Sunday, 19 February 2017

Imperium (2016)

Imperium (2016 film).png

Directed byDaniel Ragussis
Produced by
  • Simon Taufique
  • Dennis Lee
  • Daniel Ragussis
  • Ty Walker
Written byDaniel Ragussis
Story byMichael German
Music byWill Bates
CinematographyBobby Bukowski
Edited bySara Corrigan
Distributed byLionsgate Premiere
Release date
  • August 19, 2016(United States)
Running time
109 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Imperium is a 2016 American thriller film, written and directed by Daniel Ragussis, from a story by Michael German. The film stars Daniel RadcliffeToni ColletteTracy LettsNestor Carbonell, and Sam Trammell. The film was released on August 19, 2016 in a limited release and through video on demand by Lionsgate Premiere.[2]




Nate Foster is an FBI agent working to uncover terrorist plots. After some illegally imported caesium-137 is stolen, Nate is recruited by agent Angela Zamparo, who suspects the involvement of white supremacist groups. Through Zamparo's connections, Foster is introduced to a small group led by Vince Sargent, a local leader who is familiar with their prime suspect, conservative talk radio host Dallas Wolf. Wolf, a figurehead in the movement for his incendiary rhetoric, assembles a gathering of the largest and most influential groups in the northeast. With Sargent's introductions, Foster becomes ingratiated in the movement and meets Andrew Blackwell, the leader of a premier white supremacist militia, as well as gaining Wolf's attention by convincing him he can fund an expansion of his radio show. Foster also becomes fast friends with Gerry Conway, a white collar engineer and family man.
After earning Blackwell's trust by saving him during an attack on a white power rally by anti-fascists, Foster is brought to a crude military complex operated by Andrew's militia. There, Blackwell reveals that he has blueprints for the municipal water network of Washington, DC and is plotting an attack. The FBI begins to suspect that Wolf and Blackwell are working together after Foster meets Dallas at his home and discovers that his house sets off Nate's Geiger counter. Foster attempts to integrate himself into a possible plot by offering Wolf a substantial financial investment. Instead, Wolf becomes hostile and reports Nate to the FBI. It is revealed that he is merely an entertainer and does not believe in the cause. Blackwell is meanwhile also dismissed as a possible threat. With no further leads, the case is ordered to be closed by Foster's and Zamparo's superior. Angered at wasting his efforts, Nate prepares to have his cover identity leave the city.
Foster meets Gerry to make his final farewells. Sensing his genuine feelings of uselessness, Conway confides in Nate his membership in a domestic terrorist cell. It is revealed that Gerry and his allies are in possession of the caesium and are plotting to detonate a dirty bomb. With Conway's introduction, Foster joins the group as supplier of the explosive (TATP). Though his cover is nearly blown several times by the paranoid terrorists, Nate manages to locate the caesium in Conway's home, and the FBI stop and arrest the terrorists before they are able to carry out the plot. Satisfied that he has made a difference, Nate makes one last visit to Johnny, a teenager and former member of Sargent's gang who no longer believes in the cause.




On July 30, 2015, it was announced that Radcliffe had been cast in the lead role, portraying a young FBI agent who goes undercover to find and stop white supremacists trying to make a dirty bomb. The film marks the feature-length directorial debut of Daniel Ragussis.[3] Toni ColletteSam Trammell, and Tracy Letts joined the cast of the film on October 8, 2015.[4]


Principal photography began in late September 2015, with filming taking place in Richmond, Virginia and the nearby city of Hopewell.[5] The first images of Radcliffe on the set, with a shaved head, were released on September 22, 2015.[6]


In September 2015, it was reported that Signature Entertainment had pre-bought the rights to the film for the United Kingdom.[7] Lionsgate Premiere acquired the United States domestic rights in early October 2015.[4] The film was released in a limited release and through video on demand on August 19, 2016.

Critical response[edit]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 83%, based on 59 reviews, with an average rating of 6.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The unsettling Imperium boasts troublingly timely themes and a talented cast led by Daniel Radcliffe as an undercover FBI agent infiltrating a ring of white supremacists."[8] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a score of 68 out of 100, based on 17 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[9] The film was a New York Times Critics' Pick.[10] The Los Angeles Times called it "impressively dimensional... tense, gripping and disturbing," [11] Slant magazine called it "bold political cinema,"[12] and Entertainment Weekly said the film was "a tense, chilling thriller... Radcliffe is brilliant."[13]


In the early versions of the trailer for the film, studio used archival footage from Poland's National Independence Day march. Footage contained national flags and portrayed legal national holiday as neo-nazi movement. After intervention from Polish Ministry of Foreign AffairsPolish League Against Defamation and internauts the trailer was brought down from YouTube by the publisher and the scenes were removed from the film itself.[14]

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