5.5/10
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52 user 104 critic

Rock the Kasbah (2015)

Trailer
2:41 | Trailer

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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.

Director:

Barry Levinson

Writer:

Mitch Glazer (screenplay)

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Opportunity rocks when you least expect it.

Genres:

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 »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 October 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Afganistani superstaar See more »

Filming Locations:

Morocco See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title of the movie is a reference to the song of the same name by the punk band The Clash. The song tells a fable-like story of a King, who bans rock music and is met with defiance by the population. The song's story was influenced by Iran's ban on Western music in 1979. In 1991, Joe Strummer wept when he received news that "Rock the Casbah" was written on the side of an American bomb that detonated in Iraq. The song does not appear in the movie, because the filmmakers were denied the rights to use it. See more »

Goofs

Private Barnes has a right shoulder sleeve insignia (combat patch) on his right shoulder, indicating that he has already completed a combat deployment. It is highly unlikely that he would still be a Private on his second deployment. Additionally, a Private would never be in charge of a security escort detail. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Maureen: [having just finished singing her audition] Mr. Lanz? I'm done.
Richie Lanz: [long pause] No.
[sighs]
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.
[...]
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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 »


Soundtracks

Dances Are Changing
Written and Performed by Barrington Levy
Courtesy of VP Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
laughs quickly disappear
29 December 2016 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

Richie Lanz (Bill Murray) is a down-and-out music manager working out of a Van Nuys motel with his assistant Ronnie (Zooey Deschanel). He makes ends meet by conning money from gullible wannabes and booking bar mitzvah. They get recruited to an USO tour in Afganistan. The dangers freak out Ronnie and she runs away. Richie is befriended by irreverent amateur arms dealers Jake (Scott Caan) and Nick (Danny McBride). They take him to a club where he meets Miss Merci (Kate Hudson). Bombay Brian (Bruce Willis) arranged for Ronnie's departure and expects the other half of the money from Richie. Jake and Nick ropes Richie into a weapons run. With cab driver Riza as his translator, he finds his own Afghan Star.

The start is fine. Bill Murray is great as this kind of lovable loser and Deschanel is adorably scared. There are a couple of awkward chuckles. Then it's a surprising parade of Hollywood stars. The laughs quickly disappear as the movie struggles with the clashing tones of sincerity and surreal comedy. Murray's wise-cracking only grinds the humor to a halt. This is a terribly flawed movie.


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