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8 Mile

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Curtis Hanson
Produced by Curtis Hanson
Brian Grazer
Jimmy Iovine
Written by Scott Silver
Starring Eminem
Kim Basinger
Brittany Murphy
Tashiena Pratt
Mekhi Phifer
Michael Shannon
Eugene Byrd
Music by Eminem
Jeff Bass
Obie Trice
50 Cent
Cinematography Rodrigo Prieto
Editing by Jay Rabinowitz
Studio Imagine Entertainment
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) November 8, 2002
Running time 110 minutes (normal version)
89 minutes (edited version)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $41,000,000
Gross revenue $242,875,078

8 Mile is a 2002 American hip-hop drama biographical film, directed by Curtis Hanson and starring Eminem, Kim Basinger, Brittany Murphy, and Mekhi Phifer.

The film is a semi-autobiographical account of Eminem's early years in relative poverty growing up in Detroit, and his early career in rap. As such, the film is set in the underground Detroit hip hop scene in 1995. The film depicts white rapper Jimmy "B-Rabbit" Smith Jr. (based upon a younger Eminem) as he struggles for respect among his black peers.

The film was a financial success, was well received critically, and won an Academy Award for the Best Original Song for Eminem's "Lose Yourself", becoming the first film with a rap/hip-hop song to win an Academy Award.[1]



The film starts out with Jimmy, a young and unhappy blue collar worker, struggling with different aspects of his life. He has moved back north of 8 Mile to the rundown trailer home in Warren of his alcoholic mother Stephanie, his sister Lily, and his mother's abusive live-in boyfriend Greg. Jimmy is focused on getting his music career started, but he seems unable to catch a break. Just prior to the events of the film, he ends a relationship with his recently-impregnated girlfriend Janeane, and during the film, begins a new relationship with Alex (played by Brittany Murphy), whom he meets at the factory when she shows up one day looking for her brother.

Jimmy comes to realize that his life has remained largely the same since he graduated high school. At first, he considers himself a victim of his circumstances and blames others for his problems. Over time, though, Jimmy begins to take responsibility for the direction of his life and realizes that he has a large degree of control over how it will go. He begins to question whether his group of friends, including Future, are holding themselves back from moving on to bigger things. With his onstage choke still fresh in his mind, he appears to decide that he will give up on or postpone his dream of a music career in favor of devoting more time to his day job and building a home life. Jimmy's new found responsibility becomes evident to his supervisor at the factory as well. At the beginning of the film, when Jimmy requests extra shifts, his supervisor laughs at him (because of his tendency to be late to work), but by the end, Jimmy's improved attitude and performance earn him the extra work he had originally asked for. However, a late night shift conflicts with the next battle tournament. Jimmy initially doesn't want to go, but a visit from Alex changes his mind. Paul, a homosexual co-worker whom Jimmy stood up for earlier in the film, agrees to cover for him.

The battle acts as kind of a "final conflict" with the a rap group called "Leaders of the Free World", who have harassed Jimmy throughout the film. This begins with the deterioration of Jimmy's friendship with Wink. The latter continually pesters Jimmy everyday with promises that he can help him "get big"- that he knows people with influence, and that Wink can hook Jimmy up with the support he needs. However, he is betrayed when Jimmy shows up at the studio and finds Wink having sex with Alex. A fight ensues, in which Wink is badly beaten. In revenge, he shows up with Papa Doc and the other members of "Free World" to attack Jimmy at his home in the trailer park, with the mob badly assaulting him, and leaving him with a black eye that's present at the final battle.

Jimmy's friends hail him throughout the film as an incredible rapper, but until this point the film only shows snippets of his skills. The tournament has three rounds, and in each of them Jimmy faces a member of the "Leaders of the Free World", a group that feuds with Jimmy and his friends throughout the film. Jimmy wins both of the first two rounds with progressively more impressive freestyle raps. In the last round, he is paired against Papa Doc, the tournament's most feared battler and Jimmy's main antagonist throughout the storyline. Jimmy is aware that Doc knows all his weak points, so he decides to address them preemptively with his freestyle. Jimmy acknowledges without shame his white trash roots and the various humiliations the Free World clique have inflicted on him, and then uses the difficult life he's had as a springboard to reveal the truth about Papa Doc: despite passing himself off as a thug, he has a privileged background. Doc, whose real name is Clarence, attended Cranbrook, a private school located in upper class Bloomfield Hills, and lived all his life in a stable two-parent household. Jimmy makes a reference to "Shook Ones Pt. II", the beat that the DJ is spinning, by calling Papa Doc a "halfway crook", which sends the crowd into a frenzy. Doc is left with nothing to say in rebuttal, drops the mic, and Jimmy takes the title. As Jimmy leaves the venue, Future suggests that he stay and celebrate his victory while also offering a position that would allow him to host battles at the shelter. Jimmy refuses, claiming he has to get back to work and do everything his own way, to which Future agrees. The final shot displays Jimmy walking away from the shelter, more confident of the future ahead of him.





The song "Lose Yourself", with music by Eminem, Jeff Bass and Luis Resto and lyrics by Eminem, won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and Grammy Awards for Best Male Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Song. "Lose Yourself" also placed 93rd on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs list. The song was later included on Eminem's greatest hits album Curtain Call: The Hits.


  • Stella Artois did a campaign called Smooth Originals where they claimed that most American cinema is ripped off from French New Wave cinema that was hidden from the public. The parody of 8 Mile was called 8 Kilometre, a black and white short featured in a beat club in Monte Carlo where two young poets have a battle of rhymes[2]
  • Eminem's single Just Lose It and its video featured a parody of the film.
  • Scary Movie 3 heavily parodied many elements of the film.

Robot Chicken, which airs on Adult Swim, ran a short skit during the the eighth episode of their second season[3] featuring the Looney Tunes characters during the final rap battle of the film. Bugs Bunny plays "B-Rabbit", Daffy Duck as David "Future" Porter, Porky Pig as DJ Iz and Elmer Fudd as Papa Doc. B-Rabbit wins the rap battle and is offered a record deal by Dr. Dre.

"Weird Al" Yankovic did a parody of Lose Yourself entitled "Couch Potato" and appeared on his 2003 album Poodle Hat. However no music video was made because Eminem declined Yankovic the rights to make a parody video, even though he had okayed the parody in the first place.


External links

Simple English

8 Mile is a film based on the beginning career of rap superstar Marshall Mathers III also known as his stage name as Eminem.

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