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EMPIRE

 
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At Theaters: 12/6/2002 On Video: 3/18/2003
Rated: R Length: 1 hr. 40 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 399922
Studio: Universal Pictures Inc.
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Storyline Heading
A young Latino gangster’s domain is a successful "street pharmaceutical" business, built around a customized heroin mixture he has dubbed "Empire." But when he tries to buy his way out, he finds the old ties are not so easy to break - and that the price of going legit is much higher than he ever could have imagined.

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DETAILED STORYLINE
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Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Drama - The target young adult audience, particularly males, is the demographic indeed most likely to enjoy this violent urban drama. The violence and language make the film inappropriate for children, and that content may turn off older viewers.
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Cast and Crew Heading
John Leguizamo ICE AGE, COLLATERAL DAMAGE, MOULIN ROUGE
Peter Sarsgaard K-19: THE WIDOWMAKER, THE CENTER OF THE WORLD
Denise Richards UNDERCOVER BROTHER, VALENTINE
Vincent Laresca ANOTHER ROOM, K-PAX
Wri/Dir: Franc. Reyes CARLITO'S WAY
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Production Notes Heading
About The Production
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: Well over 60 F-words, well over 30 S-words, 2 GD's, many others.
SEX/NUDITY: Brief sexual situations involving nudity.
VIOLENCE: Bloody shootings and beatings.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use.
ACTION: One long shootout/gunfight sequence.
COMEDY: Limited to an occasional wisecrack.
DETAILED CONTENT
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Critic's Review Heading
Average

The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.

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Entertainment Weekly   Full Review
Very Good "It will probably be a long time before another movie pairs Euro-cinema princess Isabella Rossellini with XXL Latino rapper Fat Joe, yet that's precisely the personality split that makes Empire so compelling.''

Roger Ebert  Full Review
Above Average "Empire comes so close to working that you can see there from here. It has the right approach and the right opening premise, but it lacks the zest and it goes for a plot twist instead of trusting the material.''

USA TODAY  Full Review
Average "Empire's plot centers on drug dealers and violent thugs who cheat, kill and put money above all else. Bullets fly in stylized fashion, accompanied by trite dialogue and heavy-handed moralizing.''

TV Guide Online  Full Review
Below Average "It's that from LITTLE CAESAR (1931) to PAID IN FULL (2002), this tale has been told and retold; the races and rackets change, but the song remains the same.''

Note: The rating above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.

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Opinion Heading

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OPINION OVERVIEW
The following is the original "What's Worth Watching" write-up for this movie.

Moviegoer Opinions:

Sorry, this movie did not open at a theater that allows us to collect moviegoer opinions so no opinions will be available.

Cinema Review Prediction: (before moviegoer opinions are collected)
The target young adult audience expecting violent urban action will be disappointed by how talk-heavy this drama is. The downbeat and predictable story--given away virtually in its entirety in the commercials--won't help. John Leguizamo's strong lead performance could win over some audiences, however.


D ETAILED S TORYLINE
Victor Rosa (John Leguizamo), a charismatic young Latino gangster holds money above everything and fancies himself a self-made entrepreneur a la Rockefeller, Carnegie and Gates. But Victor Rosa's domain is a successful "street pharmaceutical" business, built around a customized heroin mixture he has dubbed "Empire."

Victor's beautiful fiancee Carmen (Delilah Cotto) attends Baruch College, where she befriends fellow student Trish (Denise Richards). When Trish introduces Carmen and Victor to her investment banker boyfriend Jack (Peter Sarsgaard) at a chic penthouse party, the two men find they have much in common. And when Jack offers Victor a piece of his action on the stock market, Victor immediately sees it as a ticket out of the violent streets and into the safe haven of legitimate business, where clean money and a sophisticated Soho lifestyle await.

But as he tries to buy his way out, Victor finds the old ties are not so easy to break - and that the price of going legit is much higher than he ever could have imagined.

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