Film Review: Tom Hanks Delivers in ‘A Hologram for the King’

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

CHICAGO – Tom Hanks is using his golden years as a vehicle to stretch his performance skills, and his role as a sort of “Death of a Salesman” spin in “A Hologram for the King” gives him an opportunity to keep stretching. The stylish film floats within the focus on his character, and he delivers.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Based on a Dave Eggers novel, “A Hologram for the King” has a lot going on, as Hanks portrays a character with one last shot at making the sale in the oddball Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Director Tom Tykwer (“Cloud Atlas”) adds some European-style visuals to the story, and the whole things works because the blend is right. Hanks handles the path of the role through a nice progression, and uses his world weariness as an older actor effectively. The story peters out a bit towards the end, but in general the movie is entertaining, especially with the geniality of Hanks providing another exceptional performance.

Alan Gray (Hanks) is a older sales representative for a cutting edge computer technology – the ability to project holograms of distant people for meetings and other purposes. His team is called to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), where he is to meet the King and demonstrate the product. He is feeling on his last gasp, and delays to the meeting allows him to focus on his problems, which includes his daughter Kit (Tracey Fairaway), a distant father (Tom Skerritt) and his lack of money.

He also has a strange lump on his back, and is constantly tinkering with it. His driver Yousef (Alexander Black) is concerned, and takes him to a local hospital, where he is treated by Dr. Zahra (Sarita Choudhury). There is an attraction, and they begin a tentative affair. Meanwhile, the demonstration is on, and a hologram will be demonstrated for the King.


“A Hologram for the King” had a nationwide release on April 22nd. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Tom Hanks, Alexander Black, Sarita Choudhury, Sidse Babbett Knudsen, Tracey Fairaway and Tom Skerritt. Written by Joey Sagal, Hanala Sagal and Cary Elwes. Directed by Liza Johnson. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “A Hologram for the King”

Tom Hanks
Tom of Arabia: Hanks as Alan Gray in ‘A Hologram for the King’
Photo credit: Roadside Attractions

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “A Hologram for the King”

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