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8MM (1999)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  26 February 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 100,165 users   Metascore: 19/100
Reviews: 582 user | 136 critic | 20 from

A private investigator is hired to discover if a "snuff film" is authentic or not.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Amy Welles
Myra Carter ...
Mrs. Christian
Jenny Powell ...
Senator Michaelson
Luis Oropeza ...
Archive Director
Mr. Anderson


Private investigator Tom Welles is hired by the recently widowed Mrs. Christian who has found a startling pornographic film in her late husband's possessions. In the film a teenage girl is apparently killed and Welles is pretty sure it's a genuine snuff film. He takes the case, first going through records of runaways finally identifying the girl and learning that she may have run off to California. There he enters the seedy underworld of pornography with the help of Max California, a porn store clerk. His principal clue is the masked man who killed the girl as he has a unique tattoo on his hand. He soon finds the culprits but there is little satisfaction in resolving the mystery. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Be careful when you kill a monster, that you don't become one yourself See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong perverse sexuality and violence, and for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

26 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

8 Millimeter  »

Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$14,252,888 (USA) (26 February 1999)


£2,391,380 (UK) (21 May 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Max (Joaquin Phoenix) likes to read Truman Capote. Catherine Keener, who plays Tom's wife, starred alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman in the movie Capote (2005). See more »


Tom Welles begins by examining the 8mm film on a PC with Windows but it changes to a Mac. See more »


[first lines]
Airport Announcer: Welcome to Miami. While in the airport, please observe Florida and local laws which prohibit any smoking in the terminal. Thank you for not smoking.
See more »


Referenced in American Dad!: Hurricane! (2011) See more »


Come To Daddy
Written by Richard James
Performed by Aphex Twin
Courtesy of Sire Records Group/Warp Records Ltd.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Well made, but disturbing. Watch with care.
27 February 1999 | by (Helsinki) – See all my reviews

I walked into the movie theater last Friday not expecting at all what I was about to see. I'd heard about it, thought "Oh, another Seven". Same screenwriter, but I was way off track. I can stomach a lot, having no problem stuffing down popcorn during very graphic scenes. In 8MM, my coke had trouble going down. 8MM did not have consistent gory/violent scenes, but the way the movie was made made you fill in the blanks of what the makers of the movie could not screen. And if you pay attention and immerse yourself, you fill in more blanks than you really think you could, or want. As Max put it: "the devil changes you." The perversity and deep rottenness of the human minds displayed in 8MM is what disturbs you. Then you realize, that "snuff"-movies are real, that there are individuals twisted enough to endorse/enjoy/take part in it. And worst of all, that these individuals don't look like monsters, they're perhaps just overweight nearsighted men who look like your dad, your son, your brother, even yourself. And if you don't look out,(no matter how secluded you think you are in your suburban home, with a wife, a daughter, and a dog named Shep) you dive into the pit of perversion and rottenness as well, finding no way out. In conclusion: excellent music, acting very sufficient, the plot: a must see. Just don't bring popcorn, and prepare to walk out of the movie theatre disturbed, asking questions, and a little bit more suspicious of those walking around you, and yourself.

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