Owen Gleiberman
August 29, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

September Dawn

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
111 minutes
Wide Release Date
08/24/07
performer
Trent Ford, Jon Voight
director
Christopher Cain
distributor
Black Diamond
author
Christopher Cain, Carole Whang Schutter
genre
Drama, Western

We gave it a D

On Sept. 11, 1857, a sect of fire-breathing Mormon ”purists” led the slaughter of a wagon train of emigrants. What was the travelers’ crime? According to September Dawn, a plodding and highly questionable history lesson, the interlopers weren’t Christian enough. Many of them were from Arkansas (how sinful!); one of their women wore pants. The audience gets the message (religious fanaticism: bad), but nothing we see is convincing on its own — not Jon Voight, in a silly beard, doing his benignly scowling, understated-overacting bit; nor the slaughter, which is all blood packs and zero horror.

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