8 Mile
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Controversial rap star Eminem makes his acting debut in this hard-edged urban drama, inspired in part by incidents from the musician's own life. Jimmy Smith (Eminem), known to his friends as Rabbit, is a young man trying to make his way out of the burned-out shell of inner-city Detroit. Rabbit's entire life has been a hard climb, and it certainly hasn't gotten any easier lately; Rabbit has just been dumped by his girlfriend, forcing him to move back in with his emotionally unstable mother, Stephanie (Kim Basinger), and he's getting along especially poorly with Stephanie's… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's easy to like Jimmy Smith as well as to admire him, because Mr. Mathers lets us in, with no sign of calculation, on the kindness, even tenderness, that Jimmy conceals from most of the people around him."
‑ Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"What saves all this from being purely conventional is the filmmaker's keen sense of Rabbit's essential solitude as an artist, even when surrounded by friends."
‑ John Powers, L.A. Weekly
"The story of 8 Mile isn't far removed from Eminem's own self-mythologized life -- a Jerry Springer-style saga out of Detroit -- but the unslakable anger is gone."
‑ Tom Gliatto, People Magazine
"8 Mile wins because it doesn't try to impress you with mega-stars and made-up stories. Instead, it tells a simple story of trial, error and triumph."
‑ Khary Kimani Turner, Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
"Another fine effort from a director currently on a critical roll. Hanson is great at teasing the audience with little samples of his star's lyrical dexterity as he builds towards the finale."
‑ , Film4
"In the tradition of Rocky and Fever, the movie is a shrewdly engineered piece of proletarian pop -- a story of triumph -- but, like Eminem's enraged lyrics, 8 Mile has its own kind of vile candor."
‑ David Denby, New Yorker
"Despite the predictable formula, screenwriter Scott Silver wisely avoids taking the easy route every time; there are several small twists you may not expect, and the ending isn't entirely a happy one."
‑ Christy Lemire, Associated Press
"Director Curtis Hanson puts a new spin on the familiar "triumph against the odds" theme with this slick showcase for the talents of superstar rapper Eminem."
‑ Adam Smith, Radio Times
"Since his ascension to pop-culture royalty, Eminem has transformed the messy emotions of his life into musical black comedy. In 8 Mile, that life becomes an equally riveting drama."
‑ Nathan Rabin, AV Club
"Eminem's edgy, graphic quasi-biopic is not for kids."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"In addition to showcasing Mathers, 8 Mile makes a case for rap as a creative rebel yell."
‑ Jami Bernard, New York Daily News
"Because it rejects easy victories, this may be one of the few inspirational movies that could actually inspire someone, somewhere, sometime."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"It ain't Eminem: The Movie but it does showcase Eminem: The Actor -- easily the best rapper-cum-thesp since Tupac Shakur."
‑ , Total Film
"While no masterpiece, it is infinitely superior to the sad movie debuts of Britney Spears and Mariah Carey."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"I was able to guess what would happen to most of the characters most of the time and come through perfectly."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
More reviews for 8 Mile on Rotten Tomatoes

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