8 Mile is a 2002 American drama film written by Scott Silver and directed by Curtis Hanson.
The film follows white rapper B-Rabbit (Eminem) and his attempt to launch a career in hip hop, a genre dominated by black people, and contains autobiographical elements from Eminem's life. The title is derived from 8 Mile Road, the highway that connects the predominantly black city of Detroit to the predominantly white suburban communities to the north where Marshall grew up.
In 1995 Detroit, Jimmy "B-Rabbit" Smith Jr. (Eminem) is a young, dissatisfied blue-collar worker from a poor family. In Warren, Michigan Jimmy has returned to the run-down trailer home of his alcoholic mother Stephanie (Kim Basinger), his younger sister Lily (Chloe Greenfield), and Stephanie's abusive live-in boyfriend Greg (Michael Shannon). Despite his friends' encouragement, Jimmy is concerned about his potential as a rapper. Jimmy freezes during a rap battle at a local venue, the Shelter, one night, and is humiliated as he exits the stage.
Jimmy works in a car factory during the day. He asks for extra shifts because he is desperate for money, but his supervisor flatly refuses because of his habitual tardiness. Later, Jimmy befriends Alex (played by Brittany Murphy), and he begins to take more responsibility for the direction of his life, Stephanie eventually receives an eviction notice because she is unable to pay her rent. Despite Stephanie's best efforts to keep the eviction notice a secret, Greg discovers it and confronts her. They fight after Jimmy accuses Greg of threatening his mother, and Greg decides to leave Stephanie for good.
Jimmy's friendship with Wink, a radio DJ with ties to a record label promoter, is tested when he discovers that Wink does promotional work for Jimmy's rivals, the "Leaders of the Free World." Jimmy and his friends get into a violent brawl with the Free World crew, which is interrupted when Jimmy's friend Cheddar Bob (Evan Jones) pulls out a gun and accidentally shoots himself in the leg; he survives after being rushed to the hospital.
Jimmy's friendship with Wink (Eugene Byrd), a radio DJ with ties to a record label promoter, is strained when he discovers that Wink does promotional work for Jimmy's rivals, a rap group known as the "Leaders of the Free World." Jimmy and his friends get into a violent brawl with the Free World crew, which is interrupted when Jimmy's friend Cheddar Bob (Evan Jones) pulls out a gun and accidentally shoots himself in the leg; he survives after being rushed to the hospital.
One of Jimmy's coworkers, named Mike, performs a freestyle rap insulting a gay coworker, Paul, during a lunch break at work (Craig Chandler). Jimmy raps a freestyle in which he defends Paul. Alex arrives and is impressed by his actions, and they have sex. Wink arranges for Jimmy to meet with producers at a recording studio, but when he arrives, he discovers Wink and Alex having sex. As Alex tries to break up their fight, Jimmy becomes enraged and attacks Wink, After this, Wink and Tha Free World assaults Jimmy outside his trailer, The gang's leader, Papa Doc, holds Jimmy at gunpoint and threatens to kill him, but Wink talks him down. After the group has left Jimmy alone, his mother arrives with enough money to avoid eviction after winning $3,200 in a bingo tournament.
Jimmy's best friend and battle host, Future, encourages him to seek vengeance by competing in the next rap battle against the Leaders of Tha Free World. Jimmy agrees, but his boss agrees to give Jimmy some late-night shifts that conflict with the next battle because he has noticed improved effort at work. A farewell visit from Alex, who is moving to New York, convinces Paul not to compete, and Paul agrees to cover the start of his shift as a favor while Jimmy goes to the battle.
Jimmy must compete against one of the Free World crew members in each round of the rap battle. After defeatingLyckety-Splyt and Lotto in the first two rounds, he faces Papa Doc and ultimately wins by preemptively pointing out his own "white trash" roots and difficult life and then exposing that Papa Doc, despite posing as a thug, has a relatively privileged and stable upbringing. Papa Doc hands the microphone back to Future, embarrassed, because he has nothing to say in rebuttal. Jimmy is offered a job co-hosting battles at The Shelter after being congratulated by Alex and his friends. Jimmy declines, stating that he must go his own way, and returns to work.
Music (Lose Yourself)
Main Article: 8 Mile: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture and Lose Yourself
Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture 8 Mile and Inspired by It 8 Mile is the title of the soundtrack to the film 8 Mile. Eminem appears on five tracks on the album. It was released on the Shady/Interscope label and produced Eminem's first number one single in the US, "Lose Yourself." Despite only being on the market for two months, the album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 Albums Chart that year, with over 702,000 copies sold, and a further 507,000 copies sold in the second week, finishing the year as the fifth-best-selling album of 2002, with US sales of 3.2 million.
8 Mile debuted at No. 1 with a gross of $51,240,555 in its first weekend, the second highest for an R-rated film in the United States at the time. The film grossed $116,750,901 domestically and $126,124,177 internationally for a total of $242,875,078 worldwide. The film's final domestic gross would place it third on Box Office Mojo's list of "Pop Star Debuts," trailing Austin Powers in Goldmember (Beyoncé) and The Bodyguard (Whitney Houston).
- B-Rabbit - Marshall Matters (Eminem)
- Stephanie - Kim Basinger
- Future - Mekhi Philer
- Alex - Brittany Murphy
- Cheddar Bob - Evan Jones
- Sol George - Omar Benson Millar
- Dj Iz - De' Angelo Wilson
- Wink - Eugene Byrd
- Janeane - Taryn Manning
- Lil' Tic - Proof (rapper)
- Shorty Mike - Mike Bell
- Battle DJ - DJ Head
- Greg Bushio - Michael Shannon
- Lily - Chloe Greenfield
- Mrs. Heigeland - Mary Hannigan
Tha Free World
- Papa Doc - Anthony Mackie
- Lyckety-Splyt - Strike
- Lotto. -Nashawn "Ox" Breedlove
- Moochie - Malik Barnhardt
- Day - Day Golfin
- Omar - Allen Adams
- The rap battle scenes took days to film, and the 300 extras were starting to get bored. Director Curtis Hanson started an improv freestyle rap battle among them, and the three best rappers would be filmed going head-to-head with Eminem. Each of the 134 volunteers got fifteen seconds in front of the judiciary panel. Ultimately, the jury chose four rappers, who got a one-shot, one-take-only scene with Eminem, who wanted to mime his responses to save his voice for the scripted scenes. Eminem couldn't resist the challenge by staying silent, especially with the crowd taunting him, and took on his opponents.
- The character of Papa Doc (Anthony Mackie) takes his name from a villain in another movie set in Detroit, Action Jackson (1988) starring Carl Weathers.also Haitian dictator Francois Duvalier was nicknamed Papa Doc.
- During a May 2021 interview with Terry Gross on the National Public Radio program "Fresh Air," Seth Rogen remembered that both he and his friend Jason Segel auditioned for the role of "Cheddar Bob" even though they were fairly sure that neither of them was right for the role: "So we were auditioning for a character in 8 Mile--I believe his name is Cheddar Bob--who is, like, a friend of Eminem's character, who's Rabbit. And often, when you go in to audition for a film, there's someone who reads with you. You know, this casting director didn't want to hire someone to do it with her and did not want to do it herself because Eminem was the other person in the scene. And I think she just didn't--felt uncomfortable reading Eminem's lines, basically. And so what the actors were told to do is--it was incumbent on them to--it was their responsibility to bring in a person to read with the other side of the scene. I'm good friends with Jason Segel, so I called Jason. And I was like, 'can you read this with me?' And he was like, 'oh, that's funny because I also have an audition for Cheddar Bob. And I was going to call you and ask if you could read the Eminem role for me.' And I was like, 'well, that's perfect.' So we actually had a sleepover at my house that night. We prepared the scenes, and as we were preparing it alone, it was--we were actually doing very well. And it seemed like--we both were like, I think we actually are doing pretty good at this. And then we went in. We went in to audition. We went into the room. And as soon as we were, like, in the room and started--I went first. As soon as I was like, 'yo; what's up; it's me, Cheddar Bob,' we both just started laughing hysterically. Like, we could not do it. We were just like, this was such a bad idea. Like, auditioning is so embarrassing, but having your friend there in front of you--and we were both in that moment just like, what were we thinking? Why did we do this? We barely got through it on my side. And then Jason got up, and the exact same thing: 'yo; what's up? It's me, Cheddar Bob.' And we just--I actually think we didn't finish. Eventually we were just like, 'we should go.' We are not going to get this role. It's not going to happen. . . . I loved 8 Mile [when it eventually came out]. It was great. I can't remember who they cast for that role in the end, but he did a better job than we would have!"
- Eliza Dushku, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Christina Ricci were considered for the role of Alex. Originally, Taryn Manning was going to play Alex, but ended up playing Janeane instead.
- The DVD made $40 million on its first day of release, a record at the time for an R-rated film.
- IMDB page for 8 Mile.