Parents' Guide to

Rock the Kasbah

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Slapdash, edgy Bill Murray comedy has few laughs.

Movie R 2015 100 minutes
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Murray seems game in the role of Richie Lanz, using his familiar beloved bag of tricks, but the movie feels rather slapdash. The lazy, lax rhythms rarely tighten up enough to produce any laughs. As ROCK THE KASBAH begins, Murray's goofball performance recalls some of his slyest, funniest roles, but as it goes on, it regretfully begins to resemble his more forgettable ones (Larger Than Life, Garfield, etc.); he tries, but the flabby material doesn't support him.

Director Barry Levinson can easily get lost if he's making comedies that aren't set in his hometown of Baltimore, and he's very lost here. He doesn't quite know how to reconcile Richie's story with Salima. While Lubany is lovely, her singing isn't particularly memorable, which undermines the movie's claim of her as an amazing star. She's based on a real person, and the movie seems to want to be respectful to her story in addition to being funny, but everything falls through the cracks.

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