S LADY BIRD and last year’s BEAU IS AFRAID – who also previously starred in a film about the 19th Century American Civil War, Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN, in 2012. Spaeny’s BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE co-star, Offerman – who rose to fame as a comedic actor with roles such as Ron Swanson on “Parks and Recreation” before transitioning to dramatic work, like on HBO’s “The Last of Us” – stars as the President of the United States.

With a cast such as this and a unique visionary storyteller like Alex Garland at the helm, CIVIL WAR sounds like an American nightmare worth taking a look at. See for yourself when the A24 thriller comes to an AMC Theatres location near you this spring!

CIVIL WAR open April 12

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