A Hologram for the King (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Hologram for the King (2016)



Critic 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.

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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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Tom Hanks
as Alan Clay
Jay Abdo
as Dr. Hadad
Lewis Rainer
as Young Alan Clay
Rolf Saxon
as Joe Trivoli
Atheer Adel
as Prince Jalawi
Janis Ahern
as Catherine Flynn
Janis Adhern
as Catherine Flynn
Jane Perry
as Ruby Clay
Khalid Laith
as Karim Al-Ahmad
Alexander Yassin
as Zahra's Driver
Eric Meyers
as Randall
Jeff Burrell
as Party Guest
Michael Baral
as Young Ron
Michael Ihnow
as Alan's Colleague
Jassim Alsaady
as Cousin #1
Mamdou Al-Harthy
as Jasem the Shopkeeper
Imtiaz Hauqe
as Edward - Clerk
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Critic Reviews for A Hologram for the King

All Critics (146) | Top Critics (41)

For all the high-tech lingo, there's nothing new to feel or see.

May 22, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Hanks is often cast as the dependable American everyman type. Here, he shows a darker, more anxious side to that character. It is one of his richest recent performances.

May 19, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

This is a whimsical comedy that falls through the memory like sand through your hand.

May 19, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Hanks brings much interest to his laconic, bereft character, chasing the bird of happiness. He is quite the perfect actor to play an American suffering while the US is in economic decline - because he was such a star when it wasn't.

May 19, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

We leave the desert feeling parched.

May 17, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

It's hard to imagine a more Tom Hanks-y setup than this.

May 16, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Hologram for the King


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 Michalski
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

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 O'Connor
Brendan O'Connor

Super Reviewer


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. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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