11 user 4 critic

Afghan Luke (2011)

R | | Drama, War | 11 June 2011 (China)
2:03 | Trailer
An experienced journalist risks returning to Afghanistan in pursuit of a sensational story.


Mike Clattenburg


Patrick Graham (screen story), Douglas Bell (screen story) | 4 more credits »
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Stahl ... Luke Benning
Nicolas Wright ... Tom Holiday
Stephen Lobo ... Mateen
Steve Cochrane Steve Cochrane ... Sgt. Rick Cahoon
Pascale Hutton ... Elita
Vik Sahay ... Imran Sahar
Ali Liebert ... Miss Freedom
Parm Soor ... Ustad Mir
Lewis Black ... Lewis Black
Yuriy Sobeshchakov Yuriy Sobeshchakov ... Russian Pilot
Emmanuel Shirinian Emmanuel Shirinian ... Assad
Pablo Silveira Pablo Silveira ... Hamid
Torrance Coombs ... Davey
Ron Lea ... Mark
Timothy Webber ... Dr. Hinkley


Disheartened when his story about Canadian snipers possibly mutilating corpses in Afghanistan is buried, Luke (Nick Stahl) quits his job but is even more determined to return to Afghanistan to get the real story. With his offbeat buddy, Tom (Nicolas Wright), tagging along, Luke returns to Afghanistan and intends to gather enough evidence to get his old story into print. But he soon finds that the country is an even more dangerous place than when he left. To make matters worse, his old friend and fixer, Mateen (Stephen Lobo) has been hired away by Luke's journalistic nemesis, Imran Sahar (Vik Sahay). Soon the trip for Luke and Tom in Afghanistan turns into a surreal and perilous adventure, a journey into an alternate reality, filtered through a haze of gun smoke. Written by Barrie Dunn

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Everything is true but the facts


Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, some violence and drug use | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


References They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) See more »

User Reviews

A war movie for grownups.
21 May 2013 | by twmacSee all my reviews

There is something in this film that brings out a visceral negative reaction from some reviewers. Perhaps it was not quite PC enough, or it offends a nationality or group. What is certain is this film is much better than the detractors portray.

The story follows Luke, a photojournalist, who thinks he's stumbled upon war atrocities committed by a Canadian sniper team. When his story is buried by his news service, he is compelled to return to Afghanistan with his friend Tom, who has other ambitions, to find out the truth. Luke soon finds out that the truth is hard to come by. As Elita (Pascale Hutton) tells him, "you try to make sense of this place, a place that makes no sense."

Just as in war there are parts in the story where nothing much is happening, then crazy people and crazy things happen, then all hell breaks loose. Bombs explode, people die, and you're left with many questions but not everything is answered. This is very much a war film, but it's no "action movie." It's no Battleship or G.I. Joe: Retaliation. You never know for sure who is a friend or who is the enemy. As Luke says "it's hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys, until they try to kill you." This is the essence of any insurgency, like Afghanistan.

The negative reviewers fault the film for some technical errors, like having four man sniper teams when they're usually two man teams, and then giving it 1 star. That's like slamming Apocalypse Now for having surf boards on Army helicopters or having Russian roulette in The Deer Hunter. Sure, there are no strip clubs on the Army bases in Afghanistan, but these few lapses can easily be overlooked for the true theme of the film. That war is nuts, and you have to be kind of nuts to be there.

The acting was very good, both the westerners and the Afghans. The movie was shot in Canada with excellent cinematography on a low budget, but it's easy to believe that this was shot on location. The country looks just as bleak and barren and occasionally beautiful as you've seen on the news reports. The action sequences are well done, it definitely feels like you're in the middle of a firefight when the bullets start flying.

What is certain is this movie deserves more serious consideration than it received. Maybe it's too soon, or maybe some object to a negative story about Canadian soldiers. It is definitely worth seeing and it's much better than the less than 5 out of 10 stars rating it has received on IMDb. See it for yourself, and there's a good chance you'll agree.

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Release Date:

11 June 2011 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

Afghan Luke See more »


Box Office


CAD5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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