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8 Mile (film)

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8 Mile
Theatrical release poster
Directed byCurtis Hanson
Written byScott Silver
Produced by
CinematographyRodrigo Prieto
Edited byJay Rabinowitz
Craig Kitson
Music byEminem
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • November 8, 2002 (2002-11-08)
Running time
111 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$41 million[2]
Box office$242.9 million[2]

8 Mile is a 2002 American drama film written by Scott Silver and directed by Curtis Hanson. It stars Eminem in his film debut, alongside Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy, Michael Shannon, Kim Basinger and Anthony Mackie, the latter also in his film debut. The film, which contains autobiographical elements from Eminem's life, follows Detroit rapper Jimmy Smith Jr. aka B-Rabbit (Eminem) and his attempt to launch a career in hip hop, a music genre dominated by African Americans. The title is derived from 8 Mile Road, the road between the predominantly black city of Detroit and the largely white suburban communities to the north that Eminem originally lived in.

8 Mile was a critical and commercial success. It opened at No. 1 in the US with $51.3 million grossed in its opening weekend and an eventual total of $242.9 million worldwide.[2] The film's accompanying soundtrack (released by Universal's then subsidiary Universal Music, through Interscope and Shady/Aftermath) was also a commercial success, being certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[3] The film garnered numerous award nominations and wins, including an Academy Award for Best Original Song win for "Lose Yourself" for Eminem, Jeff Bass and Luis Resto at the 75th Academy Awards. 8 Mile was named one of the best films of 2002 by several publications.


In 1995, James "Jimmy" Smith Jr. is an aspiring rapper who performs under the stage name B-Rabbit. A blue-collar worker from a poor family residing in a trailer park just north of Detroit, Jimmy has moved to the run-down trailer home of his alcoholic mother, Stephanie, his younger sister Lily, and Stephanie's abusive live-in boyfriend, Greg, who is later revealed to be a former classmate of Jimmy's as well as his friend David Porter, another aspiring rapper who performs under the stage name Future. Although encouraged by his friends, Jimmy worries about his potential as a rapper. One night, Jimmy develops stage fright during a rap battle at a local venue, the Shelter, and he leaves the stage humiliated.

During the day, Jimmy works at a car factory. Desperate for money, he asks for extra shifts, but his supervisor bluntly dismisses his request because of his habitual tardiness. Later on, he befriends a woman named Alex and begins to take more responsibility for the direction of his life. Stephanie discovers an eviction notice as Jimmy is getting ready for work.

Jimmy's friendship with Wink, who has ties to a record label promoter, becomes strained after he discovers that Wink does promotional work for Jimmy's rivals, a rap group known as "Leaders of the Free World". At one point, Jimmy and his friends get into a violent brawl with the Free World crew, which is disrupted when Jimmy's friend, Cheddar Bob, threatens them with a gun and accidentally shoots himself in the leg; he survives after being rushed to the hospital.

During a lunch break at work, one of Jimmy's co-workers performs a freestyle rap insulting his co-worker, Paul, insinuating Paul is gay. Jimmy raps a freestyle defending Paul, which improves his confidence after a positive reception. Alex arrives and is impressed by Jimmy's talent, and they have sex.

Despite her best attempts to keep the eviction notice a secret, Greg discovers it and confronts Stephanie. When Jimmy punches Greg for pushing his mother to the ground, they fight, ending in Greg leaving Stephanie for good. As Jimmy finds Stephanie lying on the porch, they have an argument, prompting Stephanie to kick Jimmy out of the house.

Wink arranges for Jimmy to meet with producers at a recording studio, but Jimmy finds Wink and Alex having sex. Enraged, Jimmy attacks Wink as Alex tries to break them up. In retaliation, Wink and the Leaders of the Free World assault Jimmy outside his trailer. The leader of the gang, Papa Doc, holds Jimmy at gunpoint and threatens to kill him, but Wink convinces him not to do it. After the group has left Jimmy alone, his mother arrives with enough money to pay to avoid eviction, having won $3,200 at a bingo tournament.

Future encourages Jimmy to get revenge by competing against the Leaders of the Free World at the next rap battle. Jimmy agrees, but his boss, having noticed his improved efforts at work, asks Jimmy to work a late-night shift. Jimmy agrees, but it conflicts with the battle at the Shelter. Alex unexpectedly visits Jimmy at work. She says goodbye, as she is going to New York, and she is hoping to see Jimmy at the Shelter later. This motivates Jimmy to do the battle. He asks Paul to cover the start of his shift as a favor while Jimmy goes to the battle.

In all rounds of the rap battle, Jimmy has to compete against one member of the Free World crew. After handily winning the first two rounds against Lyckety-Splyt and Lotto, he faces Papa Doc. Going first, Jimmy pre-empts Papa Doc's potential insults, acknowledging his own "white trash" roots and difficult life. He ends his battle repudiating Papa Doc's image as a thug by exposing his privileged background, having attended a private school in a wealthy suburb and living in a stable, two-parent household, and the fact that his name is Clarence. Embarrassed and with nothing to say in rebuttal, Papa Doc hands the microphone back to Future, conceding the battle.

After being congratulated by Alex and his friends, Jimmy is offered a position by Future to co-host battles at the Shelter. Jimmy declines, saying that hosting is Future's thing, and he needs to do his own, and leaves to return to work.



8 Mile started production in 2000.[4] Shooting began in September 2001 in Highland Park, Michigan.[5] Prior to Curtis Hanson's hiring, Quentin Tarantino and Danny Boyle were considered to direct the film.[6] Seth Rogen and Jason Segel were considered for Cheddar Bob.[7]


8 Mile: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture is the soundtrack to 8 Mile. Eminem features on five tracks from the album. It was released under the Shady/Interscope label and spawned Eminem's first number 1 US single[8] "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 a further 507,000 copies were 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 being on the market for only two months.


Box office[edit]

8 Mile opened with $51,240,555 in its opening weekend, the then second-highest opening for an R-rated movie in the U.S., after Hannibal.[9] It topped the box office upon opening, beating The Santa Clause 2.[10] During its second weekend, the film dropped into second place behind Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, making $21.3 million.[11] The film would go on to gross $116,750,901 domestically and $126,124,177 overseas, for a total of $242,875,078 worldwide.[2] The film's final domestic gross would hold the film at No. 3 in Box Office Mojo's "Pop Star Debuts" list, behind Austin Powers in Goldmember (Beyoncé) and The Bodyguard (Whitney Houston).

In Slovenia, the film made an opening gross of $18,000, making it the fourth-highest opening for a Universal film in the country, behind Twister, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Bridget Jones's Diary.[12] In Austria, it was Universal's second-highest opening in the country at the time, behind American Pie 2.[13]

Critical reception[edit]

8 Mile received positive reviews, with critics praising the music and Eminem's debut performance.[14][15][16][17] Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports the film has 75% of 214 professional critics giving it a positive review, with a rating average of 6.70/10. The site's consensus is that "Even though the story is overly familiar, there's enough here for an engaging ride."[18] On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 reviews from film critics, the film has a rating score of 77 based on 38 reviews.[19] CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend revealed the average grade cinemagoers gave 8 Mile was "B+" on an A+ to F scale, with the core under-21 demographics giving it an A.[20]

Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four. He said that we "are hardly started in 8 Mile, and already we see that this movie stands aside from routine debut films by pop stars" and that it is "a faithful reflection of his myth". He said that Eminem, as an actor, is "convincing without being too electric" and "survives the X-ray truth-telling of the movie camera".[21] In the At the Movies with Ebert and Roeper review, both Ebert and Richard Roeper gave the film a thumbs up; Roeper said that Eminem has a "winning screen presence" and "raw magic" to him. He was happy with Rabbit's "tender side" presented through his relationship with the "adorable" Greenfield as his sister, but felt that Basinger was "really miscast". Roeper said: "8 Mile probably won't win converts to rap, but it should thrill Eminem fans".[14]

Peter Travers gave the film three and a half out of four. He said that 8 Mile "is a real movie, not a fast-buck package to exploit the fan base of a rap nonentity" that "qualifies as a cinematic event by tapping into the roots of Eminem and the fury and feeling that inform his rap." He praised Hanson's directing and the performances and compared the final battle with Papa Doc to the fight between Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed in Rocky.[22]

Top lists[edit]

8 Mile has been named in various year-end and all-time top lists:

Awards and honors[edit]

In 2003, Eminem won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 75th Academy Awards, for his single "Lose Yourself" from the soundtrack of 8 Mile,[28][29] becoming the first rapper ever to win an Academy Award.[30] He was not present at the ceremony, but co-writer Luis Resto accepted the award.[31] The film has been nominated for 32 awards, winning 11.[32] 17 years later, Eminem performed the song in a surprise appearance at the 2020 Academy Awards.[33][34]

Year Award Category Result Recipient
2003 Academy Award Best Original SongLose Yourself Won Eminem, Luis Resto and Jeff Bass
Black Reel Awards Best Original Soundtrack Nominated 8 Mile
BMI Film Award for Music Won Eminem
Most Performed Song from a Film – Lose Yourself Won Eminem
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Critics Choice Award for Best Song – Lose Yourself Won Eminem
CNOMA Awards Best Make-Up Artist for a Feature Film Nominated Donald Mowat
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Most Promising Performer Nominated Eminem
European Film Awards Screen International Award Nominated Curtis Hanson
Golden Globe Award[35][36] Best Original Song – Lose Yourself Nominated Eminem
Best Music Nominated 8 Mile
Best of Show Nominated 8 Mile
Golden Trailer Awards[36] Most Original Nominated 8 Mile
Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing in a Feature - Music - Musical Nominated Carlton Kaller
Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Awards Best Contemporary Makeup - Feature Nominated Donald Mowat, Ronnie Specter, Matiki Anoff
MTV Movie Awards[37] Best Movie Nominated 8 Mile
Best Male Performance Won Eminem
Breakthrough Male Performance Won Eminem
Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Breakthrough Performance Nominated Eminem
Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards Best Original Song – Lose Yourself Nominated Eminem
Satellite Awards Best Original Song – Lose Yourself Nominated Eminem
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Drama Nominated 8 Mile
Choice Movie Actor: Drama Won Eminem
Choice Movie: Male Breakout Star Won Eminem
Choice Crossover Artist Nominated Eminem
Choice Movie: Liplock Nominated Eminem and Brittany Murphy
World Soundtrack Awards Best Original Song Written for a Film – Lose Yourself Nominated Eminem
2004 ASCAP Awards Most Performed Song from a Motion Picture – Lose Yourself Won Eminem
Grammy Award[38] Grammy Award for Record of the Year – Lose Yourself Nominated Eminem
Grammy Award for Song of the Year – Lose Yourself Nominated Jeff Bass, Eminem & Luis Resto
Grammy Award for Best Rap Song – Lose Yourself Won Jeff Bass, Eminem & Luis Resto
Grammy Award for Best Male Rap Solo Performance – Lose Yourself Won Eminem
Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media – Lose Yourself Nominated Jeff Bass, Eminem & Luis Resto

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

Home media[edit]

8 Mile was first released on VHS and DVD on March 18, 2003.[40] A UMD version was released on November 15, 2005.[41] The DVD release 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.[42][43][44] The film was later released on Blu-ray on April 14, 2009.[45] It was released on Ultra HD Blu-ray on November 8, 2022, for the 20th anniversary of the theatrical release.[46][47]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "8 Mile". British Board of Film Classification. Archived from the original on 2023-04-18. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
  2. ^ a b c d 8 Mile at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ "Soundtrack, 8 Mile". RIAA. Archived from the original on 2022-09-07. Retrieved 2022-09-07.
  4. ^ "Eminem bringing life story to big screen". June 6, 2000. Archived from the original on January 9, 2001. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  5. ^ "Eminem Movie Aims to Put Detroit Back on the Film Map". hive4media.com. July 25, 2001. Archived from the original on August 9, 2001. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  6. ^ Kennedy, John (2012-10-18). "8 Things You Didn't Know About 8 Mile… According to Paul Rosenberg". VIBE.com. Archived from the original on 2022-12-27. Retrieved 2023-01-18.
  7. ^ "Seth Rogen Was Almost in '8 Mile': It Was the 'Weirdest Audition I Ever Did'". 2021-05-15. Archived from the original on 2023-02-04. Retrieved 2023-01-18.
  8. ^ "Eminem." Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 4th ed. Ed. Colin Larkin. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 27 Sep. 2016.
  9. ^ "Eminem movie tops at US box office". RTÉ. 2002-11-12. Archived from the original on 2012-09-19. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  10. ^ Linder, Brian (November 11, 2002). "Weekend Box Office: Slim Shady Shines Theaters". IGN. Archived from the original on November 9, 2022. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  11. ^ Lyman, Rick (18 November 2002). "'Harry Potter' Is Back in School and Still Performing Magic at the Box Office". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2022-11-09. Retrieved 2022-11-09.
  12. ^ "8 Mile opens big in Korea for Universal/UIP". Archived from the original on 2023-03-26. Retrieved 2022-12-26.
  13. ^ "8 Mile has record-breaking Australian opening day".
  14. ^ a b http://apps.tvplex.go.com/ebertandthemovies/audioplayer.cgi?file=021111_8_mile[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "Eminem shows guile in his debut '8 Mile'". Burbank Leader. 13 November 2002. Archived from the original on 27 July 2021. Retrieved 27 July 2021. Believe it or not, Eminem's acting is quite good.
  16. ^ Travers, Peter (8 November 2002). "8 Mile". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 18 August 2021. Retrieved 27 July 2021. Eminem holds the camera by natural right. His screen presence is electric. His sulk — hooded eyes that suddenly spark with danger — has an intensity to rival James Dean's. And he reads lines with an offbeat freshness.
  17. ^ Clinton, Paul (December 28, 2002). "Review: '8 Mile' a winning debut for Eminem". CNN. Archived from the original on 27 July 2021. Retrieved 27 July 2021. Eminem appears to be a natural as he conveys the emotional turmoil experienced by his character. The love for his music and his yearning to better himself is burning in is eyes.
  18. ^ "8 Mile Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 2008-07-30. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
  19. ^ "8 Mile". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 20 September 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  20. ^ "Box Office Prophets: Box Office Report for November 8–10, 2002". Box Office Prophets. Archived from the original on 12 April 2016. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  21. ^ "8 Mile". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 2012-06-02. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
  22. ^ "8 Mile". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 29 September 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  23. ^ Ramirez, Erika (November 8, 2012). "Top 10 Best Hip-Hop Movies Ever". Billboard. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  24. ^ Sarris, Andrew (January 13, 2003). "The Best Films of 2002, And a Few Honorable Mentions". The New York Observer. The New York Observer, LLC. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  25. ^ Schickel, Richard (December 12, 2002). "Top 10 Everything 2002: Movies (Schickel)". Time. Archived from the original on March 1, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  26. ^ Travers, Peter (December 26, 2002). "The Best and Worst Movies of 2002". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media, LLC. Archived from the original on March 1, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  27. ^ "Best Films of 2002". The Daily Californian. Independent Berkeley Students Publishing Company, Inc. January 21, 2003. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  28. ^ "The 75th Academy Awards (2003) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 2011-11-30. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  29. ^ "The 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2003)". Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Archived from the original on 2010-12-29. Retrieved 2011-12-26.
  30. ^ "Winners: Big upsets". Detroit Free Press. March 24, 2003. p. 21. Archived from the original on October 3, 2022. Retrieved October 3, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  31. ^ Bozza 2003, p. 174
  32. ^ "8 Mile". IMDB. 8 November 2002. Archived from the original on 25 January 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  33. ^ "Eminem Makes Surprise Oscars Appearance to Perform 'Lose Yourself'". Billboard. 9 February 2020. Archived from the original on 7 April 2020. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  34. ^ Yasharoff, Hannah (14 February 2020). "Eminem explains how he pulled off his surprise 'Lose Yourself' performance at the Oscars". USA Today. Archived from the original on 7 April 2020. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  35. ^ "The 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2003)". GoldenGlobes.com. HFPA. 2003. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  36. ^ a b "Winners and Nominees for the 4th Annual Golden Trailer Awards". GoldenTrailer.com. 2003. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  37. ^ "2003 MTV Movie Awards". MTV. Viacom Media Networks. 2003. Archived from the original on June 30, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  38. ^ "Past Winners". GRAMMY.com. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. 2003. Archived from the original on February 12, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  39. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs" (PDF). American Film Institute. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2011-03-13. Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  40. ^ Hettrick, Scott (January 30, 2003). "'8 Mile' DVD to boast exclu musicvid". Variety. Archived from the original on April 8, 2023. Retrieved April 8, 2023.
  41. ^ "UMD – Movie list". PSP games (in Hungarian). 2016-05-17. Retrieved 2023-08-15.
  42. ^ Hettrick, Scott (2003-03-24). "'8 Mile' DVD's going far". Variety. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  43. ^ "Eminem Stars in '8 MILE' Coming to DVD and VHS March 18, 2003". PR Newswire. 2003-01-30. Archived from the original on 2013-06-05. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  44. ^ "8 MILE comes to DVD on March 18th!". 28 February 2003. Archived from the original on 7 July 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  45. ^ "Universal Reschedules '8 Mile' Blu-ray for April".
  46. ^ "8 Mile (2002) Releasing on 4k Blu-ray with DTS:X Master Audio".
  47. ^ "8 Mile (GRUV Exclusive Limited Edition 4K Steelbook)". Gruv. Archived from the original on 2022-12-10. Retrieved 2022-09-06.


External links[edit]