8 Mile

Another fictionalised autobiography from an artist well versed in the uses of an alias, this is purportedly the story of Jimmy Smith, aka 'Rabbit' (Eminem), Detroit trailer trash with a no-account mom (Basinger), a sweet relationship with his baby sis, and a cordon of close friends all hoping to cut a record. Rabbit has talent to burn, but he's too insecure and immature to prove it when it counts. Set in 1995, Scott Silver's screenplay doesn't go far in plot terms - which is good, because the film thrives on the rusty dilapidation which blights Motor City. Director Hanson has always had a keen eye for environment, and this is that rarity a Hollywood movie that treats urban blight as something more than a gritty backdrop. Indeed, if you can imagine a halfway house between Ken Loach and an Elvis Presley vehicle, that could be 8 Mile. There's something of the blue collar populism of Rocky, too, in the rap 'battles' that are Rabbit's testing ground, and they're filmed with the excitement of boxing matches. A hesitant presence whose vulnerability pulls you in, Eminem emerges as a mainstream movie star and effectively lays to rest the spooks of Slim Shady: impressionable parents will love this eminently responsible film.

Release details

Duration: 110 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Curtis Hanson
Screenwriter: Scott Silver
Cast: Eminem
Kim Basinger
Mekhi Phifer
Brittany Murphy
Evan Jones
Omar Benson Miller
De'Angelo Wilson
Eugene Byrd
Taryn Manning

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Richard Carter

Unrelentingly dreary, this is a tedious story about dislikeable, unsympathetic characters living dead-end lives in a dead-end situation. There's not one person to sympathise with, except Rabbit's baby sister, poor lamb. Avoid!