Alex Garland’s Civil War Trailer Brings Violent Conflict To The United States

Civil War trailer

by Ben Travis |
Updated on

If you’ve seen his films, you’ll know Alex Garland doesn’t hold back. Whether it’s the cerebral dive of Ex Machina, the beautifully monstrous shimmer-world of Annihilation, or even the bonkers finale of the minimalist Men, his films are uncompromising, and uncompromised. So, be warned that the trailer for his new film, Civil War, looks equally unflinching – a fictitious but utterly grounded-feeling, well, war epic. And that war is on American soil, as the nation tears itself apart. With cities crumbling, tanks and military helicopters taking over civilian streets, and spine-chilling rhetoric hitting at the divide behind the conflict, it’s strong stuff. Take a watch here:

It’s a hugely promising first look at Garland’s latest work as writer-director – and for all the huge spectacle, it’s hitting on deeply disturbing images and ideas, ones that speak particularly loudly not just in reaction to the few years of American politics, but also to other conflicts raging in the world right now. This is easily the largest scale Garland has worked on in his feature work, and about as big as an A24 movie gets. (The film is already confirmed to be heading to IMAX screens.) But there’s a human level to this too – the film seems set to ground us with a group of characters traversing the chaos, led by Kirsten Dunst as a war photographer. Also present are Wagner Moura, Stephen McKinley Henderson and Cailee Spaeny, all of whom worked with Garland on the exemplary Devs.

It’s gearing up to be a powerful watch, then – one leaning into the apocalyptic terror Garland instilled in his screenplay for 28 Days Later over 20 years ago. What would a Garland film be, if not bringing big ideas, spine-chilling sights, and a deep sense of unease? Civil War is due to arrive in US cinemas on 26 April (stay tuned to see if that date applies to the UK too), where it’ll come to cinemas and IMAX.

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