September Tapes (2004)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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 … More

Rating: R
Genre: Documentary, Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Christian Johnson, Christian Van Gregg, Christian Johnston
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 25, 2005
First Look - Official Site


as Don Larson

as Wali Zarif

as Commander

as Rahman

as Northern Alliance Co...

as Guard/Gun Dealer
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for September Tapes

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (15)

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

Full Review… | November 24, 2011
Boston Globe
Top 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

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

Full Review… | September 24, 2004
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

The film itself still feels faked, and its calculated exploitation of some real tragedies may be the most unbelievable thing of all.

Full Review… | September 24, 2004
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

The whole notion of exploiting a war and its victims to shoot a commercial feature is reprehensible.

Full Review… | September 24, 2004
New York Daily News
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | September 24, 2004
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for September 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.

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Forget all those crappy anti-american movies that they are making now. Watch this and see the reason. Don't drink the conspiracy Kool-Aid.

interesting premise. I'll give it points for a ballsy approach, but its a cheap one. with not much else going for it- repeating itself over and over. These guys are passionate about what happened on 9/11, either they are exploiting it or they are taking a mumbling, shouting approach.

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