Here’s What I Thought of the Civil War Movie

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Author of How to Prep When You’re Broke and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course

Have you heard the buzz about the new movie Civil War? This past weekend I watched it so I could review it from a prepper’s perspective.

If you want to watch it’s available to rent on Amazon Prime.

Who is this movie NOT for?

Let’s get this part out of the way first. There’s abundant swearing and extremely graphic violence. I am generally fine with graphic violence, and even I was surprised.

I wouldn’t let children watch unless Mom and Dad have reviewed it first and feel that their teens will not be traumatized. (No little kids, for sure). Also, if realistic battle scenes are traumatic for you, you’ll want to give this one a pass.

For those of us still hanging on, continue reading. I won’t include any spoilers.

What’s it about?

Much to my surprise, this movie was not political at all. I expected it to be a woke view of those darned pesky rebels, but that wasn’t the case. It was very non-partisan.

Texas and California have formed the “Western Federation” and seceded from the United States. Florida has seceded separately and is trying to get the Carolinas on board.

The movie follows three seasoned war journalists and a girl who has joined their group. They’re making their roundabout way from New York City to Washington, DC, for an attack that everyone seems to know is coming because of the movement of the armies involved.

There is no mention of any of the reasons this war has begun, why Texas and Cali are now buddies, and what the beef is that is making them want to attack Washington, DC. Although I would love to have that information, it’s not actually pertinent to the story we’re watching. In fact, I think it’s better because you’re viewing it through a truly neutral lens.

There’s no right. There’s no wrong. There’s only war and madness.

Lessons for preppers in Civil War

The entire thing could have been ripped straight from the pages of Selco’s book, The Dark Secrets of Survival, except it’s set here in the continental United States.

You have the extreme lawlessness, the people who wanted to do bad things before the SHTF but didn’t want to be caught, the blocked roads, and very limited communications. There are military encampments in the fields of northern West Virginia. There are gunfights using heavy-duty military-grade weapons scattered throughout the trip. There are people who keep to themselves and people who want to protect their homes.

It was difficult to tell the “sides” apart. Maybe that’s just me and my limited knowledge of military interactions, but I think it was intentional. When Americans fight Americans, we DO look alike. We speak the same language, have the same accents, and wear the same clothing.

There are some hateful people being hateful. It seems realistic that some people would use this as an excuse to do awful things, but note that the movie itself is not about hateful people. This was merely an example of hazards one would encounter.

The destruction makes clear that your best bet is to be as far away from it all as possible. But also, that’s not realistic for many people. One particularly notable scene in New York City was the morning after a heated battle. There were very few soldiers on the street, and citizens were riding their bicycles through the rubble, presumably to work.

Some hotels remained open, a few restaurants, and there was a small town that seemed strangely untouched. There was limited wi-fi in a few places and no phone service. Gas stations were able to charge extortionate prices, at gunpoint. It was interesting that nobody would take US dollars, but they’d take Canadian money. Someone said that $300 US would get you a sandwich.

It might be worthwhile to keep some other currencies on hand. And it also speaks to the fact that if you want to maintain your wealth through something like this, precious metals are the answer.

It’s so strange to see this stuff taking place among the landmarks of the United States. I don’t know how on earth they made the siege of Washington, DC, look so incredibly real.

I think the fact that people will have more questions than answers is actually very realistic for this level of SHTF. The mayhem and confusion are all part of the general atmosphere and seem incredibly likely to me.

Should you watch it?

It would be difficult to say I “enjoyed” the movie. It was tough to watch. But I was glued to the screen throughout it, with things happening as fast as they did. I’m glad to have watched it at home and not in theaters. It would have been overwhelmingly in that setting.

If you want a tidy story with all the loose ends wrapped up, you will not enjoy this movie.

If you want a crash course on what actual civil war could look like here in our country, it’s well worth a watch.

Have you seen Civil War?

Have you seen the movie? Are you going to see it? What are your thoughts about it?

Let’s discuss it in the comments section.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.

Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand You can find her on FacebookPinterestGabMeWeParlerInstagram, and Twitter.


Picture of Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • Sure sounds like predictive programming to me. I want a better future. I am working toward a better future.

  • I’m so glad you reviewed this movie since I respect your view. But I thought this movie was terrible, just terrible. My blood was boiling & my gut hurt from the disrespect given to our military (I thought). Running over a soldier with intention? A rainbow haired, finger nail painted sniper & it wasn’t political? This is unrealistic (at the moment in the military but probably not for long). Sure seems like Hollywood approved the DEI checklist for this movie.

    I was so confused throughout the movie. I did notice toward the end that some soldiers had the American flag on their sleeve (those were the ones ******redacted for spoiler******). I was trying to figure out the slant they were trying to portray from Hollywood. Is this in case Trump gets in? Or was is aimed at Biden? I dunno.

    I thought it was unrealistic. During total chaos & in light of American’s view of the media, we are to think that those 3 journalists would be given the grace & respect of being right at the front lines without being raped or killed? It assumed that we would be civil (no pun intended) during SHTF stage. And of course, the no guns comment. Like suddenly you enter into the ‘safe zone camp’ with no guns protecting you & poof, you’re safe from the outside chaos.

    Then the white guy (Jesse someone-was he non military?) loads up a bunch **** redacted for spoiler****? And you say it was not a political movie? Not arguing, just really need someone’s perspective (would love to have 1st Marine’s view on this movie).

    I hated it. It pissed me off immeasurably & it was the first one I wanted to walk out of in a very, very long time. The fact that they advertised it & Hollywood allowed it, told me it was political.

    • Hi, Jennifo! I redacted a couple of things in your comment for spoilers.

      I also found it kind of confusing but at the same time, I think that was the point. Jesse was an example of a person who uses the chaos to do things he wanted to do all along. He was a sociopath, at the very least. As you noted, he wasn’t connected with either army, just a random dude doing awful things.

      War correspondents are generally given access as non-combatants so I didn’t think that was completely unrealistic. I have a friend who did this in Syria, and he was regularly in the thick of things. He came back pretty traumatized by all he had seen.

      That sniper you mentioned – I couldn’t tell which army he was from, the US army or the Western faction. I think all sorts of folks would get pulled into duty to defend and fight, so I wasn’t overly bothered by that. It’s the reality of Gen Z.

      • In warfare, The Geneva Convention, which the US abides by, does provide for protections of war correspondents and other non-combatants. I highly doubt those same protections would be provided or respected in a civil war on American soil by non US military.

    • Hi ya Jennifo!
      I dont have a Prime account. Will look into if I can in the next few days.
      From what I have read, others comments and Daisy’s review, the writer and director broke the traditional, Hollywood mold for movies. That being three acts.
      Act I, introduction to our characters, the setting and the challenge/crisis they face.
      Act II, climax of the story.
      Act III, end or resolution of how our characters overcome the challenge/crisis.
      Having said that, I am kinda surprised Hollywood green lighted the movie. Will have to look up the budget and if they were able to actually make a profit or not.
      Then again, a movie like The Quiet Place and it’s sequel got so much traction from fans, wanting to know the aliens invasion backstory, they made a pre-quel.
      The fact I have not given the backstory in my own Dear Diary, It is me, Jessica, is not lost on me . . . yet. 😉

    • You’re right, it was a super-woke POS from today’s Hollywood. Not one single white male character with a speaking part was remotely likeable. ALL the sociopathic types were white males.

      I don’t want to put a spoiler in here, so I’ll just say that the last 20 minutes were total BS. It would not play out that way. The aggression would be the opposite of what was shown in the film.

      Insofar as watching it as Daisy said, from a prepper’s point of view, I would call it a useful film to watch. The bad guys in real life probably won’t look like the bad guys in this movie, but there are lessons to be learned, like, try to stay out of it in a small town or farm somewhere. That’s the best message I can get out of the story.

  • I think that its the wet dream of TPTB, right behind another scamdemic or a war with Russia but behind a 10-7 Stateside. Some black swan to declare martial law anyway. The movie was a route 66 venture. They say that all politics are local and with this movie, so are wars. It could be seen as a buddy movie too or a changing of the Guard per the photojournalists. Its was a long way from Saving Private Ryan. On the money bit, we may all soon experience that and our money become rapidly worthless.

  • The time to fight the Woke Industrial Complex destroying American freedom and prosperity is now, BEFORE it goes “kinetic”. Since it is essentially a money-printing pyramid scheme to loot the US treasury the most effective way to fight it is financially, through a Woke BDS movement. Boycott the Woke brands and companies that fund Team Chaos. Divest from all of your Woke stock, your Woke stockbroker and especially toxic US Treasuries that fund the reckless deficit spending. Debank your Woke too-big-to-fail bank. You can look up everyone you do business with on and it will tell you what they are up to. Armies travel on their stomach, and if you go “Woke Neutral” by taking as many dollars OUT of the Woke economy as you put IN you can effectively defund the THOUGHT police.

  • It was very difficult for me to watch, because this is kinda how I was thinking it’ll go. I watched that other movie as well that the obummers made, leave the world behind, and found that was also difficult to watch, and I feel that both these movies are indeed a warning for us. They’re letting us get a small glimpse of what’s coming, only it’ll be much worse. I agree Daisy that precious metals and tangible assets are going to assist us in this upcoming chaos. ITM trading is the way to go for that. I also do not think that we’re going to make it til November election. I think there’s going to be some kind of devastating event that is going to put us under martial law, possibly Trump assassination. I hope not. Hope I’m wrong.

  • Ich habe den Film nicht gesehen. Aber so wie sie ihn beschreiben muss er grausam sein. In einem Punkt denke ich irren sie. Aber das soll kein Vorwurf sein, denn es ist die Sichtweise die uns dazu trennt. Es gibt für mich keine unpolitischen Filme. Auch nach dem was sie schreiben ist es eine politische Fiktion des Krieges, eines Bürgerkrieges. Selbst oder gerade dann wenn man historische Zusammenhänge konstruiert oder ausblendet. Nach dem was sie beschreiben wird in diesem Film Gewalt und Hass auf die eigene Spezies dargestellt. Das kann niemals unpolitisch sein. Und für einen realen Bezug und die Darstellung von Gewalt im Video finden sich in der Realität des Lebens genügend Beispiele. Ich will sagen das reicht auch schon, finden sie nicht? So wie sie den Film beschreiben soll er im Zuschauer Entsetzen über Verbrechen hervor rufen. Aber ich denke der Film ist entmenschlicht. Und das ist auch Politik.

  • I wrote a length review for it on my Substack.

    TL;DR is that I enjoyed the hell out of it and it sent the message it needed to send, which is that there’s just no need for a civil war. Beyond that, I found it’s depiction realistic, though implausible. There’s a bizarre orderliness that prevails despite the war and isn’t the “Mad Max” scenario everyone in the survivalist community is so convinced is going to occur. I saw it as a very mature take on the topic, honestly.

    The battle scenes were incredible. The intensity in the theater during those moments was palpable.

  • Would be interested in peoples’ take on The Last Of Us & Fallout series, as a comparison to the above movie. Admittedly one in particular is definitely well into a dystopian future, but even so, there are often beneficial take-aways even among hWood films, even as a cautionary tale. To that end, sometimes modern day files can serve as ice breakers among the uninitiated & teachers among those who are seasoned. Stay strong all…

  • Well, I haven’t watched (don’t know if I will or won’t) but I just wanted to say something on your comment that it looked like it was actually happening in real places (D.C.) Remember Avatar? That was as realistic looking as it gets and it was totally fake. I believe the technology we’ve been shown is so far behind what’s actually here, it’s a joke. On us.

    I can’t remember where I read that Elon may start shuttling people to “Mars” by sending them through underground tunnels with holographics. When you can’t even trust your own eyes, what do you do….?

  • I love movies but this ont … IMO – no character development and no plot development.
    I tried to gget into it, but after watching 15-20 minutes there was nothing but shooting and killing with no reason or real explanation. Gave up. To me, it was boring and pointless.

  • Don’t be fooled . the movie was written in 2019 when they thought Trump may have a third term, really ? . It is only movie ever made that the heroes are soldiers that drag an unarmed president out and execute him and the Liberal press see themselves as Gods.

    • That’s what I got out of it. I’m always trying to figure out Hollywood’s objective & slant now.

      And the soldiers with the American flag on their arms were depicted as the heroes by taking a trophy pic of the President.

      There’s NO way if that President was supposed to be a democrat there would be the military posing for pics in a right leaning movie.

      Therefore, again, I say this whole POS was political.

  • translation of the comments by Jurgen Karsten via

    I have not seen the film. But the way you describe it, it must be cruel. I think you are wrong on one point. But that is not an accusation, because it is the perspective that divides us. For me, there are no apolitical films. According to what you write, it is a political fiction of war, of a civil war. Even or especially when you construct or ignore historical contexts. According to what you describe, this film depicts violence and hatred of one’s own species. That can never be apolitical. And there are enough real-life examples of a real reference and depiction of violence in the video. I want to say that’s enough, don’t you think? The way you describe the film, it is intended to evoke horror at crimes in the viewer. But I think the film is dehumanizing. And that is also political.

  • A more accurate title for the movie would be “Stupid People Doing Stupid Things At The End Of A Civil War”. Having been to Iraq and Afghanistan, a large majority of the “war journalists” I encountered were irresponsible glory hounds, trying to equate themselves to actual war veterans (looking of you, Gerry Rivers AKA “Geraldo Rivera”). This movie was a reflection of that. People acting like this don’t belong in a conflict zone–they are a hazard to themselves and everyone near them.
    This movie was a blatant attempt to “glorify” Leftist “war journalists”. NONE of the main characters portrayed in this movie were likeable or relatable. The “road trip” storyline only shows the last three days of the war, with almost ZERO context of how or why the nation got to this point. The director claimed this was part of the intent, to make it an “open talking point”–instead, I found it to be very detracting, and more of a surrender by the creators to do anything with it other than, again, glorify “war journalists” in some way, and demonstrate (failingly with this movie) that somehow, their “contribution” matters somehow. Instead, I walked away only with a reinforcement of my original impression of these “journalists”: boy, were they stupid.
    That being said, many of the combat scenes were realistically depicted, and several scenes were very tense. Disappointingly again, none of the scenes gave ANY closure, as the audience was jumped from one incomplete interaction/altercation to another. Who are these people that they encounter along their road trip? Why are they doing what they are doing? What is their story? What happened? We never get to find out–the audience is left with only more questions, and frustrations. At about halfway through, I was ready for the movie to end, because it was just irritating me more and more as it continued.
    While the creators want us to believe that the movie was “apolitical”, it was clearly anti-Trump, as one would expect from any hWood production.
    2 out of 5 stars, with the only redeeming value being the combat scenes.

    • Well said. Your experienced laden words are much appreciated. I would have not even bothered with my post if yours had been reviewed and approved before I submitted mine.

  • The writers of this flick sure didn’t want to piss off the media too deeply. Just piss them off enough to pull in sales.

    First off there was no (read zero) prepper value in this flick. And Daisy, I respect you, but please.. not political? It was woke. And woke is politics.

    I’m not going to get into my reasoning for this so I will self edit because there is no way to write it without spoiling.

    This movie was a motivational anthem for establishment “journalists” and young aspiring future corporate media hopefuls. Period.

    I had every notion this was going to be garbage going into it and was not disappointed.

    And one last point. In any decent modern civil war all internal national/local/recognized journalists are killed first that would be considered dangerous enough to be truthful”. Those that aren’t killed immediately and manage to GTFOOD tell stories on camera of a different countries news media. Truthful individuals in journalism during a civil war end up in the bottom of a mass grave with lime spread over their corpses. So, yea, this was a political production, veiled with soft woke scenes to make just barely marketable to both left and right leaning sides of the political spectrum.

  • My wife and I saw the movie. The violence greatly disturbed her and made me uneasy.

    I agree with Daisy that the politics of the two sides was not clear and that it wasn’t part of the story. The film is about the horror of war at this time in our country. It is, in my opinion, made to jolt us out of this common belief that war, civil war, war lords, are all things that can only happen ‘over there’, ya know, to ‘them’, and that it could never happen here.

    The plausible scenes of horrible violence felt much worse when we saw them committed by people that look like our neighbors, in places that we are familiar with and may live near. Seeing someone like myself act like that made both of us uncomfortable. I think that was the source of the unease we had watching the film.

    My wife and I were trained to shoot by Mas Ayoob in one of his many excellent courses. He often speaks about ‘feral man’. I learned about feral man through many unpleasant experiences in my young adulthood. I have seen seemingly normal men do horrible things to other human beings and wake up the next morning, shave, shower, put on a suit, and go about their day. The movie depicts men like that. Feral man is especially cunning and hard to predict. It is very easy for a man to become feral, especially in groups of men.

    The film shows many disciplined warriors and I have no doubt there would be millions of them if civil war broke out in this country.

    I started reading Selco many years ago and his talk about feral man is one of many reasons I decided to read all his material.

    If I could criticize the film, I would say that it did not show how easy it is for feral men to change sides based on changing opportunity. But Selco talks about that at length.

  • The movie is extremely well crafted. Acting, cinematography, action, all top-notch.

    One of the big rules of creative writing is “show, don’t tell.” The biggest sin of this movie is that it does neither. Why are California and Texas Allied? What is the driving impetus of the Western Alliance? What started this war? What heinous act has the President committed that… well Daisy doesn’t want spoilers.

    The movie neither shows nor tells us anything in response to these questions. When you don’t understand motivations, everything appears gratutitous. But of course, there are answers to these questions. Clearly, the factions involved are motivated. We, the audience, are simply not privy to this information.

    It frankly defies the idea thay anything is worth fighting for; without motivation, violence is abhorrent. So, were the founding fathers no different than King George III? Imagine a movie about the American Revolution which never goes into motivations. Just a bunch of people in one place fighting against people from across the Atlantic, for no particular reason.

    This movie is about conflict journalism. It frankly is propagandistic in that it paints journalists as people determined to find the truth and share that truth with the people. Sounds wonderful, but it doesn’t sound like the reality I know.

    It is a fun, well-made story. Don’t count on any real upcoming conflicts to bear any resemblance to this film, though.

  • We rented it for $15.99 with Direct TV. I knew it wasn’t something upbeat but felt the need to watch it. There were seems I tucked my head down and my husband asked me: you need to be ready for this, are you ready? No, but civil war isn’t pretty. It’s confusing at best and the film does depict that confusion. If you decide to watch it, pay close attention to the very beginning when the president is speaking. He actually smirks. And the elder journalist says that the problems started with his “3rd term”. My prepper perspective is, be prepared for any and all of that…not knowing who the good or the bad may be, that IS civil war.

  • It would be difficult for me to comment on this movie without spoilers. As far as what started the civil war in this movie we can safely assume that the culture war being waged on Americans by the globalists puppets in Washington reached a breaking point. The democratic processes proscribed in the constitution for the peaceful transfer of power had become so corrupted and weaponized that the people decided the only way to right things is through armed revolution. You could say that the proverbial frog finally jumped out of the boiling water and was boiling mad.

    We are not there yet but the PTB have turned up the temperature with the Alvin Bragg sham trial. And the crooked judge Juan Merchan in that trial, sending Donald Trump to jail for a first time felony which is also non violent while Hunter Biden also having a first time felony which is non violent gets to walk free would be another ramp up of the temperature. Tomorrow June 27, 2024 will be another step towards civil war if the crooked CNN (Communist News Network) hosts Jake Tapper and Dana Bash of the debate do what I expect which is.

    CNN has already given Joe Biden the questions that will be asked of him in the debate. so he is taking a week off to memorize the answers.

    Their game plan is not to cover the issues Americans care about like the economy, immigration, inflation, crime etc so we can hear how Biden and Trump will solve these problems

    Their game plan is character assassination of Donald Trump. They will be asking insulting and demeaning questions with false premises. Their ultimate goal is for Donald Trump to lose his cool, to blow up and throw a temper tantrum. If this happens people will defend Donald Trump and say the questions were unfair and not presidential. CNN will simply reply that maybe so but if Donald Trump cannot handle simple questions in a presidential debate then he shouldn’t be anywhere near the nuclear button and they would be right.

    Will this actually happen? We will find out tomorrow if we will be one more step towards civil war.

  • Some people wanted a partisan political movie and they were disappointed that they didn’t get it. What they got was a Rohrshach Test. People see in it what they are predisposed to see.

    Yes, a coalition of California and Texas is absurd, but I have read that the screenwriter paired up these states so as to remove the Red State-Blue State aspect of the movie that many people wanted to see. That approach certainly worked for me.

    I disagree that the reasons for fighting aren’t clear. The reasons were certainly not emphasized, however, and they may not have registered with many viewers. Regardless, since the movie did not take an obvious political stance, the screenwriter wasn’t trying to convince the viewers of the inherent justice of one side over the other.

    The combat was every bit as mind-blowing as the opening scenes of “Saving Private Ryan.” Watching it in your family room will, unfortunately, present a much tamer version of the combat and reduce its impact. In the theater where I saw it, the sound system was awesome and it added HUGELY to the experience.

    While the violence is extreme and gripping, there wasn’t much actual gore for a war movie. My view is that a civil war is usually regarded as the most violent and brutal type of war, so if it is tamed down to a “Lone Ranger and Tonto” level, it is giving the public a very inaccurate and dangerous picture of war.

    I thought the acting was excellent, and I thought its pacing went well. Some have criticized the movie for using what they consider an unrealistic scenario of a road trip from NYC to D.C. Well, it was done this way because “Civil War” is a “road trip movie.”

    Think about it. Martin Sheen could have simply taken a 45-minute helicopter ride in “Apocalypse Now” (an homage to Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”) but he didn’t. That movie was also a “road trip movie” in which the travelers dealt with incidents and odd characters along the journey to its ultimate climax.

    Had Sheen traveled only by helicopter, “Apocalypse Now” would have been a very short movie. 🙂

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