Empire (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes


Empire (2002)



Critic Consensus: In terms of the gangster genre, Empire's story is yet another tired retread.

Empire Photos

Movie Info

Victor Rosa runs a successful "street pharmaceutical" business that peddles a high-in-demand heroin mix, which he has named "Empire". His beautiful fiancee, Carmen, a Baruch College student, befriends a classmate who has an investment-banker boyfriend named Jack Wimmer. Victor meets Jack, and they instantly connect. Both are hard-core businessmen from two different sides of the legal fence. When Jack offers Victor a piece of the action on the stock market, Victor finally sees that this could be his ticket out of the violent streets of the South Bronx--and so, he jumps at the opportunity. But there is a bigger price to be paid than clean money for his gorgeous new Soho lifestyle. For the first time, Victor is confronted with a price tag that he will find very difficult to pay.

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John Leguizamo
as Victor Rosa
Isabella Rossellini
as La Colombiana
Fat Joe
as Tito
Rob B. Campbell
as Detective O'Brien
Granville Adams
as Detective Jones
Sam Coppola
as Bobby Gold
Andre De Leon
as Teenager
Monica Steuer
as Receptionist
Giovanna Gomez
as Bartender
Edward Rosado
as Lil' Vic
Tom York
as Taylor
Dashia Lopez
as Waitress
Tim Gallin
as Doorman
Elliot Santiago
as Tito's Boy No. 1
Tony Rhune
as Tito's Boy No. 2
Derrick Simmons
as Tito's Boy No. 3
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News & Interviews for Empire

Critic Reviews for Empire

All Critics (100) | Top Critics (29)

Reyes has obviously seen Goodfellas 50 or 60 times.

January 2, 2003

Yes, we're walking those mean streets again. Good thing we're taking a few unanticipated turns.

December 23, 2002 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

A yawningly familiar melodrama about an enterprising hustler who's undone by his own ambitions.

December 10, 2002 | Rating: 2/4
Top Critic

This is the most predictable plot twist since The Greatest Story Ever Told. You really know this one is coming and it just ruins the whole movie.

December 9, 2002

This movie ... doesn't deserve the energy it takes to describe how bad it is.

December 6, 2002 | Full Review…

A retread of material already thoroughly plumbed by Martin Scorsese.

December 6, 2002 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Empire

I was really disappointed with this one. I really didn't like the writing. First off, the story was way to simple and uninteresting. It had good potential but just didn't deliver. The conclusion was a little to weak. The acting was okay. Mostly only by the main actors and not the supporting cast. But I have seen worse. The directing was okay. Although I did not like the the way the shooting scenes where directed. The production values where okay as well. Nothing special and overall this film is not that great.

Eduardo Tobias
Eduardo Tobias

Super Reviewer


Tragic story but the message is pretty clear, crime does not pay

Brendan Nicholls
Brendan Nicholls

Super Reviewer

Familiar, yes. Cliched, yes. But the leads make it watchable, even mostly entertaining, with the bulk of that credit going to John Leguizamo.

Jeffrey Meyers
Jeffrey Meyers

Super Reviewer

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