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Civil War might be the most important movie of 2024. Here’s why you need to see it

Civil War | Official Final Trailer HD | A24

“What kind of American are you?” Hopefully, you’re the kind who will see A24‘s new film Civil War. This dystopian action film shows a future version of America in which a dictatorial U.S. government wages war against the “Western Forces” that have seceded from the nation.

As a group of journalists travel across the country to document the bloodshed, audiences bear witness to a haunting depiction of a country divided. While this film seems destined to stir up controversy now that it’s out in theaters nationwide, that shouldn’t deter you from seeing it. In fact, there are several reasons why you should, as it might just be the most important movie of 2024.

It’s directed by one of the most talented filmmakers around

Mass destruction in the movie, "Civil War."
A24 / A24

Alex Garland may not be a director known to casual moviegoers. But for sci-fi cinephiles, a film with his name attached to it will catch their attention. Garland is renowned for helming modern classics like Ex Machina and Annihilation. He also wrote the scripts for the postapocalyptic zombie film 28 Days Later and the gritty superhero film Dredd.

It’s also worth mentioning that this may be Garland’s last film as director for a while. Garland recently announced his plans to step aside from directing “for the foreseeable future.” Though he intends to continue screenwriting, he plans to take a break from the pressures of being responsible for a cast and crew. “The pressure doesn’t come from the money,” he explained to The Guardian. “It’s the fact that you’re asking people to trust something that, on the face of it, doesn’t look very trustworthy.”

The film is produced by A24

The logo for A24 in a trailer for "Civil War."
A24 / A24

In the past 10 years, A24 has quickly become one of the most beloved indie studios in the film industry. Having produced many modern classics like Hereditary, Lady Bird, and Everything Everywhere All At Once, A24 has all but guaranteed any project with its logo plastered on it is worth watching.

Since Civil War boasts a budget of $50 million, making it A24’s biggest project to date, fans know that the studio made the most of every penny to deliver an extraordinary cinematic experience. In addition, Civil War is being presented in IMAX, elevating the film to a special status alongside Oppenheimer and Dune: Part Two as a must-see event.

The cast features established stars and talented newcomers

Cailee Spaeny and Kirsten Dunst crouch next to a car in Civil War.
A24

The film’s large budget is evident in all the talented names in front of the camera. Oscar-nominated actress Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog) leads a star-studded cast that includes Wagner Moura (Narcos), Cailee Spaeny (Priscilla), Stephen McKinley Henderson (Dune), Nick Offerman (The Last of Us), Jefferson White. (Yellowstone), Juani Feliz (DMZ), Nelson Lee (Ahsoka), Jin Ha (Hamilton), and fellow Oscar nominee Jesse Plemons (Black Mirror), who is also Dunst’s husband.

Such an ambitious movie needs a lot of talent to populate its expansive world, and while it may not be as colorful or have as much mass appeal as Barbie, Civil War still has the cast to carry it.

The visuals demand to be seen in IMAX

A woman stands in front of lights in "Civil War."
A24 / A24

It wouldn’t be an Alex Garland movie without some incredible imagery. The trailers for Civil War have treated viewers to the film’s many stunning visuals courtesy of cinematographer Rob Hardy, who previously worked with Garland on Ex Machina and Annihilation.

Having also done the cinematography for Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Hardy has proven he is well-versed in capturing grand, action-packed stories with vibrant finesse. It’s no wonder this film will also be screened in IMAX, which is an appropriate format to show off his skills and the scope of Garland’s vision.

The movie’s timely message

Nick Offerman as the U.S. president in "Civil War."
A24 / A24

It’s clear to some that this film is Garland’s response to America’s social landscape in the post-Trump era. As the U.S. continues to be the site of fierce political and social battles, one can’t help but feel a movie like Civil War could become a reality, which is why some deem the film as controversial, especially in an election year.

The film doesn’t overtly take sides, which is probably why it angers some critics. Instead, Civil War adopts a politically neutral approach, at least according to its director, in an attempt to spotlight the causes for societal breakdown rather than place any blame on a particular group or ideology. Is it successful? Well, that’s for you to judge, and it’s ultimately the reason that makes Civil War the most important movie of 2024. It asks its audience how the events in the film could happen, and what they can do to help prevent it in the real world.

Civil War is playing in theaters now.

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Anthony Orlando
Anthony Orlando is a writer/director from Oradell, NJ. He spent four years at Lafayette College, graduating CUM LAUDE with a…
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