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8 Mile (2002)

 -  Drama | Music  -  8 November 2002 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 138,823 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 541 user | 203 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

A young rapper, struggling with every aspect of his life, wants to make the most of what could be his final opportunity but his problems around gives him doubts.

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Title: 8 Mile (2002)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Larry Hudson ...
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DJ Head ...
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Storyline

A rap version of "Saturday Night Fever." B-Rabbit, a wannabe rapper from the wrong side of Detroit's 8 Mile, has problems: he dumps his girlfriend when she tells him she's pregnant; to save money to make a demo tape, he moves into his alcoholic mom's trailer; his job's a dead end, and he's just choked at the local head-to-head rap contest. Things improve when he meets Alex - an aspiring model headed for New York - and a fast-talking pal promises to set up the demo. Then new setbacks: Alex isn't faithful, mom rejects him, rifts surface with his friends, and he's mugged by rivals. Everything hinges on the next rap showdown at the club. Can B-Rabbit pull truth out of his cap? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Go back to where it all started. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, sexuality, some violence and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

8 November 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fight Music  »

Box Office

Budget:

$41,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$635,354 (Japan) (30 May 2003)

Gross:

$5,240,354 (Japan) (4 July 2003)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Eminem's character walks from a real trailer park a block off of 8 Mile to the real 8 Mile road, and boards a bus. See more »

Goofs

Detroit's casinos were built in 1999, 4 years after the movie's setting. See more »

Quotes

Greg Buehl: Only ex-cons and welfare moms work at that plant, man.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The final credit reads, "Filmed on location in the 313" See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: Super Soundtracks (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Insane In the Brain
Written by B-Real, Larry Muggerud, Senen Reyes
Performed by Cypress Hill
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Powerful silences
11 November 2002 | by (Berkeley, California) – See all my reviews

Those who are saying `8 Mile' shows a vanilla-ed Eminem may have a point: this movie introduces him to a non-rap audience just as `Wild Style' introduced us to hip-hop. But those who say Eminem is sanitized here for mall viewing have an odd notion of language. Perhaps his CD's contain more inflammatory material than is aired in this movie, but what gets said here is most definitely not for any suburban grandmothers who aren't stone deaf.

It's surprising - admirable, really - how well Curtis Hansen and his crew keep track of the plot from scene to scene when not much of it seems to matter other than Rabbit's problems with his mother, Stephanie Smith -- Kim Basinger. Bassinger is a blue ribbon southern white trash trailor park mom. You can't help feeling that with minor tweaking she could be the mother of a Grosse Pointe prep school boy, a lady whose problem was overspending instead of imminent eviction from a stinky trailor. Bassinger makes trashiness look attractive, just as she made movie star decay attractive when Hansen directed her in `L.A. Confidential' six years ago. Rabbit's problems with girlfriends aren't significant, though he has two of them, an ex and a new one. Both are delicious but primed for rejection. Rabbit's closest relationships are with his emcee pal `Future' (played by an utterly charming and huggable Mikhi Pfifer) and his slightly retarded token white homie, Cheddar Bob (Evan Jones).

But his closest relationship of all is with himself, as is clear from the first scene, where Eminem is doing rap gestures in the competition shed men's room, looking in the mirror, hearing his music in his head --and this is fine, because it's what a young man has to do: get on friendly working terms with who he is. The movie is about his going off to be on his own and give up his rowdy playmates to become a winner, and he walks off by himself in the final scene. The comparison with Shakespeare's Henry IV isn't out of place. The Shakespearean parallel was used explicitly for Keanu Reeves' character in `My Own Private Idaho' but the theme is really more central here. Eminem isn't a cold personality like Keanu Reeves in Van Sant's movie. He is close to his mates and they're always touching hands and gently hugging each other. The hands and the hugs are one of the main images that stay with you after seeing `8 Mile.'

Eminem as shown in `8 Mile' isn't totally motivated by his anger at all. His anger is very contained. He seems able to turn it on and off at will and release it only when he needs it -- to trounce rap competition or throw out his mom's sleazy boyfriend. It's his ability to control his anger that makes both Rabbit and Eminem winners.

Eminem does have an authenticity about him that makes for a strong presence on screen. Paradoxically he projects a powerful inwardness, so that his turning away from everybody makes his face jump out at us. His effect is of authenticity, because he doesn't put on a reaction to please the audience or suit the scene, but he is always there, moving with the scene and in fact creating it.

`8 Mile' isn't just a vehicle for Eminem. It's too well made a movie to be that. But without Eminem `8 Mile' wouldn't exist. The only importance of the rapping contests emceed by `Future' is that first Rabbit shies away from them, and then he enters them and wins them. You have to wonder how the rapper/actors feel who are in the movie only to be put down by Eminem.

`8 Mile' cannot escape from the limitations of the fictionalized star biopic. There have been dozens of movies about emerging music stars and their families, their early sponsors, their first big breaks, and so on, many of them with more range and specificity of detail than this one. This movie only takes its hero to the moment when he walks away, having shown that he can be a star. The whole focus is on his personality, and in particular his stillness. The most important moments are those when Rabbit/Eminem stands with mike in hand, silent, waiting for inspiration to strike. Even when he choses not to compete and hands the mike back, this moment is full of power. In this movie Eminem carries the expression of sheer imminence, raw potential, to a new level of clarity and confidence.

This rapper is good just standing there.




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