8 Mile

8 Mile

4.4 39
Director: Curtis Hanson

Cast: Curtis Hanson, Eminem, Kim Basinger, Brittany Murphy

     
 

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Controversial rap star Eminem makes his acting debut in this hard-edged urban drama, inspired in part by incidents from the musician's own life. Jimmy Smith (Eminem), known to his friends as Rabbit, is a young man trying to make his way out of the burned-out shell of inner-city Detroit. Rabbit's entire life has been a hard climb, and it certainly hasn't gotten any… See more details below

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Overview

Controversial rap star Eminem makes his acting debut in this hard-edged urban drama, inspired in part by incidents from the musician's own life. Jimmy Smith (Eminem), known to his friends as Rabbit, is a young man trying to make his way out of the burned-out shell of inner-city Detroit. Rabbit's entire life has been a hard climb, and it certainly hasn't gotten any easier lately; Rabbit has just been dumped by his girlfriend, forcing him to move back in with his emotionally unstable mother, Stephanie (Kim Basinger), and he's getting along especially poorly with Stephanie's new boyfriend. Rabbit has a factory job that's tough, demeaning, and doesn't pay especially well, and he's convinced his skills as a rapper are his only real hope at a better life. Rabbit makes music with a crew of DJ's and MC's who call themselves Three One Third, among them his close friend Future (Mekhi Phifer), but his status as a white kid making music in a predominantly African-American community and culture is extremely intimidating, and after Rabbit freezes up in the midst of an MC battle, he's convinced he's missed his chance and that he's doomed to lead a marginal life as a factory rat for the rest of his days. With the help of his friends, and his new girlfriend Alex (Brittany Murphy), Rabbit struggles to work up the courage and the confidence to take one more shot at making his dream a reality. 8 Mile was shot on location in Detroit; the name refers to 8 Mile Road, a thoroughfare along the city's perimeter which effectively separates the middle-class suburban neighborhoods from the lower-class inner-city.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Music superstar Eminem proves that rapping is both an art and a weapon in this sharp, powerful drama directed by Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential). Eminem portrays Rabbit, a young white man living in a trailer park in 1990s Detroit who hopes to rap his way out of his grim existence as a factory worker. In this bleak urban landscape where the skies are always gray, rap is more than just a ticket to fame and fortune: Verbal sparring is woven into the very fabric of daily life. Rap permeates 8 Mile, both as a form of combat and as a spontaneous expression of inner struggles, personal conflicts, and social consciousness. Rabbit's best friend (Mekhi Phifer) emcees rap "battles" at a local club, and these hip-hop showdowns have as much in common with boxing as they do with music. As the sole white man in the competition, Rabbit has yet another strike against him. These scenes are completely riveting, and credit goes both to Hanson's kinetic direction and to Eminem's formidable rhyming talents. The latter holds his own as an actor, too, helped perhaps by the similarity between Rabbit's story and his own path to stardom from the Detroit hip-hop scene. It’s a low-key performance that treads a fine line between anger and vulnerability as Rabbit clashes with his deadbeat mom (Kim Basinger) and woos an aspiring model (Brittany Murphy). The basic story of 8 Mile -- an underdog trying to rise above his sorry lot in life -- is nothing new, but the music and authenticity of the milieu give the film an invigorating freshness. You don't have to be a rap fan to love 8 Mile: It's Rocky for a whole new generation.
All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
The hip-hop generation gets its Saturday Night Fever with 8 Mile, director Curtis Hanson's searing, grimy look at the world of freestyle rap in mid-'90s Detroit and its most notorious progeny, Eminem -- or, more specifically, a rapper nicknamed Rabbit who happens to bear an uncanny similarity to the controversial superstar. The film seems tailor-made to deflect criticism of the media-hungry artist: The man otherwise known as Marshall Mathers is portrayed as a hard worker, doting big brother, and even friend to ostracized gay co-workers. And yet 8 Mile is no puff piece. Eminem's character is also hotheaded, insular, and, with his gray skull cap and headphones perpetually glued to his head, more than a little nerdy. Hanson and writer Scott Silver have managed to create such a vivid milieu, time period, and bank of supporting characters, a first-time actor can't help but succeed, and Eminem acquits himself well -- there isn't a moment when he's grandstanding or playing to the camera. Predictably, the women who orbit Rabbit's life -- including a defiantly cast but strangely appropriate Kim Basinger and an irresistibly tarty Brittany Murphy -- don't fare as well in the scheme of the plot, but they're at least understandably, three-dimensionally pathetic and/or two-timing. Tying it all together are the thrilling, incendiary freestyle scenes, which dovetail perfectly with the drama and underline the pitch-black insult humor that provides the burgeoning rapper -- and seemingly, just about everyone else in Detroit -- with his only real release. After its world premiere at the 2002 Toronto Film Festival, 8 Mile broke box-office records in the US when it garnered the second-largest opening ever for a drama.
Entertainment Weekly
Gritty and electrifying. Owen Gleiberman
New York Times
The movie is a success on its own terms because the director doesn't condescend to pop music. Elvis Mitchell
Los Angeles Times
A fascinating, surprisingly entertaining stand-off that has adroitly managed to satisfy both of its constituencies, allowing all sides to legitimately claim victory. Kenneth Turan
Hollywood Reporter
Writer Scott Silver and director Curtis Hanson dig deep into the subculture to deliver a terrific movie. Kirk Honeycutt
New York Observer
I have to go back to James Dean in Elia Kazan's East of Eden and Nicholas Ray's Rebel Without a Cause in 1955 to find a comparably jolting piece of male aggressiveness coupled with bottled-up vulnerability. Andrew Sarris

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/14/2009
UPC:
0025192006043
Original Release:
2002
Rating:
R
Source:
Universal Studios
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:00:00
Sales rank:
9,557

Special Features

The Making of 8 Mile; Exclusive Rap Battles Uncensored; "Superman" Music Video Uncensored

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Eminem Jimmy Smith, Jr., AKA Rabbit
Kim Basinger Stephanie Smith
Brittany Murphy Alex
Mekhi Phifer Future
Evan Jones Cheddar Bob
Omar Benson Miller Sol George
Eugene Byrd Wink
De'Angelo Wilson DJ Iz
Anthony Mackie Papa Doc
Taryn Manning Janeane
Michael Shannon Greg Buehl
Chloe Greenfield Lily
Craig Chandler Paul
Paul Bates Manny
Jennifer Kitchen Actor
Brandon T. Jackson Club Patron
Proof Actor

Technical Credits
Curtis Hanson Director,Producer
Jeff Bass Songwriter
Thomas Betts Set Decoration/Design
Mark Bridges Costumes/Costume Designer
Eminem Score Composer
Carol Fenelon Executive Producer
Mali Finn Casting
Gregory Goodman Executive Producer
Brian Grazer Producer
Eric Heffron Asst. Director
Jimmy Iovine Producer
Kevin Kavanaugh Art Director
Craig Kitson Editor
Kristen Toscano Messina Set Decoration/Design
Philip Messina Production Designer
Danny Michael Sound/Sound Designer
Harry E. Otto Set Decoration/Design
Stuart Parr Co-producer
Paul Rosenberg Executive Producer
Rodrigo Prieto Cinematographer
Jay Rabinowitz Editor
Luis Resto Songwriter
Scott Silver Screenwriter
James Whitaker Executive Producer

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