Rock the Kasbah

Rock the Kasbah

Barry Levinson (2015)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Director Barry Levinson and Bill Murray team up for the first time here, but this fish-out-of-water comedy is something of a misfire. Murray, looking more hangdog than usual, plays a washed-up road manager for old 1970s rock acts, who comes across a potential money-spinner when he starts to put on shows for the US Army in Afghanistan. It's unfamiliar and downright dangerous territory for someone used to showbiz tantrums. However, after losing his passport and cash, unlikely salvation arrives when he hears an angel-voiced young Pashtun woman singing in secret - and decides to confront religious traditions and get her on the nation's popular TV talent show. Similar real-life events were covered in the 2008 documentary Afghan Star, but in this clunky Hollywood frolic the liberation of Afghan womanhood plays second-string to the redemption of Murray's shambling hero. Not really credible as a comment on US foreign policy, and dismayingly light on outright laughter, the result singularly fails to charm - and even Murray's on faltering form. There's plenty of Cat Stevens on the soundtrack, but unfortunately no sign of the eponymous rock anthem by the Clash.


A has-been rock manager is left stranded in war-torn Kabul after his last remaining client abandons him. He meets a local teenager who has dreams of becoming a pop star, and tries to make her the first female contestant on a TV talent show, assisted by a prostitute, a mercenary and a couple of war profiteers. Comedy drama, starring Bill Murray, Leem Lubany, Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson and Zooey Deschanel.

Cast & Crew

Richie Lanz Bill Murray
Bombay Brian Bruce Willis
Merci Kate Hudson
Ronnie Zooey Deschanel
Salima Leem Lubany
Riza Arian Moayed
Jake Scott Caan
Nick Danny McBride (2)
Sylvia Kelly Lynch
Private Barnes Taylor Kinney
Director Barry Levinson
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Other Information

Language: English, ArabicColourTheatrical distributor: SonyGuidance: Swearing.Available on: DVDReleased on: 18 Mar 2016
Drama Comedy