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8 Mile

8 Mile

Genders: Drama, Music

Director: Curtis Hanson

Writer: Scott Silver

Actors: Eminem, Brittany Murphy, Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer

Year: 2002
Run time: 1h 50min
IMDB score: 6.8
Updated: 14 days ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: 8 Mile

Genders: Drama, Music

Imdb Score: 6.8

Runtime: 1h 50min

Released: 08 Nov 2002

Director: Curtis Hanson

Writer: Scott Silver

Actors: Eminem, Brittany Murphy, Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer

Box Office: $116.6M

Company: Universal Pictures

OfficialWebsite

Imdb Link

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Trailer


Review

Powerful silences

5/10 Those who are saying `8 Mile' shows a vanilla-ed Eminem may have a point: this movie introduces him to a non-rap audience just as `Wild Style' introduced us to hip-hop. But those who say Eminem is sanitized here for mall viewing have an odd notion of language. Perhaps his CD's contain more inflammatory material than is aired in this movie, but what gets said here is most definitely not for any suburban grandmothers who aren't stone deaf.

It's surprising - admirable, really - how well Curtis Hansen and his crew keep track of the plot from scene to scene when not much of it seems to matter other than Rabbit's problems with his mother, Stephanie Smith -- Kim Basinger. Bassinger is a blue ribbon southern white trash trailor park mom. You can't help feeling that with minor tweaking she could be the mother of a Grosse Pointe prep school boy, a lady whose problem was overspending instead of imminent eviction from a stinky trailor. Bassinger makes trashiness look attractive, just as she made movie star decay attractive when Hansen directed her in `L.A. Confidential' six years ago. Rabbit's problems with girlfriends aren't significant, though he has two of them, an ex and a new one. Both are delicious but primed for rejection. Rabbit's closest relationships are with his emcee pal `Future' (played by an utterly charming and huggable Mikhi Pfifer) and his slightly retarded token white homie, Cheddar Bob (Evan Jones).

But his closest relationship of all is with himself, as is clear from the first scene, where Eminem is doing rap gestures in the competition shed men's room, looking in the mirror, hearing his music in his head --and this is fine, because it's what a young man has to do: get on friendly working terms with who he is. The movie is about his going off to be on his own and give up his rowdy playmates to become a winner, and he walks off by himself in the final scene. The comparison with Shakespeare's Henry IV isn't out of place. The Shakespearean parallel was used explicitly for Keanu Reeves' character in `My Own Private Idaho' but the theme is really more central here. Eminem isn't a cold personality like Keanu Reeves in Van Sant's movie. He is close to his mates and they're always touching hands and gently hugging each other. The hands and the hugs are one of the main images that stay with you after seeing `8 Mile.'

Eminem as shown in `8 Mile' isn't totally motivated by his anger at all. His anger is very contained. He seems able to turn it on and off at will and release it only when he needs it -- to trounce rap competition or throw out his mom's sleazy boyfriend. It's his ability to control his anger that makes both Rabbit and Eminem winners.

Eminem does have an authenticity about him that makes for a strong presence on screen. Paradoxically he projects a powerful inwardness, so that his turning away from everybody makes his face jump out at us. His effect is of authenticity, because he doesn't put on a reaction to please the audience or suit the scene, but he is always there, moving with the scene and in fact creating it.

`8 Mile' isn't just a vehicle for Eminem. It's too well made a movie to be that. But without Eminem `8 Mile' wouldn't exist. The only importance of the rapping contests emceed by `Future' is that first Rabbit shies away from them, and then he enters them and wins them. You have to wonder how the rapper/actors feel who are in the movie only to be put down by Eminem.

`8 Mile' cannot escape from the limitations of the fictionalized star biopic. There have been dozens of movies about emerging music stars and their families, their early sponsors, their first big breaks, and so on, many of them with more range and specificity of detail than this one. This movie only takes its hero to the moment when he walks away, having shown that he can be a star. The whole focus is on his personality, and in particular his stillness. The most important moments are those when Rabbit/Eminem stands with mike in hand, silent, waiting for inspiration to strike. Even when he choses not to compete and hands the mike back, this moment is full of power. In this movie Eminem carries the expression of sheer imminence, raw potential, to a new level of clarity and confidence.

This rapper is good just standing there.

one year ago

Dark but interesting

5/10 I enjoyed this movie immensely. I thought it was a departure from the typical movies that star Hip-hop artists nowadays, which typically glorify the hip-hop lifestyle. Which is a very material lifestyle. This movie was pretty dark.

I thought Eminem did a good job acting. I mean he's not going to win any Oscars for this role, but he does a very good job acting. If not for who he is, then you wouldn't pay too much attention to his acting because that's how competent he does.

As most of you already have heard, this movie was based on Eminem's life, but none of the events are actually factual. His relationship with his mother (Basinger) is much more amiable than it is in real life, or at least how it comes across in his music.

Brittany Murphy acts as his love interest, but most importantly his muse.

There are some scenes that leave you scratching your head. One of which is the Eminem-Murphy love scene in the plant. It seems out of place and bad for the pacing of the film. Also Taryn Manning's role as the ex-girlfriend is almost unnecessary. The presence of her character is a key plot element that sets up the film, but the appearance of her character in the film by its end seems unnecessary due to the fact that it is underdeveloped. I wonder if there were more scenes involving Manning that were ultimately deleted via editing.

Overall I enjoyed the movie. Some may not enjoy it as much, but that's probably because they go into the movie with different expectations. If you're expecting something other than a hip-hop based film that subtly comments on social/economic/racial issues, and is a pseudo-rags to riches story, then you might be sorely disappointed.

one year ago

A warm reception for Eminem fans everywhere

10/10 "8 Mile" is the new film that features controversial rapper Eminem in his first starring role. The film itself is loosely based on his life growing up in Detroit. Eminem plays Jimmy Smith, Jr. a.k.a. "Rabbit", a young man who is struggling to make things better for himself through "battles", which are freestyling rap contests that are usually held at a local nightclub. Rabbit chokes when it is his turn to take the microphone for the first time. His best friend, Future (Mekhi Phifer) is the host of these battles and strongly believes Rabbit has potential, but the problem is that Future often makes his decisions before consulting with Rabbit first. Rabbit's home life is not much better. He's broke, has no place to live, he's stuck in a dead-end job at a steel mill, and his girlfriend Janeane (Taryn Manning) has fooled him into thinking that she is pregnant. Rabbit's mother (Kim Basinger), is on the verge of being evicted from her home and is slutting around with a man who is about the same age as her son. Things in Rabbit's life take a turn for the better when he later falls in love with Alex (Brittany Murphy), an aspiring young woman who dreams of becoming a model and moving to New York to start life a new.

"8 Mile" certainly is a moving and very touching drama. Eminem proves here that he really can act and in fact may have a future in motion pictures. This does not mean we will be hearing him thanking his producer Paul Rosenberg next year at the Oscars, but we can expect to him to receive a lot of praise for future movie roles. It's quite obvious that some people will not like "8 Mile", just because of Eminem's controversial history. The film also has one of the best soundtracks I've heard in a long time. Eminem's hit single "Lose Yourself" really does have a lot emotion put into it.

Eminem, since he burst onto the music scene in 1999 with his critically-acclaimed/lambasted album "The Slim Shady LP", he has been met with a lot of controversy, as well as praise. Despite the often humorous content of his songs, there are many dark under tones in them as well. In my opinion, too much has been made about his lyrics, most of which revolve around topics like homophobia, murder, and his failed relationship with his on/off wife, Kim. Despite all of this, I think that people have overlooked the fact that he said the only thing that truly matters to him is his daughter, Hailie Jade. Also, if people believed Eminem really was a homophobic, do you still think he would have agreed to perform "Stan" with Elton John?

As a longtime fan of Eminem and his music, I try not to let such criticisms get to me, but sometimes you just have to say "What the hell? Are they really necessary?" I don't think so. The problem is that people today are just too biased when it comes to people like Eminem. He's not another Vanilla Ice and "8 Mile" is not an attempt to cash in on his success like "Cool As Ice" was.

I have a list of grievances that people need to realize about Eminem:

- First of all, do not disrespect this man. I feel that many of the people who hate Eminem have never actually listened to one of his songs. In my opinion, they have only listened to small clips that have been played on some discussion about his controversial lyrics. If you actually listened to some of his songs, you'll realize that he is a very distraught young person with a lot to say.

- Don't watch "8 Mile" with a predetermined mindset. People who have already made up their minds about Eminem's talents are less likely to enjoy themselves much more than people who believe in him.

- To non-believers, if Eminem really did not have any talent, like so many people seem to think now, how is it that all of his records: "The Slim Shady LP", "The Marshall Mathers LP", "Devils Night" (with group D-12) and "The Eminem Show" together have grossed more than $12 million? I think that it is a clear sign of TRUE TALENT.

- Also do you believe had Eminem been black and rapping about such "controversial" subject matter, that he would be famous like he is now? No, because most likely no one would dare even produce him. That said, I'm African-American and I don't care that Eminem is white and is rapping about such things.

- I think that too many people have made his race too big of an issue. Eminem knows that he is white and will be nothing else. He does not display to us a "thuggish" image that some people think that any rapper should have. Also, he does not rap about the things that some people seem to think is destroying rap music.

Eminem does have quite a future in store for him. I'm sure that we can expect to be seeing a lot more of him later on.

one year ago

So, rappers CAN be actors...?

8/10 I was afraid of this movie. For a long time I feared that one day, Eminem WOULD make a movie - and that movie would suck!!!!

Along it came, and you know what? It didn't suck. Man, was I relieved.

I have never been able to put a finger on Mr. Mathers' rapping skills, I think his technique is amazing. His rhymes are sharp and intelligent and he always performs them with pure justification. But could he take this to the big screen? He succeeded. In his debut movie he managed to play it real and natural. He had good on screen chemistry with pretty much all the characters, but especially with Brittany Murphy (Uh, gotta love that sex scene... That was hot.)

The final battles in the movie, are the absolute climax. If you ever had any doubts about Eminmems talents - one way or the other - you definitely know his worth now!

- Some might say that it must be easy to play yourself, and it's not a secret that this movie is somewhat autobiographic. But it sure takes guts to put yourself out there like that, well done.

So 8/10

one year ago

A Quality Piece of Hard-Hitting Naturalism

8/10 8 Mile probably isn't what you expect. Given the cast and premise, you probably expect one of two things, either a silly excuse for self-aggrandizement or an overblown caricature of hip-hop culture. You don't get either. What you get is a brave film that is surprisingly culturally and intellectually rigorous and an aggressive film that is so emotionally intense that it seems to sometimes tear itself apart.

The plot is not a biography of Martial Mathers, a.k.a. Eminem, but it is very much informed and guided by the experiences of his early career as a rapper in blue-collar and no-collar Detroit. Eminem gives a compelled, powerful performance that diverges just enough from his public self to inject the story with a strong sense of realism without sacrificing anything artistically. The supporting cast also makes fine use of their considerable talents, carving the Detroit of this film out of the world itself, not out of fiction. Even as they help communicate a hard, unforgiving time and place, they also give rise to deep and profound sympathies that don't come around in every film.

The naturalistic presentation doesn't stop there; most of the film is shot on location in Detroit, and the gritty, sometimes almost frenzied design and cinematography firmly establish that this is not just another Hollywood movie. This is a movie that goes places movies don't generally go where, for good or for ill, many people do live every day. For one, 8 Mile might have the most believable, most powerful representation of an automobile factory of any film in the last twenty years, and it still manages to use the location for sophisticated, plot driving drama. Good stuff.

Of course, the film has its flaws. It's very heavy and bleak, at times it skirts the boundary of cliche a little bit, and the villains, a rival rap group known as the "Free World," are a little over the top, but, time and again, the solid acting and daunting camerawork keep coming back to seize the eye and command attention.

Oh, and, in case you were wondering, there is rapping, and plenty of it. The rapping is really top-quality, cutting edge stuff, for the most part, and it is integrated into the script so well that it is always clear that the characters choose to rap, not that the script forces them to do so. The rapping happens because it must happen to these characters at this time, not because Eminem is a rapper. In an industry where pop music movies are a dime a dozen, this is particularly impressive. This film says something about rap and the human experience that hasn't been articulated this well many times before; it bridges the gap between rap and poetry in a big way, and makes that gap look a lot smaller.

All in all, the thing that really defines 8 Mile is how committed to this idea the cast and crew must have been in order to make this film. Every minute and every second, the cast's intensity never gives up, and the camera never sleeps. The film is detailed, finely crafted, and has a pounding heart the size of a boxcar. If you don't mind the obscenity and violence (and there is a bunch), I'd definitely say this is a movie worth seeing.

one year ago