8 Mile

November 8th, 2002

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8 Mile

Still of Eminem in 8 MileStill of Evan Jones, Omar Benson Miller and De'Angelo Wilson in 8 MileOmar Benson Miller at event of 8 MileStill of Brittany Murphy in 8 MileStill of Kim Basinger and Eminem in 8 MileCurtis Hanson and Eminem in 8 Mile

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.

Release Year: 2002

Rating: 6.7/10 (82,357 voted)

Critic's Score: 77/100

Director: Curtis Hanson

Stars: Eminem, Brittany Murphy, Kim Basinger

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?

Eminem - Jimmy 'B-Rabbit' Smith
Kim Basinger - Stephanie Smith
Mekhi Phifer - David 'Future' Porter
Brittany Murphy - Alex
Evan Jones - Cheddar Bob
Omar Benson Miller - Sol George
De'Angelo Wilson - DJ Iz
Eugene Byrd - Wink
Taryn Manning - Janeane
Larry Hudson - Bouncer
Proof - Lil' Tic
Mike Bell - Shorty Mike
DJ Head - Battle DJ
Michael Shannon - Greg Buehl
Chloe Greenfield - Lily Smith

Taglines: Every Moment is a Chance to Turn it Around.


Official Website: Universal Pictures [United States] |

Release Date: 8 November 2002

Filming Locations: Chin Tiki Club - 2121 Cass Avenue, Detroit, Michigan, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $41,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $51,240,555 (USA) (10 November 2002) (2470 Screens)

Gross: $116,724,075 (USA) (9 March 2003)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

In the last battle against Papa Doc, Rabbit says, "...he's shook 'cause ain't such thing as halfway crooks." This is a reference to the instrumental playing in the background which is taken from the rap duo Mobb Deep's "Shook Ones Pt. II", in which the chorus is "There ain't no such thing as half-way crooks, scared to death, they scared to look, they shook..." The same song was playing in the opening scene of the film, where Jimmy is practicing in the bathroom.

Continuity: In the basement, Future is holding his cigarette between his fore- and middle-fingers, but in the next shot it is between his thumb and forefinger.

Future: I had a lotta names, baby - The most jealous names. I used to be called Maximum, Brimstone, Godfather D - None of 'em worked, you-know-what-Ima-sayin'? 'Til one day someone said I was the future of hip-hop in Detroit. And that was it.

User Review

A Quality Piece of Hard-Hitting Naturalism

Rating: 8/10

8 Mile probably isn't what you expect. Given the cast and premise, you probably expect one of two things, either a silly excuse for self-aggrandizement or an overblown caricature of hip-hop culture. You don't get either. What you get is a brave film that is surprisingly culturally and intellectually rigorous and an aggressive film that is so emotionally intense that it seems to sometimes tear itself apart.

The plot is not a biography of Martial Mathers, a.k.a. Eminem, but it is very much informed and guided by the experiences of his early career as a rapper in blue-collar and no-collar Detroit. Eminem gives a compelled, powerful performance that diverges just enough from his public self to inject the story with a strong sense of realism without sacrificing anything artistically. The supporting cast also makes fine use of their considerable talents, carving the Detroit of this film out of the world itself, not out of fiction. Even as they help communicate a hard, unforgiving time and place, they also give rise to deep and profound sympathies that don't come around in every film.

The naturalistic presentation doesn't stop there; most of the film is shot on location in Detroit, and the gritty, sometimes almost frenzied design and cinematography firmly establish that this is not just another Hollywood movie. This is a movie that goes places movies don't generally go where, for good or for ill, many people do live every day. For one, 8 Mile might have the most believable, most powerful representation of an automobile factory of any film in the last twenty years, and it still manages to use the location for sophisticated, plot driving drama. Good stuff.

Of course, the film has its flaws. It's very heavy and bleak, at times it skirts the boundary of cliche a little bit, and the villains, a rival rap group known as the "Free World," are a little over the top, but, time and again, the solid acting and daunting camerawork keep coming back to seize the eye and command attention.

Oh, and, in case you were wondering, there is rapping, and plenty of it. The rapping is really top-quality, cutting edge stuff, for the most part, and it is integrated into the script so well that it is always clear that the characters choose to rap, not that the script forces them to do so. The rapping happens because it must happen to these characters at this time, not because Eminem is a rapper. In an industry where pop music movies are a dime a dozen, this is particularly impressive. This film says something about rap and the human experience that hasn't been articulated this well many times before; it bridges the gap between rap and poetry in a big way, and makes that gap look a lot smaller.

All in all, the thing that really defines 8 Mile is how committed to this idea the cast and crew must have been in order to make this film. Every minute and every second, the cast's intensity never gives up, and the camera never sleeps. The film is detailed, finely crafted, and has a pounding heart the size of a boxcar. If you don't mind the obscenity and violence (and there is a bunch), I'd definitely say this is a movie worth seeing.

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