A Hologram for the King

Critics 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.



Total Count: 145


Audience Score

User Ratings: 10,182
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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).

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Critic Reviews for A Hologram for the King

All Critics (145) | Top Critics (38)

Audience Reviews for A Hologram for the King

  • Jun 03, 2017
    Tom Hanks stars in the mediocre comedic drama A Hologram for the King. Based on a novel, the story follows an American businessman who's sent to Saudi Araba to pitch a cutting edge telecommunications system to the king, but the stress from the culture shock soon starts to take an emotional and physical toll. Hanks delivers an excellent performance as usual, and is really too good for this film. The script is poorly written, with a lot of story threads that don't go anywhere and an enigmatic conclusion that doesn't resolve much. Still, it explores some interesting themes about adapting to modernization and foreign cultures. And there's some satiric comedy that's kind of funny. Yet overall, A Hologram for the King lacks a clear focus and its characters are underdeveloped.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 29, 2017
    Hanks is great but the film is very flat in the final third. I think the love story was too much, just a few little hints for a connection would've left an ambiguous ending for the character. The ending felt like a tack on when this film is more an indie story and the heart strings weren't required. Maybe the book spelt it out but the film didn't need to, just annoyed the filmmakers didn't lose that unsatisfying conclusion to what was a 4 star film.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Feb 22, 2017
    Tom Hanks takes us to Saudi Arabia where he's a fish-out-of-water Yank unacquainted with the local customs, some of which could be very dangerous, but it's kept light overall. The biggest shocker for him is a promiscuous Dane, but its this light tone that keeps the film from fully engaging. In one scene Hanks closest Saudi buddy walks in on him with a Saudi woman and things nearly get nuclear pretty fast, but this opportunity, and many others, get passed by for the sake of that light tone. As it is, we're left with a Better Homes and Gardens version that begs in favor of diversity while avoiding some ugly truths.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 20, 2016
    Definitely enjoyable with some comedic moments but ultimately the plot is just too familiar. It's a shame that an unusually good performance from Tom Hanks has to work with something so shallow.
    Ian W Super Reviewer

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