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Septem8er Tapes (2004)

tomatometer

21

Average Rating: 3.9/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 11

No consensus yet.

audience

62

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 1,460

My Rating

Movie Info

Commercial director Christian Johnston makes his feature film debut with the dramatic thriller September Tapes. The story takes place in Afghanistan, one year after the events of September 11. American journalist Don Larson (George Calil) and his two companions travel to Kabul in order to investigate the search for Osama bin Laden. After meeting with members of the Northern Alliance, he is arrested for taking photographs. While he's incarcerated, Don learns about a bounty hunter named Babak who

Jan 25, 2005

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All Critics (36) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (27)

Eventually collapses under the weight of its no-budget arrogance, but it goes some interesting places beforehand.

November 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Johnston's rough-hewn handheld footage generates a sense of dread as a defining force behind the camera, more concrete than any onscreen images.

September 30, 2004
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Afghanistan shouldn't be used as a backdrop for some director's selfish attempt at provocation.

September 24, 2004 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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The film itself still feels faked, and its calculated exploitation of some real tragedies may be the most unbelievable thing of all.

September 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger
Newark Star-Ledger
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The whole notion of exploiting a war and its victims to shoot a commercial feature is reprehensible.

September 24, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Squanders incredible verisimilitude by undercutting it with credibility-defying storytelling.

September 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's jingoist machismo disguised as deep insight.

January 24, 2005 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Finally, there are no truths, higher or lower, in September Tapes...just a lot of din.

October 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

It's riddled with stilted voice-overs and eye-rollingly awful dialogue.

September 25, 2004 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

It's hard to make a case for an American film that intentionally mixes fact with fiction when the facts concerning 9/11, the Taliban and the fate of Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden are already so elusive.

September 24, 2004 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It shares a lot with the Hollywood product: a forced gimmick, a dislikable protagonist, a transparent plot twist and a lot of unconvincing drama.

September 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Boston Herald
Boston Herald

This disturbing docudrama is a remarkable achievement on many levels.

September 24, 2004
Reel.com

An underwhelming execution of an interesting concept.

September 24, 2004 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

It yanks us eyes-first into a place that we, in our living rooms, have known only as a cliché.

September 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Offoffoff
Offoffoff

Alternating between the despicable and the inept and sometimes capturing both in a single moment, September Tapes is a craven attempt to cash in on the 9/11 tragedy.

September 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

Painfully lacking in both emotional impact and insight into the country's tragic recent history.

September 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for Septem8er Tapes

An interesting idea, but it is delivered in that fake documentary, shakey, hand-held video camera style. Good footage of the Afghanistan/Pakistan countryside, and some pretty good combat scenes...but the entire reason that he was supposed to be there was lost to me. Had he lost his mind? All he really accomplished was to be the cause of more senseless killings. I have to say, though, that I was left with a sickened feeling after watching this..even knowing all along that it wasn't real.
April 4, 2012
itsjustme2004

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