8 Mile - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

8 Mile Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ October 22, 2009
Eminem shows that 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 - a well-written drama despite the linear structure that doesn't really allow for many surprises.
Super Reviewer
September 14, 2007
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)
Super Reviewer
½ August 22, 2008
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
Super Reviewer
November 18, 2007
Lose Yourself In the Music

Great Film! Enjoyed it alot! Go watch it if you haven't yet! Won an Oscar for best song too!

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?
Super Reviewer
September 30, 2011
My dad who hates rap even loved 8 Mile! Very well put together and the rap battles scenes are epic.
Super Reviewer
½ December 20, 2007
Am I the only one who like this movie?
Super Reviewer
February 13, 2011
8 Mile was an amazing film and a pure work of genius. Fans of rap music (like me) are going to be blown away with the music and acting, I was completely surprised that Eminem is great actor and this movie is great, a soon to be classic, and I loved it.
BG Movie Reviews
Super Reviewer
August 11, 2011
8 Mile was the first "gangster" film I had seen, and I was fairly impressed. The story tells of Jimmy "Rabbit" Smith and his attempts to leave the area of Detroit known as 8 Mile. This involves him trying to rap and get a record deal. But problems arise making this hard, an becoming the main focus of the film.

The film has a good, solid story, some brilliant acting, amazing rap battles, but with the major let down being the unsatisfactory ending. It seems that it should have carried on longer rather than ending where it did. However, as far as I can see, this is the only real major flaw in the film. All round, I would highly recommend this film to anyone.
Super Reviewer
January 14, 2010
This film provides desire, hate, betrayal, crime, violence, romance, brutality, and most of all, heart. 8 Mile is filled with passion as Jimmy Smith tries to overcome his life problems and deal with them on the streets as he fights for a record deal and works double shifts to keep his life in line. From family issues, to gang beatings, to lost love, this film represents what all films should have these days, soul; However, I believe that they could have added a little more backstory to this man's life, seeing as this film only revolves around events that took place rather than how he got there. At times it seems to get repetitive and the same old stuff happens, but looking past all that, this is just one great film. I thoroughly enjoyed this story about someone trying to break out of a low-life part of town. I felt real emotions here and even though this film is not perfect, it will be hard to forget!
Super Reviewer
½ July 16, 2011
I'm going to try to keep the genre of music genre that I love out of this (Heavy Metal music) out of this review, and focus solely on this film. I was anxious to see this film when it came out, I was interested to see what Eminem would do as an actor, and well... He didn't deliver on that side. I've never liked rap really. I think it's a shallow form of music with just one message, and most of it sounds the same. I stated early in this review that I am a metalhead, but I'll tell it hasn't influenced my decision to like or hate the film. I despise this film because I think they could've done something better with the material. 8 Mile is an overrated piece of garbage and is only seen as a phenomenal film because of Eminem. Big deal, he's in a film. This film is yet another example of the hype killing the film. There's nothing good or interesting happening on screen. The film goes for the raw, gritty street look, and it does succeed on that level. But where it fails in the actors performances and the overall storyline. The film has a very poor conclusion, and it ends on a flat note. I really don't see why this film has gotten this much praise, if it wouldn't star Eminem, this film would've been panned by critics. A bad film with a boring story with terrible acting. A wasted opportunity to try and make something great, instead it's forgettable.
Super Reviewer
July 14, 2011
This movie is 2 hours in the life of Eminem, but when he's being a less colourful, less eccentric, less messed-up version of himself (see: The Slim Shady LP). What the movie did do well was create for fans of the rapper a taste of what life was like for him in Detroit. What struck me most was the sense of emptiness‚"‚"he didn't own anything, from a roof over his head to his car (from his mother), always teetering on the line with his job and not even being able to claim a girl as his own.

The battle scenes are entertaining no matter who you are, and build up a predictable (but still satisfying) heroic trajectory. And at least he legitimately beat his competition, as opposed to many dance battle movies where I'm pretty sure the opposition actually kicked the protagonists' asses.
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2011
Eminem is a legend. That is all.
Super Reviewer
April 16, 2011
Doesn't go deep enough into why any of the characters do what they do. Doesn't give any new insight into Detroit. Just watch and shrug, enjoy the wit in the raps (with subtitles on).
Super Reviewer
½ August 9, 2010
I genuinely hate hip-hop music. But to my very surprise, 8 mile turned out to be a rather enjoyable experience. At times it reminded me of the first Rocky movie.
Super Reviewer
½ June 24, 2007
An inspirational movie that raises above its cliche nature to become something both satisfying and memorable. A lot of credit has to go to Eminem's spirited performance as a younger version of himself, a struggling young rapper in Detroit who battles family, work, and relationship issues while dreaming of making it big. Brittany Murphy also turns in one of her best performances (she will definitely be missed) as a free-spirited personality who is attracted to the lead star. Yes, you can see a lot of the plot coming, and it does have sort of a "Rocky" feel to it, but that doesn't detract anything away from it surprisingly. Director Curtis Hanson is able to paint a bleak, depressing backdrop that fits perfectly with the downbeat story. However, the ending, while entirely predictable, is undeniably satisfying. The thing I liked most about this film is that Eminem is able to show himself as sort of a hypocrite (telling his mother not to curse in front of his daughter - 30 seconds later he's doing it) in some situations, but he's doing the best he can. He sells his part completely, and this movie in the end succeeds despite its obvious flaws.
Super Reviewer
June 24, 2010
a really great movie. I loved it and I love eminem. he's one of the best rappers alive and a great actor. B+
Super Reviewer
August 11, 2006
Jimmy Rabbit is a white kid on the poor (black) side of town. Growing up with this influence he has developed rapping skills but is too intimidated to showcase in the cruel `Shelter' battles. Split from his girlfriend, Jimmy returns to his Mum's trailer park home and her young boyfriend. He keeps his job in a pressing shop while working on his rhymes and trying to work out who, out of all the hopes and promises, will be able to help him work his way out of Detroit.

After missing preview screenings and not being able to go when friends went, I eventually saw this a few nights ago. I was maybe better prepared by this point because the hype had been watered down by a few bad or balanced reviews of the film in the media. This helped me lower my expectations so that I wasn't let down. The plot is, well, difficult to describe because there isn't really one narrative to speak of, rather it is Rabbit's story. As a result it is a little rambling with things just drifting through the film. However that it still works is to it's credit. The film holds the attention and the story still has enough in it to follow it.

The telling is what does it the best I think. The direction is good, with washed out cameras not willing to glamorise anything. The biggest smart move was the liberal use of hip-hop through the film. Occasionally we get a beat of a song but it isn't wall to wall music like many rapper's films. Even where a Eminem track is played, Em's voice is limited to a few broken up words ? saving his skills for the climax. Some of the film doesn't work ? I got tired of several rap scenes in everyday situations and it didn't grasp me as reality (although in fairness I don't know if this is the norm in some lives). Also there are a few too many scenes of meaningless violence that didn't come across as normal life for Rabbit but instead felt like the film trying to show Rabbit to be tough and ready for action.

It is difficult to write a fair review after seeing the climax ? which his why I left it a few days before writing this. The climax is a series of short battles in the Shelter that are pumping and exciting. Not to spoil it but some of the rapper's lines are cool ? until Em takes his turns and rips the place down. It was so funny and funky that I wished that he had made some of his own joints that sharp in his recent Benzino disses. This is where he shines in the role but he also does well generally ? maybe not worthy of an Oscar nomination but certainly very good. He makes his character likeable but not easily, and he avoids being a sympathy figure.

Phieffer is not as good and didn't convince me as well as I've seen him do. He can act but here he is not really a good character. The support cast are all pretty good and are believable and only a few are clear stereotypical groups. Happily the usual rapper cameos are minimal and not in your face too much. There may be more but I only spotted Xhibit and Obi Trise and neither of them took anything away by their presence. Murphy is pretty good ? sexy yet trashy ? but her character and her sub-plot didn't really have anywhere to go and just became another part of the wandering story. Basinger is OK but she isn't as bad as I expected her to be (or felt she needed to be). She didn't need to be like his Mum in the songs, but a little less `victim of circumstance' would have helped buy into it.

The message is worthy but heavily made and the story part of the film just didn't totally come off for me ? instead it was a bit ordinary and not well written. However the telling makes it worth seeing ? the direction is pretty good and the liberal use of music is one of the many good touches, meanwhile Eminem ensures that it is always worth watching ? whether doing witty disses in a car park, ripping the opposition in a battle or just being understated in a good role. Understated! Now there's a thing I thought I'd never say again about a rapper in a lead role of a film since Pac died!

Like him or loathe him, Eminem prevents an average (at best) story being unwatchable by the sheer strength of his presence. However those who aren't fans of hip-hop or Eminem may wish to avoid this, as there ain't too much else on offer.
Super Reviewer
½ November 28, 2009
I just found this to be nothing but shameless self promotion for Eminem. It's incredibly sappy and horribly acted, except for its two legitimate stars, Brittany Murphy and Kim Basinger. It is an unoriginal semi-biopic that is almost impossible to enjoy.
Super Reviewer
½ December 31, 2006
A very good, solid film about a young white rapper, trying to cut it on the rap scene in Detroit. Seems loosely based on Eminem's background? There is a good supporting cast especially by Kim Basinger playing his mum. This will surprise a lot of people as it's not the the type of film most will expect it to be. Eminem plays the role well. Even if you're not a fan of his music or rap in general this is still a watchable film about someone trying to better themselves and break away from their humble surroundings.
Super Reviewer
April 16, 2007
There will no doubt be many people who have passed this film up either because they do like Eminem or they do not like the Hip-hop scene in general and I would say that would be a fair reason, you would at least have to like the Hip-Hop scene a little to enjoy this film.

What this film does show is the reality of how a rapper goes about making a name for themselves and the seriousness of competition in trying to be the best.

In fairness those who expect Eminem to be loud, brash and egotistical in this film will be proved wrong, he actually takes on the role with almost a shy inward persona and although there may be similarities to his own journey to the top, the plot is ficticious and an interesting story.

For fans ? The extras are worth taking a look at if it's possible, as it shows all the behind the scenes, plus battles whereby Eminem takes on some of Detroits local freestylers.
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