83

Entertainment Weekly

By Bruce Fretts
Leguizamo owns Empire, the first film to capture the live-wire crackle of his one-man stage shows -- He's front and center in nearly every scene, and he holds the screen with a simmering self-assurance.
Full Review
75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
A gangster movie with the capacity to surprise. People do unexpected things and for reasons we wouldn't anticipate.
Full Review
63

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
Empire, with its double-barreled shoot-outs, its predictable carnage and conflict, and a rush-job of a resolution, is ultimately just one more urban gangland genre flick.
Full Review
63

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
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.
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50

New York Post

By Lou Lumenick
Panders to its audience by glorifying drug dealing and violence in all-too-depressingly familiar ways.
Full Review
50

Boston Globe

By Wesley Morris
Rossellini doesn't do much more than show up and be a hundred kinds of ravishing. Yet there's a movie in her ageless face and that untamed bouffant.
Full Review
50

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
Stereotypical, banally written bloodbath.
Full Review
50

Chicago Tribune

By Robert K. Elder
While Reyes seeks his own ambitious style, he can't quite step out from under De Palma's shadow and thematic choices. Everything from the voiceover narration to the final frame in Empire looks and feels like a low-budget hybrid of "Scarface" or "Carlito's Way."
Full Review
38

New York Daily News

By Jack Mathews
This is clearly the Worst Performance by an Actress in a Death Scene since Sofia Coppola took a bullet for her dad in "The Godfather: Part III."
Full Review
38

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Rick Groen
Empire is just too intent on living up to its imperial name -- colonizing other defenceless movies, plundering their rich natural resources, and leaving us all to feel rather cruelly violated. A postscript: Somebody here -- I'm not saying who -- dies. And still keeps on talking.
Full Review
38 out of 100
Generally unfavorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.