Directed By: Frank Reyes Starring: John Leguizamo Denise Richards

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Product Overview

A drug kingpin is offered a clean life when a stock broker offers him a cut of the stock market action. But the kingpin soon learns that people remain people regardless of their surroundings and must rely upon his street smarts to survive.


Studio Universal
SKU 40217651
UPC 025192305320
UPC 14 00025192305320
Format DVD
Release Date 6/24/2008
Rating Rating
Big City
Drug Dealers
New York City
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note EMPIRE, the debut film from director-writer Frank Reyes is a Latin GOODFELLAS, chronicling the rise and fall of Victor Rosa (John Leguizamo), a Puerto Rican drug-dealer working the violent streets of the South Bronx. With an eye for money and a head for business, Victor dreams of one day achieving the wealth and success of a legitimate businessman. When Victor discovers that his girlfriend Carmen (Delilah Cruz) is pregnant, he jumps at the chance to give up the dangerous drug trade and joins forces with two new friends, Jack (Peter Sarsgaard)--a flashy Wall Street Investment banker, and his girlfriend Trish (Denise Richards). Jack offers Victor a new way of life and promises him access to "sure thing" investments. Eager to go legit, Victor quickly embraces Jack's standards of living. He gives up the streets of the Bronx for Jack's slick Soho loft and moves into the fast-talking, money-driven world of Wall Street. However, Carmen misses the warmth and familiarity of her roots in the South Bronx and Victor is torn between his own ambition and his desire to please her. Ultimately, he realizes too late that Jack and Trish are not all who they seem to be, and his best-laid plans begin to falter as he is forced to accept the magnitude of their betrayal.
Entertainment Weekly "...Compelling....Leguizamo owns EMPIRE, the first film to capture the live-wire crackle of his one-man stage shows....He holds the screen with a simmering self-assurance..." 12/13/2002 p.60
Los Angeles Times "...Engrossing and utterly uncompromising....[Leguizamo] gives one of the best performances of the year..." 12/06/2002 p.C6
Total Film "...Centered by an on-form Leguizamo..." 12/01/2003 p.118
Frank Reyes
John Leguizamo
Denise Richards
Cast & Crew
Denise Richards - Actor
Isabella Rossellini - Actor
John Leguizamo - Actor
Sonia Braga - Actor
Vincent Laresca - Actor
Peter Sarsgaard - Actor
Kramer Morgenthau - Cinematographer
Franc Reyes - Director
Peter C. Frank - Editor
Ruben Blades - Original Music
Daniel Bigel - Producer
Michael Mailer - Producer
Franc Reyes - Writer
Technical Info
Catalog ID 23053
UPC 00025192305320
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 95 minutes
Original Language English
Available Audio Tracks English
Aspect Ratio
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review 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. I recently saw Goodfellas again, and this film is similar; they're both about the rise and fall of a gangster, narrated by himself, and complicated by a wife who walks out when she catches him with another woman. And Empire has a story hook that could have transformed this story into another classic.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 7
DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Product Attributes
Actor Leguizamo,John
Label Mca Home Video
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle A gangster movie with the capacity to surprise.
Chris Gore, Film Threat An entertaining, colorful, action-filled crime story with an intimate heart.
Annlee Ellingson, Boxoffice Magazine Victor is a great character, played with macho zeal by Leguizamo.

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