6.5/10
124,575
629 user 119 critic

8MM (1999)

Trailer
2:33 | Trailer
A private investigator is hired to discover if a "snuff film" is authentic or not.

Director:

Joel Schumacher
Reviews
Popularity
3,638 ( 41)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicolas Cage ... Tom Welles
Joaquin Phoenix ... Max California
James Gandolfini ... Eddie Poole
Peter Stormare ... Dino Velvet
Anthony Heald ... Longdale
Chris Bauer ... Machine
Catherine Keener ... Amy Welles
Myra Carter Myra Carter ... Mrs. Christian
Amy Morton ... Janet Mathews
Jenny Powell Jenny Powell ... Mary Ann Mathews
Anne Gee Byrd ... Senator
Jack Betts ... Butler
Luis Oropeza Luis Oropeza ... Archive Director
Rachel Singer ... Neighbor
Don Creech ... Mr. Anderson
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Storyline

A small, seemingly innocuous plastic reel of film leads surveillance specialist Tom Welles down an increasingly dark and frightening path. With the help of the streetwise Max, Welles relentlessly follows a bizarre trail of evidence to determine the fate of a complete stranger. As his work turns into obsession, he drifts farther and farther away from his wife, family and simple life as a small-town private eye. Written by Columbia Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Eric Roberts, Tommy Lee Jones, Charles Dance, James Woods, Willem Dafoe and Rutger Hauer were considered for the role of Porn producer Dino Velvet. See more »

Goofs

Tom Welles' transportation of his firearm throughout the film is at odds with reality in many ways. While it is legal to travel by air with a firearm, it must be done in a locked case that is inspected by airport security (even in the pre-TSA days), then stored with checked baggage. Any security personnel noticing a NFA item, in this case Tom's suppressor, heading for a state where they are prohibited (CA and NY in this case) would certainly suggest to Tom that this is a very bad idea, and a felony. In order to do this legally, Tom would need to file a NFA Form 20 and have very specific firearms dealer and manufacturer licensing, which it is extremely unlikely a random PI would have.

Further, while it is likely that Wells, as a private investigator, would have a carry license in his home state, it is extremely unlikely that a PI based on the east coast would have any privileges in California, and largely impossible that he would have such in NYC. It is unlikely an experienced PI would risk losing their license, and a lengthy prison term, to transport a suppressor around the country just in case they happened to need it. See more »

Quotes

[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.
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Alternate Versions

The German theatrical version is allegedly 9 seconds longer. Additional footage shows more of Poole being beaten to death by Tom Welles. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Manhunt (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

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
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User Reviews

 
A dark, graphic view into the underworld of pornography
29 October 2004 | by bealerSee all my reviews

Firstly, this film is hugely under-rated. For those reviewers who call this film a "waste of time" or place it in the "hall of shame", maybe they should go back to watching more obvious and simple films.

8mm focuses on "snuff" movies and follows Nicholas Cage as he ventures into the dark underworld of the pornographic industry. I'm not a great fan of Nicholas Cage (I still wonder how he ever made it as a movie star), but in 8mm felt he redeemed himself from past performances. Other actors in the film put on great performances, notably Joaquin Pheonix, and James Gandolfini (of Sopranos).

What makes the film worth watching though is the emotion, dark imagery and tense moments throughout the film. The storyline too is very well thought out although does have a few holes and untouched areas that may have helped develop the film further. There is no Hollywood ending, forced propaganda, or marketing. What you do get is graphic scenes, moderate violence, and an insight into "snuff" movies (which really is quite disturbing).

Having said that this movie is not for the faint hearted, so if you're a "puppy-dogs and ice-cream" kind of person I'd suggest watching something else. If however, you feel you will be able to stomach such a film then prepare yourself for a moving film, which will leave you feeling that little bit darker at the end.

I highly recommend this film. 8/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 February 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

8 Millimeter See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,252,888, 28 February 1999

Gross USA:

$36,663,315

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$96,618,699
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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