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Eminem, Kim Basinger, Brittany Murphy, Mekhi Phifer, Eugene Byrd

Directed by: Curtis Hanson
Written by: Scott Silver
Produced by: Curtis Hanson, Brian Grazer, Jimmy Iovine

US: 08/11/02 UK: 17/01/03

Set against the 1995 hip-hop scene in Detroit charting the boundaries that define our lives and a young man's struggle to find the strength to transcend them. described as an honest but provocative fictional examination of the life of a young man named Jimmy as he searches for identity and a sense of purpose. Against the familiar backdrop of indifference and community decay, he learns to express his anger, fears and frustration as he struggles to transcend his bleak circumstances.

From Raps To Riches.
1 June/Moviebus: MTV 2003 movie awards
9 Dec 2002/New York Post: Eminem shocker...doesn't try to kill wife
12 Nov 2002/New York Post: Kids try to sneak into 8 Mile
12 Nov 2002/New York Post: Eninem makes older women melt

Atlanta Journal/Chicago Tribune
Seattle Post/LA Times
New York Post/New York Times
USA Today/Washington Post
People Magazine/Rolling Stone

Ebert & Roeper
Dave Reviews Out Loud

Eninem raps with Brittany Murphy

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Eminem proves himself on the big screen with this extremely well-made film loosely based on his own life in innercity Detroit. He plays Rabbit, a guy who roams the streets with his friends (Phifer, Miller, Wilson and Jones), mostly looking for trouble. Everyone is trying to get him to participate in the weekly rap competition, but his nerves won't let him get on stage. He's living with his loser of a mother (Basinger), her even worse boyfriend (Shannon) and his little sister (Greenfield), working in a grim factory and struggling to keep away from both his ex (Manning) and the rival gang. But he has a real talent for rapping, and eventually his pals and a new girlfriend (Murphy) encourage him to take centre stage.

Intriguingly, this is no rags-to-riches story. Nor is it "boy from the hood makes good!" It's instead a quietly personal story about finding the inner courage to go after your dreams. Hanson films it like a very big-budget indie--gritty and edgy, bristling with real life and natural rhythms, and most of all keeping everything small and finely focused. At times it feels like a rap musical, as the songs and the dialog overlap and intermingle. In this framework, Eminem's talent shines. He's a very good actor, grabbing the screen and never letting go, allowing us inside him and making the character a compelling, fascinating person. The story's considerable tension builds because of him and him alone--his relationship with his mother, his new girl, his rivals, his boss, all of this draws us in and helps us identify with him. It's a terrific film debut, although it leaves unanswered the question of his range or versatility. Meanwhile, Basinger delivers a very strong supporting turn, as does Phifer. This focus on the people, not the spectacle, makes it a very involving film indeed-- raw and honest, passionate and energetic.



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