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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)
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?


Had its German debut at Berlin's Zoo Palast, at Hardenbergstraße 29A 10623 Berlin. See more »


The date of the entry stamp in the passport is shown as 09/25/2010, but like most of the world, in Saudi Arabia, dates are written in day/month/year format (25/09/2010). 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 Saving Private Ryan (1998) See more »


Uncomplicated Life
Music by Ed Palermo
Courtesy of Warner/Chappell Production Music
See more »

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User Reviews

I really wanted to like this movie!
2 May 2016 | by HellmantSee all my reviews

'A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING': Three Stars (Out of Five)

The new quirky (and very bizarre) comedy-drama flick, from writer/director Tom Tykwer (who also wrote and directed the indie cult classic 'RUN LOLA RUN', and co-wrote and co-directed 'CLOUD ATLAS'). The lead of 'CLOUD ATLAS', Tom Hanks, stars in this movie as well. He plays a down on his luck American businessman, that travels to Saudi Arabia; to try and sell an idea of his to the government there. The movie co-stars Alexander Black, Sarita Choudhury, Sidse Babett Knudsen and Tom Skerritt. It's based on the book, of the same name, by Dave Eggers. I really wanted to like this movie, but it's way too slow- paced and uninvolving.

The story is set in 2010 Saudi Arabia. A failed American businessman, named Alan Clay (Hanks), has traveled there, to try and make a business deal with a rich monarch. He's heartbroken, over a recent divorce with his wife, and thinks about his daughter constantly. Alan develops new relationships, during his business trip, as he desperately struggles to sell his product.

The movie is definitely very quirky and strange, and I love quirky and strange. It's also very slow-paced, meandering and uninvolving though. Hanks does his best in the lead, and the supporting cast is all good as well, but the film is just plain boring (it's hard to sit through). I like Tykwer's other work, especially 'CLOUD ATLAS' and 'RUN LOLA RUN', so I hope his next movie is a big improvement over this.

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