8 Mile (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

8 Mile (2002)



Critic Consensus: Even though the story is overly familiar, there's enough here for an engaging ride.

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No matter whom we are, no matter where we live, we're all bound by borders. Many of us are content to live within these borders--others are simply forced to exist within them. But some of us need to break out, burst through, even if what is on the other side is both frightening and unknown. From this comes the tale of one young man's dilemma as he navigates his way through his colliding worlds. Set against Detroit's hip-hop scene in 1995, the story centers on Jimmy Smith Jr., a young white rapper, who struggles to find his voice. The people of Detroit know '8 Mile' as the city limit or a border. It is also a psychological dividing line that separates Jimmy from where and who he wants to be, as he struggles to find the strength and courage to transcend his boundaries.

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as Jimmy `Rabbit' Smith
Kim Basinger
as Stephanie
Evan Jones
as Cheddar Bob
as Lil Tic
Michael Bell
as Shorty Mike
Larry Hudson
as Bouncer
DJ Head
as Battle DJ
Brandon T. Jackson
as Club Patron
Michael Shannon
as Greg Buehl
Mary Hannigan
as Mrs. Helgeland
as Lyckety-Splyt
NaKeya Snoddy
as Papa Doc's Girl
as First Parking Lot Rapper
Obie Trice
as Second Parking Lot Rapper
Njeri Earth
as Third Parking Lot Rapper
Jennifer Kitchen
as Willing Girl
Kyla Womack
as Alex's Friend
as Female Lunch Truck Rapper
as Male Lunch Truck Rapper
Abdul Salaam El Razzac
as Joe Lee Patton
Steven Monroe
as Plant Worker
John Smith Jr.
as Lobby Security Guard
Venicia Foreman
as WJLB Receptionist
as WJLB Disc Jockey
Adam Brook
as Roy Darucher
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for 8 Mile

Critic Reviews for 8 Mile

All Critics (206) | Top Critics (50)

It's easy to like Jimmy Smith as well as to admire him, because Mr. Mathers lets us in, with no sign of calculation, on the kindness, even tenderness, that Jimmy conceals from most of the people around him.

April 7, 2014 | Full Review…
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

In the tradition of Rocky and Fever, the movie is a shrewdly engineered piece of proletarian pop -- a story of triumph -- but, like Eminem's enraged lyrics, 8 Mile has its own kind of vile candor.

April 7, 2014 | Full Review…
New Yorker
Top Critic

In addition to showcasing Mathers, 8 Mile makes a case for rap as a creative rebel yell.

April 7, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
New York Daily News
Top Critic

What saves all this from being purely conventional is the filmmaker's keen sense of Rabbit's essential solitude as an artist, even when surrounded by friends.

April 7, 2014 | Full Review…
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Since his ascension to pop-culture royalty, Eminem has transformed the messy emotions of his life into musical black comedy. In 8 Mile, that life becomes an equally riveting drama.

April 7, 2014 | Full Review…
AV Club
Top Critic

Despite the predictable formula, screenwriter Scott Silver wisely avoids taking the easy route every time; there are several small twists you may not expect, and the ending isn't entirely a happy one.

April 7, 2014 | Full Review…
Associated Press
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for 8 Mile


Eminem shows he has a natural talent for acting, delivering a strong performance in this solid underdog story that could have been the first of many for him, and this is a well-written drama despite the linear structure that doesn't really allow for many surprises.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

After the classic "Slim Shady" and "Marshall Mathers" LPs, Eminem hit the Hollywood show biz button with "The Eminem Show" (album) and "8 Mile" (film). The film is tailor made for the White Rapper. Eminem (as Jimmy "B Rabbit" Smith) blows a "Rap Battle", hangs with his Detroit 'hoodies, and nails slutty Brittany Murphy (as Alex). Eminem wants to be a Big Rap Star. He lives with trailer park trashy mother Kim Basinger (as Stephanie) and lil' blonde sista Chloe Greenfield (as Lily). Ms. Basinger gets to say the line, "Greg won't go down on me." Word way up... Curiously, Eminem does not sport his familiar (at the time) short, bleached do; instead, he wears a knit hat over more natural brown locks. Eminem doesn't contribute any rent money, but he works hard. He is careful to avoid drugs, unlike boozy mother Basinger. Who knew Detroit's "8 Mile" was so drug free? The soundtrack highlights are "Lose Yourself" and a fun rap-up of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama", which comes off better here than on "youtube". Still, Eminem's pre-Hollywood studio work is much more highly recommended than this semi-autobiographical movie sanitization. 2 Stars 1-18-03 (Updated)

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer


Knitty-gritty portrayal of the rapper "Eminem's" life and hardships. The ensemble including, Murphy, Phifer and Basinger, made exceptional performances and led the way into this mean-mugging adaptation of hardship in unpaved streets of Detroit. 4.5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

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