By Caroline Westbrook
For all its faults, the good-natured, quirky humour that this for the most part offers ultimately makes it very hard to dislike.
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The A.V. Club

By Nathan Rabin
The film exists for its shots of telegenic youngsters busting loose to a bankable soundtrack, and it's the cheesy dialogue, overstuffed plot, and predictable character arcs that come across as superfluous.
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TV Guide

Insubstantial, predictable and often dull, it's a dismaying move from director Allen Moyle, who displayed a real grasp of pulp energy in 1990's "Pump Up the Volume".
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Entertainment Weekly

By Ty Burr
The movie is too blatant a throwback to crass '80s teen fodder to really work.
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Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
If the movie is a lost cause, it may at least showcase actors who have better things ahead of them.
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By Ken Eisner
A soundtrack in search of a movie, Empire Records is one teen-music effort that never finds a groove.
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Los Angeles Times

The sun can't set too soon on this "Empire." [23 Oct 1995, Pg.F9]
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30 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.