8 Mile (2002)

Who ever thought Eminem could rap.

The people of Detroit know 8 Mile as the city limit, a border, a boundary. It is also a psychological dividing line that separates aspiring hip-hop artist Jimmy Smith Jr. from where and who he wants to be. A provocative fictional examination of a critical week in Jimmy’s life, 8 Mile stars multi-platinum recording artist Eminem in his first feature-film leading role, along with Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy and Eugene Byrd.

I have seen 8 Mile numerous times, on VH1, and other times, but never the full thing in one-sitting. I mean I would be dumb to tell you guy’s new stuff about this movie, that half of you already know, cause everybody has seen this movie.

There are plenty of things in this movie that just keep you going. The constant rap battles are awesome, and funny at the same time, cause who doesn’t love to see Xzibit get called a bitch and faggot. There’s no score for this one, so if you enjoy lots and lots of rap music, be ready cause you going to get a butt-load here. Lose Yourself, is in this movie, and it just gets you going so much.

The one thing that keeps this film going is it’s just overall tone. Some Eminem fans may be taken back by the depressing tone that the movie takes, but it works in its favor. The streets of Detroit are so scummy, so beat-up, and so dirty, that when these people talk about hard times, or rap about it, you know what their talking about cause of the hell-whole they live in. The film reminds me of a grittier, less glamorous Saturday Night Fever. And the main problem these people have with their lives is trying to get out of this ghetto.

The problem with this film is that it is way too overly familiar. It’s almost like the film is just Rocky, with a dope beat. The screenplay was good, but it didn’t go the extra mile (pun intended), to fully become something emotional and true. I also feel like the film since it was produced, and directed by a lot of white people, it doesn’t feel as genuine, but none the less, I still felt a good deal of emotion in the film. I also wish more things with Eminem and his ex-girlfriend were reconciled, or shown for that matter, cause by the end were just kind of like wondering what the hell happened.

Eminem does a great job at playing a role that he basically does in real-life. He’s funny, angry, and has a lot of good rhymes to support his angry side, but in the end is still a guy that keeps on looking for a change. Brittany Murphy (R.I.P), is also good here as the neighborhood tramp that Em falls for, and although she isn’t in many scenes, she is just still convincing. Underrated Mekhi Phifer is the shit in here, playing the dude who hosts all the rap-battles, and he does a great job of adding that emotional strife to the character, as well as having a lot of energy to show a likable character. Kim Basinger is a bit mis-cast here, she doesn’t prove to be too gritty, and low-life that she can be believable, but she does have some OK scenes.

Consensus: 8 Mile is a familiar story, but is straight-up gritty, engaging, and at the same time, a great watch, with good performances, including a surprising one from Eminem.



  1. Have to say I was expecting this to nose dive. An Eminem “origin story”…would anyone want to see it? Turns out its pretty entertaining. You’re right, it’s straight-up gritty and his rhymes were really good. Also has some replay value which I wasn’t expecting either.

    • It’s just a really entertaining film to watch. Nothing’s bad about it really, it’s just not great, but can be watched over and over again.

      • I may just watch it again soon…oh and you’re on the Blogroll now! Thanks for the note…guess I was just a little oblivious there:P

  2. I just went to Detroit last week, I live on Michigan but on the other side of the state. We are really bummed about the portrayal Detroit often gets as a slump, when in fact the business district downtown is quite nice. However, we’d rather take Eminem’s version as our pride!

    Glad you dug it. It is quite a good film. Shocking Eminem could act/act as himself so well.

  3. I was reluctant to see this movie for the longest time because I was never really a big fan of rap music, specifically Eminem’s music because I was aware of his attacks on the gay community. When I finally gave it a chance, I was surprised with its honesty and how willing Eminem was to let the audiences in. It inspired me to listen to his music and to learn more about his psychology. I may not necessarily agree with his (past) beliefs but I have a better picture of him as an artist.

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