Combustible Celluloid
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With: Eminem (Marshall Mathers), Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy, Michael Shannon
Written by: Scott Silver
Directed by: Curtis Hanson
MPAA Rating: R for strong language, sexuality, some violence and drug use
Running Time: 110
Date: 09/07/2002

8 Mile (2002)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Lose Yourself

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Set in 1995 Detroit, 8 Mile is more or less a whipped cream version of Eminem's life story, inflated and decorated to fit in with movies like Saturday Night Fever, Flashdance, and Purple Rain. But director Curtis Hanson is no slouch; he winds the movie up in the physicality of its location, depicting two different sides of Detroit and juxtaposing them with a sure hand. The sheer energy and charisma of the film's controversial star completes the picture. It doesn't even seem to matter that the film is short on musical numbers; when the climactic rap battle takes place, it's one of the most purely energizing, mesmerizing scenes from all of 2002.

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