8 user 18 critic

Imperial Dreams (2014)

1:17 | Trailer
A 21-year-old reformed gangster's devotion to his family and his future is put to the test when he is released from prison and returns to his old stomping grounds in Watts, Los Angeles.


Malik Vitthal
10 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
John Boyega ... Bambi
Rotimi ... Wayne
Glenn Plummer ... Uncle Shrimp
De'aundre Bonds ... Gideon
Keke Palmer ... Samaara
Fat Dog Fat Dog ... Fat Rat
Nora Zehetner ... Janine
Todd Louiso ... Peter Hall
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sufe Bradshaw ... Detective Gill
Jernard Burks ... Cornell
Ethan Coach Ethan Coach ... Day
Justin Coach Justin Coach ... Day
Kandiss Edmundson ... Jail Guard
Maximiliano Hernández ... Det. Hernandez
Larry Hopson Larry Hopson ... Jail Vister


A 21-year-old reformed gangster's devotion to his family and his future is put to the test when he is released from prison and returns to his old stomping grounds in Watts, Los Angeles.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

1 October 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sny o imperium See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Zigi Wilf, executive producer of "Imperial Dreams," is an owner of the Minnesota Vikings National Football League (NFL) franchise. See more »


Bambi: In the hood you carry truth in your heart while reality stays stashed outside. Your heart says, "Don't kill." The hood says, "Kill." Your heart says, "Think before you act." The hood says, "React." But you're all alone when one of those reactions lands you behind bars, going over every little thing in the darkness. And it's easy to recognize your truth in retrospect. What's hard is being true in the moment. Even if it kills you.
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You Can't Blame Me
Written by Dana Middleton and Jeffrey Smith
Performed by Johnson, Hawkins, Tatum & Durr
Courtesy of The Numero Group
By arrangement with Bank Robber Music
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User Reviews

Imperial Dreams a star-making vehicle for Boyega
5 March 2015 | by visforhendrix23See all my reviews

The 2015 Oscars was a controversial affair. For the first time in over a decade, a cast of all- white performers competed for acting awards.

Next year, expect a slew of honors to recognize diversity.

Meet John Boyega, a future superstar in the making and protagonist of 'Imperial Dreams' – a likely candidate for award season attention.

Actor Michael B. Jordan was previously snubbed a nomination as Oscar Grant in his celebrated performance in Fruitvale Station, a similar film depicting former convicts struggling to reform in an unforgiving American system.

Both films won the Audience Award at the Sundance film festival.

However, Boyega is better, and so too is 'Imperial Dreams'.

Director Malik Vitthal portrays Los Angeles as a city devoid of any hope and opportunities, the bright promising rays of a California sun blotted out by ghettos dilapidated with poverty.

Bambi (Boyega) is a recently released gangster, devoted to living an ethical lifestyle for his young son Day (Ethan and Justin Coach). As he struggles to find work, he attempts to make a living as a writer, finding solace in his words to distract him from illegal persuasions of his past.

Badgered by his Uncle Shrimp (Glenn Plummer, excellent and reserved like a coiled snake, ready to strike with a venomous bite), Bambi is kicked out of the house unless he makes a drug run to Portland.

With nowhere to live, he is forced to live with his son in his car in a vacant parking lot.

He's stalked by detectives Gill (Sufe Bradshaw) and Hernandez (Maximiliano Hernandez), who are eager to pounce and arrest him after any misstep.

The trials and tribulations are predictable, and are similar to Will Smith vehicle 'The Pursuit of Happiness', but the low-budget production gives the film gritty realism and heart.

The movie belongs to Boyega. We feel his frustration with each failure, the struggle etching his face with pain and frustration. You root for his character, and his shortcomings break your heart.

Director Vitthal based the movie a true story. He screened the movie for the films inspiration and he hated the movie, but loved it after watching the audiences positive reaction at Sundance.

The film is scheduled for a December release weeks before Star Wars Episode 7, which also stars John Boyega.

Anticipate the actors name headlining movie posters in the future..

He's that good.

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