8MM 1999

8MM

Critics Consensus

Its sadistic violence is unappealing and is lacking in suspense and mystery.

21%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 84

52%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 137,899

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Movie Info

Private detective Tom Welles (Nicolas Cage) lives a normal life with his wife (Catherine Keener) and young daughter, until he receives a startling new case. A widow named Mrs. Christian (Myra Carter) has found what appears to be a snuff film among her late husband's belongings, and she wants Welles to determine if the movie is real or fake. Welles heads to California, where a video store employee (Joaquin Phoenix) helps him infiltrate the dangerous and depraved world of illegal porn movies.

Cast & Crew

Nicolas Cage
Tom Welles
Joaquin Phoenix
Max California
Anthony Heald
Daniel Longdale
Chris Bauer
George Higgins, Machine
Myra Carter
Mrs. Christian
Amy Morton
Janet Mathews
Jenny Powell
Mary Ann Mathews
Joseph M. Caracciolo
Executive Producer
Jeff Levine
Co-Producer
Mychael Danna
Original Music
Jeff Hayze
Original Music
Kyle Neely
Original Music
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Critic Reviews for 8MM

All Critics (84) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (66)

  • Mr. Cage has become such a wet-eyed purveyor of moral anguish that he makes Mr. Pitt look calm, cool and collected.

    March 21, 2019 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Observer
    Top Critic
  • I can't say I warmed to the results, but I was solidly held for the film's two hours.

    September 17, 2008 | Full Review…
  • A movie that keeps jumping the gate and finally unravels all over the floor.

    July 22, 2008 | Full Review…

    Derek Elley

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Director Joel Schumacher aims for a psychological depth that the script can't sustain.

    November 24, 2006
  • There's no faulting Cage's committed, intense performance, but his slide from professional, internalised concern into personal, self-righteous rage still leaves a nasty aftertaste.

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Want to know what happens when an A-list director and A-list movie star attach themselves to a direct-to-cable screenplay? This.

    July 21, 2005

Audience Reviews for 8MM

  • Jul 06, 2016
    Most of the film's main story is over about 2/3 through the film and the rest is Nicolas Cage out for vigilante justice. While the premise of the movie is extremely intense, these kind of films are actually made in the world and it is interesting to see this underworld being explored. The film itself, however, is probably one that you shouldn't be upset if you missed.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 18, 2015
    May just have the most invasive score of any film I've ever watched. There's not a single moment where the music serves to accentuate the drama, instead in constantly brings you out of it. Walker's script and Cage's "acting" cannot hold up would maybe could have been an alright, gritty neo-noir. What we end up with a film that's not strictly terrible, but most assuredly is unsatisfying (and a mite preach-y).
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 29, 2012
    While I think the critics' reception was quite harsh, '8mm' does indeed miss the mark of being a good film. There are moments of tension, but these moments are brief and sparse. So much of it feels rehashed, the film borrows too many elements from films such as 'Seven' and 'The Silence of the Lambs', it's a kitsch piece of cinema. Cage gives a good performance, as does the whole cast. The problem lies in the narrative. It begins moderately well, however it starts to plod along as Cage's character begins to hone in on the shady suspects. Towards the final stages of the film, there are violent altercations between the characters which often become drawn out through repeated reversals of fortune, it sucks all the energy out of the film; it's all quite run-of-the-mill and unconvincing. It's not as terrible as some have said, it has some good moments, but it is a generic and forgettable film that's spoilt by a hackneyed ending. It's good for killing time, no more than that.
    Jack H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 17, 2012
    "You dance with the Devil..." Director Joel Schumacher's 8MM is a gritty crime drama that goes to some very dark places. Private investigator Tom Welles gets caught up in the seedy world of underground pornography while trying to authenticate a "snuff film." The cast is quite interesting, and includes Nicolas Cage, Joaquin Phoenix, Peter Stormare, and Catherine Keener. Schumacher does a good job at building the mystery and intrigue as the investigation goes deeper and deeper. However, the story takes a strange turn in the final act that changes the tone of the film. There are a few aspects of 8MM that don't work, but overall it's an interesting character drama with a captivating mystery.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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