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Movie Info & Cast


Emperor is inspired by the legend of Shields "Emperor" Green, a descendant of African kings turned outlaw slave in the pre-Civil War South. Seeking freedom for his family, Emperor fights his way north, joining the daring raid on Harper's Ferry and helping alter the course of American history.


  • Kat Graham
  • James Cromwell
  • Bruce Dern
  • Naturi Naughton
  • Ben Robson
  • Keean Johnson
  • Mykelti Williamson
  • M.C. Gainey
  • Paul Scheer
  • Harry Lennix

Atom User Reviews

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Aug 20, 2020

Emperor has difficulty mustering a seriousness to match its subject.

Metacritic review by John DeFore
John DeFore
The Hollywood Reporter
Aug 19, 2020

Emperor is lousy in the same way that many other mediocre slave narratives are: it re-presents a dark period in American history without being inspired or insightful enough to be worth your curiosity or emotional investment.

Metacritic review by Simon Abrams
Simon Abrams
Aug 19, 2020

A striking discovery, Dayo Okeniyi will be unfamiliar to most in the lead role. He played a small part as District 11 tribute Thresh in “The Hunger Games,” and appears opposite Jennifer Lopez in “Shades of Blue,” but Emperor is effectively his breakout, which makes him feel as much a revelation to audiences as Green’s story will be.

Metacritic review by Peter Debruge
Peter Debruge