Empire Records (1995)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother)
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Overall Rating 68%
Overall Rating
Ranked #2,120
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A day in the life of the employees of Empire Records. Except this is a day where everything comes to a head for a number of them facing personal crises - can they pull through together? And more importantly, can they keep their record store independent and not swallowed up by corporate greed? --IMDb
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Review by Nirrad
Added: August 6, 2008
Growing up I was treated to some great teen comedies because of my older sister. She used to rent movies all the time, and I would eventually get a chance to watch them as well. Each generation has their lineup of teen comedies. But I personally believe that my generation has been shafted. "American Pie" was OK, but other than that we have nothing but garbage. Throughout the early-mid 90's, great movies like "Dazed and Confused" and "Mallrats" were released for teenagers at the time. One movie that stuck in my head was "Empire Records". My sister was a big fan of this movie and decided to buy it; I eventually stole the movie from her and got the opportunity to enjoy it myself.

"Empire Records" revolves around a group of teenagers working at a record store, while dealing with the usual life problems that every teen eventually goes through in their life. Lucas (Rory Cochrane) has the responsibility to close the store. But during his shift he finds out that the store is being sold to a bigger company, and changing formats in the process. Lucas has a plan to take $9,000 of the stores money to the casinos and double it so that he can save the store. He gets in way over his head, and loses all of the savings within a matter of minutes. The next day the rest of the employees arrive for their usual shift. They find out about the problem, but try to act natural. Joe (Anthony LaPaglia) who is the boss of the store finds out about the incident and tries to figure out a way to get the money back while teaching Lucas a lesson. Meanwhile, everyone else is up to their usual teen antics, relationship problems, and life problems.

I can always find time to pop this movie in. It has been one of my favorite movies for years for nostalgic reasons. We are treated to a wonderful cast in "Empire Records". We have Renée Zellweger as the ditzy girl with a high sexual drive, Liv Tyler as the smart and shy virgin with a bright future, Ethan Embry as your typical class clown and Rory Cochrane as the smart ass. There are more as well, but I'm just giving the overall idea of the characters. Most of these actors/actresses went on to have great careers, most notably the women.

What I love about this movie is how accurate it portrays the average teenage life. I'm sure anyone could pick out a character that is most relevant to them, and even compare them to their friends. It's that perfect. This movie is full of random and hilarious scenes. One of my favorite scenes is how Lucas arrives back to the store after losing all of the money. It's just so random, yet hilarious. Also, his Zen attitude is always welcomed by me. His life questions are just downright funny; he's definitely my favorite character in the movie.

While I'm not a big fan on punk or alternative music, it's actually quite enjoyable in this movie and it seems appropriate. Gwar fans out there are sure to have a laugh midway through the movie when Mark starts to have a trip after eating special brownies. I don't care for Gwar and I thought it was great. I only wish that working in a record store was this fun. This is my only problem with the movie. I don't think there's a place on earth that operates like this store does and it makes the movie feel a bit unrealistic. But if there is a place like this to work at, I need to find it fast.

"Empire Records" may not appeal to the younger audience of today though. It does feel a bit outdated mainly because of the music. But if you grew up with this movie, there is no doubt in my mind that you will still love it today. A nice short and sweet review for an extremely satisfying movie with little to no flaws. If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and check it out, it may surprise you.

Tristan #1: Tristan - added August 6, 2008 at 12:46am
"Oh yeah? Well have a little chat with my gun."

Perfect example of great 90's comedy. 10/10 as well.
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added August 6, 2008 at 10:20am
Loved this movie when I was younger. Still do. Mucho fun. 8/10.
Norman S. Wolfe #3: Norman S. Wolfe - added August 22, 2008 at 6:47pm
It's one of those movies you never want to end. I would gladly see an extended version, three or four hours. It wouldn't even need a great plot, just those wonderful characters...
10/10, cause I can't give it more...
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