28 Reasons Empire Records Is the Ultimate ‘90s Movie

If the honorable Judge Lance Ito were to impanel a jury of '90s experts (Pauley Shore, Pam Anderson, Blind Melon’s bee girl) and task it with picking the decade’s quintessential film, foreman Urkel would return in mere minutes with a verdict: Empire Records. Part slacker flick, part teen comedy, part Mighty Ducks-style underdog story, Empire Records follows a group of lowly record-store clerks over the course of a single day. And not just any day — Rex Manning Day, a day that will change their lives…forever!

On this day, the 20th anniversary of the film’s initial theatrical release, we thought it was time to look back and examine what makes Empire Records the most '90s of all '90s films. From the fashion to the music to the political subtext just begging to be dredged out of the dialogue, the 1995 classic captures what it was like to be a suburban kid lost in those weird years between genie pants and “Genie In a Bottle.”

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