Rock the Kasbah

Critics Consensus

The Shareef don't like Rock the Kasbah, and neither will viewers hoping for a film that manages to make effective use of Bill Murray's knack for playing lovably anarchic losers.

7%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 123

28%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 11,655

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Movie Info

While visiting Kabul, Afghanistan, washed-up music manager Richie Lanz (Bill Murray) gets dumped by his last client. His luck changes when he meets Salima Khan (Leem Lubany), a Pashtun teenager with a beautiful voice who dreams of becoming the first female to compete on the television show "Afghan Star." With help from a savvy hooker (Kate Hudson), two war profiteers and a trigger-happy mercenary (Bruce Willis), Richie embarks on a mission to make sure his new protégée gets discovered.

Cast & Crew

Bill Murray
Richie Lanz
Bruce Willis
Bombay Brian
Danny McBride
Nick
Taylor Kinney
Private Barnes
Mitch Glazer
Screenwriter
Ethan Smith
Producer
Sean Bobbitt
Cinematographer
Aaron Yanes
Film Editor
David Moritz
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for Rock the Kasbah

Critic Reviews for Rock the Kasbah

All Critics (123) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (114)

  • You don't want to see Rock the Kasbah. If you do, you're reading the wrong newspaper.

    December 28, 2016 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • Barry Levinson's film, loosely inspired by the true story of reality TV show Afghan Star, comes at its subject matter from entirely the wrong direction.

    March 18, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • It's a strangely lacklustre film that's happy to plonk Murray in a vaguely interesting crisis situation -- in this case, war-torn Afghanistan -- and just hope for the best.

    March 18, 2016 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Unfunny, and also casually offensive.

    March 18, 2016 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • Leaving aside the galloping misogyny, 'Rock the Kasbah' just isn't remotely funny or smart.

    March 14, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • As one-liner after one-liner misses its mark, you begin to feel sorry for Murray, who's really too old to be playing a guy who has a little daughter ... and likes to get kinky with Kate Hudson as a raucous, Dolly Parton-style hooker-businesswoman.

    October 23, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Rock the Kasbah

  • Jun 16, 2016
    Not totally terrible, but somewhat insensitive tone and setup. Utterly formulaic with annoying archetypes disguised as thinly drawn original characters. If this has been darker in tone and beefier (more character-driven) in plot, it would have been good. Nice framing, production design, costuming. Forgettable and joyless.
    _kelly . Super Reviewer
  • Jun 05, 2016
    I enjoyed this. The typical tale of rags to riches, similar to the likes of Slumdog Millionaire and it had a decent soundtrack too. Not the best moment of Bill Murray but he was still more than competent in this.
    Ian W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 12, 2016
    Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, and Zooey Deschanel Rock the Kasbah in this quirky lighthearted comedy. The story follows a washed up talent manager who gets stranded in Afghanistan when his performer abandons the USO tour, but he soon sees an opportunity after learning about a singing competition called Afghan Star and discovers a singer that he thinks could go all the way. The performances are all really good, particularly Willis; who does an impressive job at delivering the dry, sardonic humor. And the soundtrack is especially well-done, doing an excellent job at setting the tone and bringing energy to the film. Tremendously entertaining, Rock the Kasbah is a lot of fun and has a positive message about the power of music.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 25, 2016
    This is the worst Bill Murray, probably, since either of the Garfield movies. It's one of the few movies that manages to make Bill Murray completely ineffective and charmless. That takes a whole lot of fucking effort. And, I'm sure, that the film means well in paying tribute to one of the first women to compete on Afghan Star, an actual show, with this fictional story. But the way they go about it is decidedly retrograde. They had the chance to tell an inspirational story about a woman chasing her dreams in a society that treats women, openly, as subservient and not as worthy as men. But they chose to go with the 'white savior' route, that somebody mentions here, with Bill Murray coming to a foreign country and showing the backwards and ignorant people there how things should really be done. It's a little backwards to be completely honest with you. And it's not even that, because, even with that, you can still have a good movie. The Help was something similar to this, with Emma Stone playing the author that got these black maids' stories out there, and I never finished that movie, but it was quite a good movie up to the point I did see. The problem comes first in the fact that, honestly, the movie is just not that interesting despite being inspired by an inspirational real-life story. Second of all, and this is the biggest problem, are the obvious tonal issues the film suffers from. It doesn't know if it wants to be a comedy or a drama. It's not that funny, so I'm quite surprised that they even managed to make a trailer out of this. I can understand the film wanted to mix comedy with drama, but the way this movie went about was really unskillful. Like they had no idea how to actually execute it. And this film was made by Barry Levinson who, pre-2000s, had a pretty good track record. He did Rain Man, Good Morning Vietnam, Wag the Dog, among others. So he's got some pretty great movies under his belt. Which is why this film completely missing the mark when it came to comedy is so perplexing. The movie needed like a good stretch of comedy that never actually came, so, because of that, and because of the fact that it takes almost an hour for Richie to discover Salima, this movie really fucking dragged. Characters disappear without a trace, movie drags along the desert as if dehydrated. It's just a fucking disaster. Perhaps disaster is overstating the point, but this movie just isn't good. It's culturally backwards, poorly written and Bill Murray simply cannot do this on his own. He was handicapped at, pretty much, every possible turn. He needed all the help he could get and, while he tries, it was simply not enough. It's a lifeless and charmless film. Tone deaf and just, really, a poorly made film all around. Bad movie, so I cannot really recommend this in the slightest, even if you love Bill Murray.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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