2006-08-03 09:28

On the streets of the South Bronx, it takes an attitude to build an empire. But on Wall Street, it's a whole other world, defined by power and privilege.

These two worlds collide in Empire, the story of gangster Victor Rosa's (John Leguizamo) quest for the American Dream as he tries to escape his criminal past and free himself of the trappings of easy money on the violent streets of the South Bronx.

Determined to make a legitimate life for himself and his girlfriend (Delilah Cotto), Victor Partners with a powerful Wall Street investment banker (Peter Sarsgaard) only to discover that the price he must pay for this new lifestyle is much more than he bargained for.

What the critics are saying:

"...every minute of the movie is familiar and predictable, and 4/5ths of it might as well have come from a Xerox machine rather than Franc Reyes' word processor."
- Rob Blackwelder, SPLICEDwire

"...panders to its audience by glorifying drug dealing and violence in all-too-depressingly familiar ways."
- Lou Lumenick, New York Post

"It works as a shoot-em-up flick, but doesn't quite reach the next level...expect to forget it before you're out of the theater."
- Amit Asaravala, filmcritic.com

Empire aspires to be a mix between Goodfellas and Sugar Hill, but with Latino characters. Unfortunately it comes out as a badly copied (and recopied) string of gang-land cliches.

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