Septem8er Tapes (2004)
Average Rating: 3.8/10
Reviews Counted: 34
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 27
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.9/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 11
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 1,460
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
Sep 24, 2004 Wide
Jan 25, 2005
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Eventually collapses under the weight of its no-budget arrogance, but it goes some interesting places beforehand.
Johnston's rough-hewn handheld footage generates a sense of dread as a defining force behind the camera, more concrete than any onscreen images.
Afghanistan shouldn't be used as a backdrop for some director's selfish attempt at provocation.
The film itself still feels faked, and its calculated exploitation of some real tragedies may be the most unbelievable thing of all.
The whole notion of exploiting a war and its victims to shoot a commercial feature is reprehensible.
Squanders incredible verisimilitude by undercutting it with credibility-defying storytelling.
Finally, there are no truths, higher or lower, in September Tapes...just a lot of din.
It's riddled with stilted voice-overs and eye-rollingly awful dialogue.
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.
It shares a lot with the Hollywood product: a forced gimmick, a dislikable protagonist, a transparent plot twist and a lot of unconvincing drama.
This disturbing docudrama is a remarkable achievement on many levels.
It yanks us eyes-first into a place that we, in our living rooms, have known only as a cliché.
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.
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