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A Hologram for the King (2016)

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A failed American sales rep looks to recoup his losses by traveling to Saudi Arabia and selling his company's product to a wealthy monarch.


Tom Tykwer


Dave Eggers (novel), Tom Tykwer (screenplay)
4,350 ( 175)
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hanks ... Alan
Omar Elba ... Yousef (as Alexander Black)
Sarita Choudhury ... Zahra
Sidse Babett Knudsen ... Hanne
Tracey Fairaway ... Kit
Jane Perry ... Ruby
Tom Skerritt ... Ron
Michael Baral ... Young Ron
Lewis Rainer ... Young Alan
Alexander Molkenthin Alexander Molkenthin ... Kid Alan
Xara Eich Xara Eich ... Young Kit
David Menkin ... Brad
Christy Meyer ... Cayley
Megan Maczko ... Rachel
Ben Whishaw ... Dave


A failed American sales rep looks to recoup his losses by traveling to Saudi Arabia and selling his company's product to a wealthy monarch.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


How far will you go to find yourself?


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality/nudity, language and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site | See more »


UK | France | Germany | Mexico | USA


English | Arabic

Release Date:

28 April 2016 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Esperando al rey See more »

Filming Locations:

Ouarzazate, Morocco See more »


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,138,605, 24 April 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,198,126, 26 June 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Color | Black and White (some shots)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The second collaboration between Tom Hanks and Tom Tykwer and Ben Whishaw. The first was Cloud Atlas (2012). See more »


New Hampshire has no national parks. Mount Washington is in the White Mountain National Forest. See more »


[first lines]
Alan: [mimicking The Talking Heads in his music video TV commercial] You may find yourself living in your garden shack. And you may find yourself not at home in your home. And you may find yourself looking for your large automobile. And you may find yourself without a beautiful house. Without a beautiful wife. And you may ask yourself "Well, how did I get here?"
Alan: [riding a roller coaster for the chorus] Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.
See more »


References Lawrence of Arabia (1962) See more »


You're The Inspiration
Performed by Chicago
(P) 1984 Warner Bros. Records Inc.
Courtesy of Warner Music Group Germany Holding Gmbh. A Warner Music Group Company
Words and Music by Peter Cetera, David Foster
(C) by Universal Music - MGB Songs / PeerMusic III Ltd.
Courtesy of Musik-Edition Discoton Gmbh c/o Universal Music Publishing Group (Germany) and PeerMusic (Germany) Gmbh
See more »

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User Reviews

Rock The Kasbah + Lost In Translation = Tom Hanks worst film in decades
29 April 2016 | by Zbigniew_KrycsiwikiSee all my reviews

Preposterous, wholly unbelievable story of American businessman, on a ridiculous assignment in ultra conservative Saudi Arabia, who forms an extremely improbable alliance with a female doctor (with whom he appears to have absolutely zero chemistry) and ultimately decides to stay there to be with her, and as a result, probably never see his college-aged daughter again. There's the "happy" ending for you.

There were at least three times when it seemed like an entire scene (possibly an entire reel) was missing, completely edited from the final cut, which gave the film a choppy feeling, like the studio had heavilly (and poorly) edited the film prior to release.

Why was Hanne even there, as a potential love interest for Hanks, but he keeps turning her down? She disappears for a considerable amount of time, only to reappear, just to be turned down again by Hanks. Again, why?

Hanks' driver was mildly amusing, but even he disappears midway through. Film can't decide if it wants to be a fish-out-of-water comedy, a love story, or a message movie, and ends up just being mostly pointless, completely unbelievable, entirely forgettable, also blandly acted (even by Hanks) , with only some impressive on-location photography in North Africa to recommend.

I spent a lot of the film's runtime trying to figure if Tom Hanks had a hair transplant? I think he did.

(It was only me, and exactly four others in the cinema during the advance screening, and two of them walked out two thirds into the film)

Filmed from 6 March 2014 to June 2014, but not released until April 2016.

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