8 Mile (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Curtis Hanson|
|Produced by||Curtis Hanson
|Written by||Scott Silver|
|Editing by||Jay Rabinowitz|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||110 minutes|
The film is an account of a young white rapper named Jimmy "B-Rabbit" Smith Jr. (Eminem) living in inner city Detroit, Michigan set in 1995, and his attempt to launch a rap career in a genre dominated by African Americans.
Filmed mostly on location in Detroit and its surrounding areas, the film was a critical and financial success. Eminem won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Lose Yourself," the song which was iconic to this film. A decade after its release, Vibe magazine called the film a "hip-hop movie masterpiece."
The film begins with Jimmy Smith (Eminem), a young and unhappy blue collar worker, struggling with different aspects of his life. He has moved back north of 8 Mile Road to the rundown trailer home in Warren, Michigan of his alcoholic mother, Stephanie (Kim Basinger), his sister Lily (Chloe Greenfield), and Stephanie's abusive live-in boyfriend Greg (Michael Shannon). Jimmy is focused on getting his music career started, but he seems unable to catch a break. Just prior to the events of the film, he ends a relationship with his girlfriend, Janeane (Taryn Manning), and during the film, begins a new relationship with Alex (Brittany Murphy), whom he meets at the factory when she shows up one day looking for her brother.
Jimmy comes to realize that his life has remained largely the same since he graduated high school. At first, he considers himself a victim of his circumstances and blames others for his problems. Over time, though, Jimmy begins to take more responsibility for the direction of his life.
He appears to decide to take his day job more seriously, and this becomes evident to his supervisor at the factory. At the beginning of the film, when Jimmy requests extra shifts, his supervisor laughs at him (because of his tendency to be late to work), but by the end, Jimmy's improved attitude and performance earn him the extra work he had originally asked for.
His relationship with Alex ends when Jimmy walks in on his friend Wink (Eugene Byrd) having sex with her. Jimmy beats up Wink, which later causes Wink to officially join forces with Jimmy's enemies, a gang of rappers known as the Leaders of the Free World. Later, Wink and the Free World gang jump him outside of his mother's trailer.
The Future (Mekhi Phifer) puts pressure on Jimmy to get his revenge by competing against the Leaders of the Free World at the next rap battle. However, Jimmy's late-night shift conflicts with the next battle tournament. But a visit from Alex changes his mind about competing. Paul, a co-worker who Jimmy stood up for earlier in the film, agrees to cover for him and he participates in the battle.
The battle acts as kind of a "final conflict" with the Leaders of the Free World gang who have harassed Jimmy throughout the film. It has three rounds, and in each of them Jimmy faces a member of the gang. Jimmy wins both of the first two rounds with progressively more impressive freestyle raps. In the last round, he is paired against Papa Doc, the tournament's most feared battler and Jimmy's main antagonist throughout the film. Jimmy is aware that Doc knows all his weak points, so he decides to address them preemptively with his freestyle. Jimmy acknowledges without shame his white trash roots and the various humiliations the Free World gang have inflicted on him, and then uses the difficult life he has had as a springboard to reveal the truth about Papa Doc: despite passing himself off as a thug, he has a privileged background.
Jimmy wins the battle, and as Jimmy leaves the venue, Future suggests that he stay and celebrate his victory while also offering a position that would allow him to host battles at The Shelter. Jimmy turns him down, claiming he has to get back to work and to find success his own way.
- Eminem as James (Jimmy) "B-Rabbit" Smith, Jr.
- Mekhi Phifer as David "Future" Porter
- Brittany Murphy as Alex Latorno
- King Gordy as Big "O"
- Kim Basinger as Stephanie
- Taryn Manning as Janeane
- Michael Shannon as Greg Buehl
- De'Angelo Wilson as DJ IZ
- Evan Jones as "Cheddar Bob"
- Omar Benson Miller as "Sol George"
- Eugene Byrd as "Wink"
- Anthony Mackie as "Papa Doc" (Clarence)
- Xzibit as Mike (Male Lunch Truck Rapper)
- Proof as "Lil' Tic"
- Craig Chandler as Paul
- Obie Trice as Male parking lot rapper
- Chloe Greenfield as Lily
- John Singleton as Bouncer
- Miz-Korona as Vanessa (Female Lunch Truck Rapper)
- Brandon T. Jackson (uncredited) as a Chin Tiki club-goer
Critical reception 
Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film a 3 out of 4 stars. He praised Eminem's performance, as well as Basinger's. He said he wanted to see a sequel where Rabbit actually made it as a famous rapper.
The song "Lose Yourself", with music by Eminem, Jeff Bass and Luis Resto and lyrics by Eminem, won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and Grammy Awards for Best Male Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Song. "Lose Yourself" also placed 93rd on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs list. The song was later included on Eminem's greatest hits album Curtain Call: The Hits.
Box office 
8 Mile opened at #1 with $51,240,555 in its opening weekend, then the second highest opening for an R-rated movie in the U.S. The film would go on to gross $116,750,901 in the domestic box office and $242,875,078 worldwide. The film's final domestic gross would hold the film at #3 in Box Office Mojo's "Pop Star Debuts" list, behind Austin Powers in Goldmember (Beyoncé Knowles) and The Bodyguard (Whitney Houston).
The 8 Mile DVD, which was released on March 18, 2003, generated $75 million in sales and rentals in its first week, making it the biggest DVD debut ever for an R-rated movie and putting it in the all-time Top 10 for first week home video sales for a movie.
Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture 8 Mile is the official music soundtrack to 8 Mile. Eminem features on five tracks from the album. It was released under the Shady/Interscope label and spawned the massive hit single "Lose Yourself". The album debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 Albums Chart that year with over 702,000 copies sold and 507,000 sold in the second week also finishing the year as the fifth best-selling album of 2002 with US sales of 3.2 million, despite only two months of release. It also reached #1 on the UK Compilations Charhe Australian ARIAnet Albums Chart. It featured Eminem's worldwide chart-topping single, "Lose Yourself". It also spawned a follow up soundtrack, More Music from 8 Mile, consisting of songs that appear in 8 Mile that were current singles during the film's time setting of 1995. The album was also made in a clean edition removing most of the strong profanity and violent content.
Popular culture 
- Scary Movie 3 heavily parodied many elements of this film, most notably the characters Jimmy and Future who were parodied as "George" and "Mahalik" (a pun on Mekhi Phifer's first name), portrayed by Simon Rex and Anthony Anderson respectively.
- Robot Chicken, which airs on Adult Swim, ran a short skit during the eighth episode of their second season featuring the Looney Tunes characters during the final rap battle of the film.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic did a parody of "Lose Yourself" entitled "Couch Potato" that appeared on his 2003 album Poodle Hat.
- The movie is referenced in The Cleveland Show episodes "Harder, Better, Faster, Browner" and "Brotherly Love".
- Comedian Dave Chappelle made a parody of the film on his sketch comedy series Chappelle's Show.
- In the South Park episode "Christian Rock Hard", Eric Cartman sits on the bus writing lyrics on his hand.
- Stan from American Dad sits on the bus writing best man toasts.
- "8 Mile". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
- 8 Mile at Box Office Mojo
- "8 Mile Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
- "8 Mile". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
- "Eminem movie tops at US box office". RTÉ. 2002-11-12. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
- Hettrick, Scott (2003-03-24). "'8 Mile' DVD's going far". Variety. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
- "Eminem Stars in '8 MILE' Coming to DVD and VHS March 18, 2003". PR Newswire. 2003-01-30. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: 8 Mile|
- Official website
- 8 Mile at the Internet Movie Database
- 8 Mile (film) at AllRovi
- 8 Mile (film) at Box Office Mojo
- 8 Mile (film) at Rotten Tomatoes
- 8 Mile (film) at Metacritic
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