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Rock the Kasbah (2015)

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A down-on-his-luck music manager discovers a teenage girl with an extraordinary voice while on a music tour in Afghanistan and takes her to Kabul to compete on the popular television show, Afghan Star.


Barry Levinson


Mitch Glazer (screenplay)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Murray ... Richie Lanz
Bruce Willis ... Bombay Brian
Kate Hudson ... Merci
Zooey Deschanel ... Ronnie
Leem Lubany ... Salima
Arian Moayed ... Riza
Scott Caan ... Jake
Danny McBride ... Nick
Fahim Fazli ... Tariq
Beejan Land ... Daoud (as Beehan Land)
Sameer Ali Khan ... Azam Ghol
Jonas Khan ... Nizar
Husam Chadat ... Nasim
Taylor Kinney ... Private Barnes
Megan Raich ... Brittany


Richie Lanz (Bill Murray), a has-been rock manager takes his last remaining client on a USO tour of Afghanistan. When Richie finds himself in Kabul, abandoned, penniless and without his U.S. passport, he discovers a young Afghan girl named Salima with an extraordinary voice and manages her through Afghanistan's version of American Idol..

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Opportunity rocks when you least expect it.


Comedy | Music | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including sexual references, some drug use and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

23 October 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Afganistani superstaar See more »

Filming Locations:

Morocco See more »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,470,592, 23 October 2015, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$2,982,281, 22 November 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Second movie starring Zooey Deschanel and Kate Hudson involving music, after Almost Famous (2000). See more »


When Richie (Bill Murray) and Bombay Brian (Bruce Willis) go to the desert to do deliver the weapons/ammo and collect the money, one of the tribal elders tells them that they are being forced to grow poppy. However, Paktya province is virtually poppy-free, as the altitude is too high for that crop. On the other hand, it is common to find huge fields of marijuana plants. See more »


[first lines]
Maureen: [having just finished singing her audition] Mr. Lanz? I'm done.
Richie Lanz: [long pause] No.
Richie Lanz: Forgive me. No. You're just beginning.
Maureen: You liked it?
Richie Lanz: Liked it? You made me want to swallow poison. And forget pitch, rhythm and tone... and emotional attachment to the lyric or the melody.
Maureen: I'm sorry. I don't think I...
Richie Lanz: A grain of sand slips into an oyster... and irritates the bivalve. What happens?
Maureen: A pearl.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Just after the closing credits begin, there is an inset scene running alongside. In it, Bill Murray haggles with a vendor who offers him colored string. The vendor speaks no English, while Murray carries on his side of the negotiation in English only. Murray rejects the string, saying "Do I look like a guy who uses string?", but he wants to buy a stuffed elephant with mirrors on it because early in the movie he promised to buy his daughter that exact item. In the end he also buys the colored string. See more »


Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Written by Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell and Sol Marcus
Performed by Cat Stevens (as Yusuf)
Courtesy of Island Records Ltd.
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Highly Recommended
24 January 2016 | by sarine-205-52008See all my reviews

I generally think of Bill Murray movies as comedies aimed toward the pubescent-thinking male, so I'll grant that my opting to see "Rock The Kasbah" (2015) was due to the plot being centered around a music industry manager--I'm a musician myself--and the fact that Zooey, Kate, and Bruce were also starring in the film. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that a much deeper message was being delivered than what I'd expected and I'm really happy I decided to check this movie out.

There's definitely a message being delivered here that goes deeper than making a 13-year-old laugh and it's one I hope others will have an open-enough-mind to take in and appreciate. I watched this with a friend whose comments throughout caused me to realize the prejudice with which your average "Joe Citizen" might view this film. I, myself, am humbled after finding (once again) that I've been less open-minded in my own thinking and more judgmental of others than I'd like to believe. So, before anyone starts throwing around any words or slams like "unpatriotic" or whatever, I urge you to stop and think about why you might have any preconceived hatred of others who you most likely know nothing about. Think about how those thought might've gotten in your head. Think about who it is that might've caused such thoughts to exist in your head and--this one's really important--what THEY might have to gain by having you think in such a manner.

I now have a new-and-improved view of what to expect from "a Bill Murray movie" and a new appreciation for the man himself, realizing he goes deeper than one might think. Plus I like his viewpoint.

I highly recommend this flick, but before viewing I also highly recommend that you take a few moments to ground yourself, open up your mind (after emptying it of any thoughts or prejudices you might be predisposed to thinking), sit back, and enjoy.

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