8 Mile

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Universal Pictures Released 2002

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9.3
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Movie Summary

Director:
Curtis Hanson
Released:
2002
Rating:
R

8 Mile is the 2002 dramatic film starring famed rapped Eminem, in the story of his upbringing in Detroit. In 1995, Jimmy Smith Jr. (Eminem) is a factory worker living with his mother Stephanie (Kim Basinger), sister Lily (Chloe Greenfield) and his mother's abusive alcoholic boyfriend (Michael Shanon). Jimmy has a fledgling rap career but fails when he attempts a rap battle he chokes and is unable to perform. Jimmy is in a relationship with Alex (Brittany Murphy) until he catches her sleeping with his friend "Wink" (Eugene Byrd). Jimmy's boss gives him the extra shifts he needs to support his family, but when he finds out that one of the shifts conflicts with his chance at a rap battle, he asks Paul, a gay co-worker Jimmy stood up for earlier, to cover for him. Despite the recent clash Jimmy had with "Wink" and the members rival rap group "The Leaders of the Free World," Jimmy stands up to them and wins the competition. His newfound sense of confidence compels him to further his rap career. Directed by Curtis Hanson, 8 Mile was both a critical and box office success.

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Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    The film is never more real than when Jimmy unloads his anger on someone close to him, a frequent occurrence. Eminem is an actor with a rare gift for rage, and movie careers, even ...

  • 90

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    The rough power, as well as the humor and sensitivity, of pop phenom Eminem is delivered intact in 8 Mile.

  • 70

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    What Mr. Hanson has done with 8 Mile is make a pop movie instead of a movie about pop. There's nothing disreputable about this.

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Categories

Drama, Music

Themes

adrenaline junkies, gritty cinematography, musical numbers, steamy situations, rebellious youth