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8 Mile (2002)

R 110 minutes

Directed by Curtis Hanson
Written by Scott Silver

 · Eminem
 · Kim Basinger
 · Mekhi Phifer
 · Brittany Murphy
 · Evan Jones

Review by The Gnome (Billy Dal Porto)

He's well known for his offensive rap style. Your kids idolize him. Your parents hate him. However, it's become apparent that Eminem is no longer just a novelty act; he's here to stay. His career has gone from a little known rapper to a major celebrity, and 8 Mile is the biggest sign of all that Marshall Mathers is a talented young man. 8 Mile is loosely based on the life of Eminem, growing up in the industrial area of Detroit, working odd jobs to keep him and his family alive, while also trying to build a rap career for himself.




Fans of Eminem will be delighted to see him battling his rivals and overcoming life obstacles, as B. Rabbit, just as much as non-fans will. It displays a heart warming story of a young man reaching for the stars, but chooses not to do so in a mushy manner, and rightfully so. The story of B. Rabbit(Eminem) is a hard one, full of anger, betrayal, and lies. Marhsall Mathers gives a strong performance in this film, and unlike most musicians, it's very obvious that he is taking acting VERY seriously. Kim Basingers character changes faces so many times, it's hard for you to really understand whether she's a bad mother or not. Mekhi Phifer and Brittany Murphy offer good character performances, but they both really lack any shining moments. It becomes apparent that the only thing really keeping this movie going is not only Eminem's role, but the story as well.




The writers chose not to dwell on his rapper persona too much, wich was a very good call. Two hours of "I don't give a $@#%!" would certainly have come off bad. Instead, it explains how a young mind could become as corrupt as that, which may or may not help you sympathize with him. While the cursing is necessary in this film as most rap music does use the foul language, it will taint the movie for some. The movie has a strong message of overcoming all odds and finding your place in the world, but it comes off so harshly and so critically that it becomes very offensive. I, personally, would argue that such vulgarness is important to a movie like this, especially in seeing the realism of an area so beat up by time that if it's not taken seriously by you, you shouldn't expect it to take you serious either. Even though I think a movie like this needs it's vulgarity, it is unecessary in certain scenes(example: the mothers sex life). So while 8 Mile succeeds in showing how harsh a life in Detroit can be, it does go a little too far in certain areas just for a cheap laugh.



The movie is not very accesibile to all movie goers, but fans of rap music might enjoy this movie thoroughly. It's got a great story, a wonderful rap performance, but still seems to lack something to make it worthy enough to be a must-see. I will say that you should at the very least rent the movie, since it is a great flick. It's just not a necessary in-theater viewing. However, if you happen to be a fan of Eminem, then it will definitely be $8 well spent.

544 Words Published: 28 November 2002

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