Rock the Kasbah 2015

Critics score:
9 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times: This movie is all over the place. Read more

Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press: The movie wants to be both glib and emotionally resonant, but it can't seem to figure out what the stakes are -- even as people are getting shot. Read more

Joe Neumaier, TIME Magazine: Its music-industry gags sit awkwardly next to war-zone jokes and cultural quips, landing all involved on a peace train to nowhere. Read more

Andrew Barker, Variety: Bill Murray heads to Afghanistan in director Barry Levinson's dreadfully misguided farce. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: A comedy that's openly afraid to seem too sincere or too mawkish, and doesn't fully commit either to its comedy or its uplift. Like Murray, it's wry and presented largely in air quotes, with an accompanying eye-roll. Read more

Randy Cordova, Arizona Republic: There might be a decent movie in here somewhere, if the focus had been on the right character. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: If it were any worse, they'd be screening it as evidence at The Hague. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: This dismal comedy, scripted by Murray's old pal Mitch Glazer (Scrooged), evinces only enough interest in Afghanis to keep the story rolling. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: A white-savior showbiz fable of a particularly dubious and retrograde variety. Read more

Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/ Rock the Kasbah, does not rock at all - not even a little bit. Read more

Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly: Your enjoyment of all this will probably depend heavily on your willingness to let the words romp and Taliban coexist for approximately two hours. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: Rock the Kasbah morphs into a pretty implausible feel-good movie that's nearly as maudlin as it is unconvincing. Read more

Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times: An acclaimed film director, a legendary comic actor, lots of fun rock and pop songs, and a noble story at its core can't save "Rock the Kasbah" from being one hugely misguided dud. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: An ongoing war is no setting for a musical comedy, especially one this glib and inane. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: It needs a smarter script. It needs at least two or three perfectly engineered, joke-after-joke sequences. It needs a smart director - did you really do "Wag the Dog," Levinson? - whose idea of political satire goes beyond freshman-year sarcasm. Read more

Mark Jenkins, NPR: Rock the Kasbah's timing is so slack, and its screenplay so shapeless, that the movie doesn't even rise to the level of an Afghan-war Stripes. It's almost as laugh-free as the latest news from Kunduz. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: Cliched, enervating, insulting - it's tough to settle on a single pejorative for "Rock the Kasbah," though abysmal might do. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: Some projects are just too misguided for the star to mug and shrug his way out of. Consider Rock the Kasbah at the top, or the bottom, of that list. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Rock the Kasbah goes fierce to quietly touching and back to funny again. Read more

Soren Anderson, Seattle Times: Murray, idiosyncratic as always, dominates, but his performance can't save this misconceived mess. Read more

David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle: Murray does his best to hold up the movie, but there's only so much he can do. Ultimately, his latest fish out of water never makes it back upstream. Read more

Natalie Daher, Minneapolis Star Tribune: It fumbles a bit by prioritizing the goofy antics of its white cast over what turns out to be a smart depiction of non-Western life. Read more

Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail: Not Murray's best and not Levinson's either. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Quite possibly [Murray's] worst movie ever. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: Bill Murray is Bill Murray is Bill Murray in a comedy that's little more than a schtick delivery system with some third-act personal growth thrown in for good measure. Read more

Jim Slotek, Toronto Sun: It's a movie that's half-over before it tells us what it's really about. Read more

Brian Truitt, USA Today: A lot of the actor's usual mercurial charm isn't used to full effect and is actually tempered when it doesn't feel like it should be. Read more

Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice: For every moment of desert beauty, or insight into the twilight economies that flourish in a war zone, there's a key scene that appears truncated or even missing. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: 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. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: Levinson never seems to know what to point his camera at, or when to cut, and Glazer never seems to know when to leave a joke alone and let the cast work. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: "Rock the Kasbah" is the mausoleum where comedy was buried. Read more