Empire Records (1995)




Critic Consensus: Despite a terrific soundtrack and a strong early performance from Renee Zellweger, Empire Records is mostly a silly and predictable teen dramedy.

Empire Records Videos & Photos

Movie Info

A funky little record shop provides the setting for this youthful comedy that centers on the workers there as they try to help poor Joe Anthony LaPaglia), the manager who really wants to buy the place, recoup his losses after his well-meaning, but dim-bulbed employee Lucas (Rory Cochrane ) steals his savings and loses it all in Atlantic City while trying to increase it twofold at the gaming tables. If they cannot come up with the loot, the mega-chain Music City will buy it.

Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Carol Heikkinen
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 3, 2001
Warner Home Video


as Corey

as Mitchell

as Croupier

as Woman at craps table

as High Roller

as Reporter

as Autograph Girl

as Cop No. 1

as Cop No. 2

as Cop No. 3

as Cop No. 4

as Lead Singer

as Flower Delivery Guy

as Roulette Table Man

as Ballet Dancer

as Veronica

as Couch Kid No. 1

as Couch Kid No. 2

as `Say No More' Woman

as Girl on Couch

as Clapton Customer

as Boom Box Kid

as Girl No. 1

as Girl No. 2

as Button Customer

as Male Rex Manning Fan

as Male Rex Manning Fan

as Customer No. 1

as Customer No. 2

as Customer No. 3

as Customer No. 4

as Meg Ryan Customer

as Mariah Carey Custome...

as Band in Mark's Daydr...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Empire Records

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Critic Reviews for Empire Records

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (4)

A soundtrack in search of a movie, Empire Records is one teen-music effort that never finds a groove.

Full Review… | August 11, 2008
Top Critic

Lovably sloppy.

August 14, 2007
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Overall, fatally ersatz but good natured at heart.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

If the movie is a lost cause, it may at least showcase actors who have better things ahead of them.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Insubstantial, predictable and often dull.

Full Review… | August 11, 2008
TV Guide's Movie Guide

One of the hippest and most enjoyable movies of the 90s. This ROCKS!

April 19, 2008

Audience Reviews for Empire Records

Love this movie. It's definitely one for those who were around in this decade, though. I don't think teens today would necessarily love it. It's a bit silly, sure, but great soundtrack, great cast. Rex Manning is hilarious.
Best role for Renee Zellweger and Liv Tyler. And very young Brandon Sexton.
Wish I could have worked in such a great store back in the day!

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


Empire Records is a great comedy. The story is quite simple, yet kit works. This film is fun from start to finish. This is a comedy that stands out, and is still a film worth seeing again and again. The cast do a great joke, and their characters are likeable. Empire Records is one of the best Teen comedies that I've seen. There are some very good comedic elements that make this comedy stand out among others in the genre. I felt that this film was underrated, and it didn't deserve all the negative reviews it has received. This is a classic film, one that remains relevant over a decade after its release. The cast is wonderful, and though flawed Empire Records works well enough and is much better than most teen comedy flicks of today. This is a fun film to watch, one that is well crafted and with a cast of talented actors, it really makes this one a stand out film. I thought that this film was very entertaining from start to finish. Empire Records deserves much more praise than it received. This film proves once again that mainstream critics are too quick to judge. This film is good, with gags, a good story and really stands out. If you love a smart teen comedy, Empire Records is the one. There's some stand out moments in this film, though far from the teen comedies of the 80's, Empire Records is still a film worth seeing. Very enjoyable and original, this film is much better than most of teen comedies of today. A much underrated gem, Empire Records is great entertainment despite its flaws.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer


"Damn the Man! Save the Empire!"

The employees of an independent music store learn about each other as they try anything to stop the store being absorbed by a large chain.

The theme of Empire Records is the struggle of man against the greed of the corporate machine. Empire Records is an independent music store that is very lax with its employees, offers many different genres of music, and in general offers a very artistic environment for its customers. The owners of Empire wish to sell out and make Empire into a chain store. Joe, played by Anthony Lapaglia, is the store manager who takes an employee named Lucas, played by Rory Cochrane, under his wing. Together with the other misfits that work at Empire, they try to figure out a plan to save Empire from turning into a dreaded Music Town while dealing with their own personal problems on one very eventful day at the store.

Other important issues that are addressed in this film include depression, Debra (played by Robin Tunney) cuts all of her hair off and tries to slit her wrist, drug addiction, Corey (played by Liv Tyler) is the perfect student who occasionally takes speed to help her stay awake to study, and risky sexual behavior, Gina (played by Renee Zellweger) thinks she will feel better about herself and find love by sleeping around.

Two techniques used in this movie to demonstrate the theme were sound and lighting. The soundtrack of the film is very diverse and alternative which can be compared to the environment of Empire Records. Empire is not your typical music store and the music they play there is not always the most well known. The lighting of Empire can be considered dim and a little hazy at times, which compared to the harsh fluorescent lighting found at a chain store, gives Empire Records an even more unique feel.

Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

Empire Records Quotes

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– Submitted by Japes . (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Japes . (4 years ago)

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