A group of combat journalists -- one starkly different from the other-- set out on a journey from New York City (NYC) to Washington DC to interview the US President through an active war zone about his intentions behind starting a war. This group of journalists includes our lead Lee (Kirsten Dunst), her trusted lieutenant Joel (Wagner Moura), a veteran war journalist Sammy (Stephen Henderson), and Jessie (Cailee Spaeny), Lee's bright-eyed admirer-turned protege. 

The way to the majestic White House is littered with contrasting visuals of people struggling for necessities, mass graves, hanging bodies, a sniper shootout, and a random firing sequence that seems like a bolt out of the blue, reminding us of what can unfold when everyone has the right to carry a weapon... in the peace-loving United States of America. 

While the premise could have been a great film on how a group of war photojournalists come together to battle all sorts of challenges for a larger story, Civil War turns out to only be a Kirsten Dunst show by and large. 

Dunst shines as the hardened and stoic war journalist Lee Smith. More specifically, among all the scenes where she towers, that one scene with Wagner Moura, where she confronts him for bringing along an inexperienced photographer in the middle of a war zone, stands out.

You know she is cast well, when Dunst's Lee is required to go and take the shot of two men who have been hanged and she does it with ease, or when she is required to show her young prodigy the harsh realities of their profession. 

Cailee Spaeny as the aspiring photographer Jessie Collins, who undergoes a metamorphosis throughout the running minutes of the film, nails it too. Wagner Moura, known most popularly for playing Pablo Escobar in the widely acclaimed show Narcos, ably supports Dunst and Spaeny. 

While the actors do a splendid job for their part, the movie struggles greatly with the lack of detailing. 

The film, helmed by Alex Garland, does not do much to tell us about the war photojournalists who embark on the risky journey except that they are journalists focused on getting the best shot. This is done in many scenes by including jokes on ‘getting in the action’, ‘the perfect shot’, or shrugging off any questions around moral dilemmas to get the perfect shot first. 

Not only the characters, but the film also feels rushed through certain sequences, and the climax predictable. The climax, done to death, is one you would be able to pick on early on in the second half. At the end of the movie, yours truly was left bewildered that this was what the buildup was about!

All in all, Civil War is a one-time watch in theatres. The film released in the US on April 12 and will release in India on April 19.