A Hologram for the King (2016)



Critic Consensus: A Hologram for the King amiably ambles through a narrative desert, saved by an oasis of a performance from the ever-dependable Tom Hanks.

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Movie Info

Cultures collide when an American businessman (Tom Hanks) is sent to Saudi Arabia to close what he hopes will be the deal of a lifetime. Baffled by local customs and stymied by an opaque bureaucracy, he eventually finds his footing with the help of a wise-cracking taxi driver (Alexander Black) and a beautiful Saudi doctor (Sarita Choudhury).
Rating: R (for some sexuality/nudity, language and brief drug use)
Genre: Drama
Directed By: Tom Tykwer
Written By: Tom Tykwer
In Theaters: limited
Box Office: $11539
Roadside Attractions


Tom Hanks
as Alan Clay
Jay Abdo
as Dr. Hadad
Lewis Rainer
as Young Alan Clay
Rolf Saxon
as Joe Trivoli
Atheer Adel
as Prince Jalawi
Janis Adhern
as Catherine Flynn
Janis Ahern
as Catherine Flynn
Jane Perry
as Ruby Clay
Khalid Laith
as Karim Al-Ahmad
Alexander Yassin
as Zahra's Driver
Eric Meyers
as Randall
Jeff Burrell
as Party Guest
Michael Baral
as Young Ron
Michael Ihnow
as Alan's Colleague
Jassim Alsaady
as Cousin #1
Mamdou Al-Harthy
as Jasem the Shopkeeper
Imtiaz Hauqe
as Edward - Clerk
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News & Interviews for A Hologram for the King

Critic Reviews for A Hologram for the King

All Critics (113) | Top Critics (34)

It's hard to imagine a more Tom Hanks-y setup than this.

Full Review… | May 16, 2016
Time Out
Top Critic

It looks expensive and comes off bland.

Full Review… | April 27, 2016
New York Observer
Top Critic

Not even the mighty Tom Hanks can save this scattershot adaptation of Dave Eggers' lost-soul novel

Full Review… | April 22, 2016
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

To describe this as a movie about a mediocre businessman biding his time before an appointment probably makes it sound more exciting than it is.

Full Review… | April 22, 2016
New York Post
Top Critic

If it sounds like Hologram is basically about a middle-aged white guy getting his groove back in the Middle East, well, yes, it is that. But if you squint hard enough, it's also a little bit more.

Full Review… | April 22, 2016
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

It's a sweet, deliberately meandering movie, and it took me a while to connect with it. But it won me over because ultimately it conveys so well that feeling of estrangement that is both terrifying and comic for any farflung traveler.

Full Review… | April 22, 2016
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for A Hologram for the King

I went into this film not knowing a single thing about it, which is very unusual in this day and age with the constant bombardment of new film trailers every day. This was a nice little trek through a troubled mans life and how he is improving for the future. I loved the setting and Tom Hanks was, of course, amazing. Left me feeling melancholy and happy.

Zoe Jeffery
Zoe Jeffery

I don't think it's possible for Tom Hanks to make a bad movie now-a-days, a funny and touching film... highly recommended

Jeffrey Fischbach
Jeffrey Fischbach

Any film that chooses to embrace Electric Light Orchestra, or for that matter acknowledge how wonderful ELO truly is, is okay in my books. This bodes well for A Hologram for the King as it seemingly has a lot to offer, but ends up offering as much in such a fashion that it feels it's holding back on the best, most interesting stuff. I haven't read the novel by Dave Eggers on which this film adaptation is based, but from being familiar with Eggers style and having his influence be strongly present during my college years I can see how this book, which was published after I graduated from college, would seem like a natural progression for the writer. He is getting older, so too are his protagonists, but the existential questions still remain-just in different forms and from different perspectives. Though I haven't read Eggers' novel it is easy to see the main ideas and themes the author was addressing come through in the opening moments of director Tom Tykwer's (Cloud Atlas, Run Lola Run) film. Tykwer takes us through the deconstruction of what more or less defines success in Western culture and strips it away from our protagonist before dropping him into Saudi Arabia where success and satisfaction are still measured in many of the same ways, but where society has a more narrow view of how those rewards should be distributed and touted. Still, the film doesn't look down upon its main setting so as to say we have it all figured out in America and they should take note, but rather it displays the still very present complications and struggles alive within a well to-do, middle-aged white guy that should seemingly have it all, including any opportunity he desires. Most writers place their surrogates into characters who mimic themselves which translates to an abundance middle-aged white guys, but here the choice to have the lead character fit this profile is a strategic one, a decision that greater emphasizes the difference in having it all and having what is meaningful. I'm still not sure if there is an analogy or metaphor that we should interpret from the title, but it seems it should naturally have an underlying meaning. I bring this up because much like the title of the film the contents feel as if there should be more to them, something that anchors the ideas and makes them feel more substantial; effecting viewers in greater ways. Instead, A Hologram for the King simply skims the surface, albeit an interesting surface. read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com

Philip Price
Philip Price

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