8 Mile (film)

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8 Mile
Eight mile ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byCurtis Hanson
Produced by
Written byScott Silver
Music byEminem
CinematographyRodrigo Prieto
Edited byJay Rabinowitz
Craig Kitson
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • November 8, 2002 (2002-11-08)
Running time
110 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, Anthony Mackie, and Kim Basinger. The film, which contains autobiographical elements from Eminem's life, follows white rapper B-Rabbit (Eminem) and his attempt to launch a career in hip hop, a genre dominated by black people. The title is derived from 8 Mile Road, the highway between the predominantly black city of Detroit and the largely white suburban communities to the north that Marshall originally lives in.

8 Mile was a critical and box office success. It opened at No. 1 in the US with $51.3 million grossed in its opening weekend, and would eventually go on to achieve a total gross of $242.9 million worldwide.[2] The album's accompanying soundtrack 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 for "Lose Yourself" win for Eminem, Luis Resto and Jeff Bass at the 75th Academy Awards. 8 Mile was named one of the best films of 2002 by several publications.


In 1995 Detroit, Jimmy "B-Rabbit" Smith Jr. (Eminem) is a young, unhappy blue-collar worker from a poor family. Jimmy has moved back north of 8 Mile Road to the run-down trailer home in Warren, Michigan, of his alcoholic mother Stephanie (Kim Basinger), his younger sister Lily (Chloe Greenfield), and Stephanie's abusive live-in boyfriend Greg (Michael Shannon). Although encouraged by his friends, Jimmy worries about his potential as a rapper. One night, Jimmy freezes 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, Jimmy befriends a woman named Alex (Brittany Murphy), and he begins to take more responsibility for the direction of his life.

At some point, Stephanie receives an eviction notice, as she cannot pay rent. Despite her best attempts to keep the eviction notice a secret, Greg finds out about it and confronts Stephanie. When Jimmy attacks Greg for threatening his mother, they fight, and Greg leaves Stephanie for good.

Jimmy's friendship with Wink (Eugene Byrd), a radio DJ with 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 the "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 (Evan Jones) pulls out 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 coworkers (Xzibit) performs a freestyle rap insulting a gay co-worker, Paul (Craig Chandler). Jimmy raps a freestyle defending Paul. Alex arrives and is impressed by Jimmy's actions and they have sex. 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 up their altercation.

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 dissuades him. 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.

Jimmy's best friend and battle host, Future (Mekhi Phifer), pushes him to get revenge by competing against the Leaders of the Free World at the next rap battle. Jimmy agrees, but his boss, having noticed improved effort at work, agrees to give Jimmy some late-night shifts that conflict with the next battle. A goodbye visit from Alex, who is moving to New York, changes his mind about competing, and Paul agrees 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 winning the first two rounds against Lyckety-Splyt and Lotto, he faces off against Papa Doc and ultimately wins by preemptively pointing out his own "white trash" roots and difficult life and then exposing that Papa Doc, despite posing as a thug, has comparatively privileged and stable upbringing. With nothing to say in rebuttal, Papa Doc hands the microphone back to Future, embarrassed. After being congratulated by Alex and his friends, Jimmy is offered a position by Future co-hosting battles at The Shelter. Jimmy declines, saying he has to go his own way, and walks back to work.


Jimmy and his friends and family
  • Eminem as Jimmy "B-Rabbit" Smith Jr.
  • Kim Basinger as Stephanie, Jimmy and Lily's mother
  • Chloe Greenfield as Lily, Jimmy's sister
  • Michael Shannon as Greg Buehl, Stephanie's freeloading boyfriend
  • Mekhi Phifer as Future, Jimmy's closest friend and the rap battle host
  • Brittany Murphy as Alex Latourno, Jimmy's love interest
  • Evan Jones as Cheddar Bob, Jimmy's friend
  • Omar Benson Miller as Sol George, Jimmy's friend and Iz's brother
  • De'Angelo Wilson as DJ Iz, Jimmy's friend and Sol's brother
  • Taryn Manning as Janeane, Jimmy's ex-girlfriend
  • Craig Chandler as Paul, Jimmy's colleague
  • Kwanda Khalimashe as the Kid


The film started production in 2000.[6] The film began shooting in September 2001 in Highland Park, Michigan.[7]


Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture 8 Mile 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 at No. 1 with $51,240,555 in its opening weekend, the then second highest opening for an R-rated movie in the U.S.[9] 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).

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. A VHS version was also released on the same date.[10][11]

Critical reception[edit]

8 Mile received positive reviews, with critics praising the music and Eminem's performance. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports the film is "Certified Fresh", with 75% of 214 professional critics giving the film a positive review and 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."[12] 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, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[13] 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.[14]

Roger Ebert gave the film 3 out of 4 stars. 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"[15] 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."[16]

Peter Travers gave the film 3.5 out of 4 stars. 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.[17]

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,[23][24] becoming the first hip hop artist ever to win an Academy Award. He was not present at the ceremony, but co-writer Luis Resto accepted the award.[25] The film has been nominated for 32 awards, winning 11.[26] 17 years later, Eminem performed the song in a surprise appearance at the 2020 Academy Awards.[27][28]

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[29][30] Best Original Song – Lose Yourself Nominated Eminem
Best Music Nominated 8 Mile
Best of Show Nominated 8 Mile
Golden Trailer Awards[30] 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[31] 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[32] 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.[35] The DVD was released in four different versions in Widescreen (2.39:1) and Full Screen (1.33:1) formats with either censored or uncensored bonus materials. It was later released on Blu-ray on April 14, 2009.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "8 Mile". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
  2. ^ a b c d 8 Mile at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ "Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved 2020-05-29.
  4. ^ NK (2019-10-18). "Eminem Had To Bail Out A Rapper From Jail To Battle With In "8 Mile"". Eminem.Pro. Archived from the original on 2020-08-27. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  5. ^ "8 Mile Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  6. ^ "Eminem bringing life story to big screen". June 6, 2000. Archived from the original on January 9, 2001. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  7. ^ "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.
  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. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  10. ^ Hettrick, Scott (2003-03-24). "'8 Mile' DVD's going far". Variety. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  11. ^ "Eminem Stars in '8 MILE' Coming to DVD and VHS March 18, 2003". PR Newswire. 2003-01-30. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  12. ^ "8 Mile Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 2008-07-30. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
  13. ^ "8 Mile". Metacritic. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Box Office Prophets: Box Office Report for November 8-10, 2002". Box Office Prophets. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  15. ^ "8 Mile". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
  16. ^ http://apps.tvplex.go.com/ebertandthemovies/audioplayer.cgi?file=021111_8_mile[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "8 Mile". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  18. ^ Ramirez, Erika (November 8, 2012). "Top 10 Best Hip-Hop Movies Ever". Billboard. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  19. ^ Sarris, Andrew (January 13, 2003). "The Best Films of 2002, And a Few Honorable Mentions". The New York Observer. The New York Observer, LLC. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  20. ^ Schickel, Richard (December 12, 2002). "Top 10 Everything 2002: Movies (Schickel)". Time. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  21. ^ Travers, Peter (December 26, 2002). "The Best and Worst Movies of 2002". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media, LLC. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  22. ^ "Best Films of 2002". The Daily Californian. Independent Berkeley Students Publishing Company, Inc. January 21, 2003. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  23. ^ "The 75th Academy Awards (2003) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  24. ^ "The 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2003)". Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Archived from the original on 2010-12-29. Retrieved 2011-12-26.
  25. ^ Bozza 2003, p. 174
  26. ^ "8 Mile". IMDB. 8 November 2002. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  27. ^ "Eminem Makes Surprise Oscars Appearance to Perform 'Lose Yourself'". Billboard. 9 February 2020. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  28. ^ Yasharoff, Hannah (14 February 2020). "Eminem explains how he pulled off his surprise 'Lose Yourself' performance at the Oscars". USA Today. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  29. ^ "The 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2003)". GoldenGlobes.com. HFPA. 2003. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ "2003 MTV Movie Awards". MTV. Viacom Media Networks. 2003. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  32. ^ "Past Winners". GRAMMY.com. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. 2003. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  33. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs" (PDF). American Film Institute. Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  34. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  35. ^ https://movieweb.com/8-mile-comes-to-dvd-on-march-18th/


External links[edit]