They always say “Great Movies come along in a great long while,” and while I do believe this to be true, we have been treated to some truly great movies this year, but for some reason, 8 Mile stands out as one of the greatest I have witnessed this year, and I hope that the Academy doesn’t ignore this film simply because it has a prominent music industry artists as the lead character.

8 Mile is a great film, as I stated above, although I must admit, I think I had too high of expectations for this one and set myself up to be disappointed. Looking at the production team (director Curtis Hanson and producer Brian Grazer) you would expect great things from them individually, but you would expect the second coming of Christ if they ever worked together on a movie such as this one. I think I saw Jesus at the 7-Eleven last night…

For the credit of Eminem critics and fans, he does a superb job portraying a fictional version of himself in the poverty stricken part of Detroit. The title comes from a real road in the city that divides the poor intercity with the middle-class suburbs of Motown. Brittany Murphy possibly gives the weakest performance of the headliners because of the audiences feeling that she has really no need to be there. She serves as more of a plot tangent than any part of the storyline, which runs into some problems down the road, but still manages to come out okay.

The movie focuses on the life of Jimmy Smith, Jr. (aka B. Rabbit) a twentysomething who has just been kicked out of his apartment by his could-be-pregnant girlfriend and is forced to move back into his childhood trailer park home with his mother, her new boyfriend, and his sister whom he dearly cares for. The stories two main conflicts are that of Jimmy’s ongoing friction with his mother and the main story, Jimmy’s ability to freestyle rap in “battles” that could make him a famous name on the streets.

Those expecting to walk in and see a Rags to Riches story are going to be disappointed because the film only focuses on about a week’s worth of storyline from Jimmy’s life, which is where the plot runs into a couple of problems. Several story tangents are never resolved. Jimmy’s girlfriend (whom we meet twice in the movie) is last seen just sitting in her apartment crying, we never seen any resolution to this part of the plot, which could leave you with a somewhat empty feeling when looking for a nice little story, wrapped up in the final scene. Several critics have called the plot nothing more than a take off of any other coming of age movies such as Rudy, but 8 Mile is different in the way that it is violently real with the setting, plot, characters, and overall aurora that presents itself.

The best thing about this movie is time is not an issue. While watching you lose all sense of time, before you know it the film is over and you are wanting more than Jimmy walking into the distance, you want to see how everything turns out for him, and you want to see what happens to the characters. This is the ultimate criteria for a good movie, a film that brings you into its world and doesn’t let you go till the credits roll and you are singing along to the song in the background.

While its hard to say if Eminem is really a great actor, he may have just fit into the role so well because of his background, but no matter what anyone says, 8 Mile was a very, very enjoyable film and a definite must see no matter what your personal opinion of Slim Shady is.

Written by Erich Becker
Thirty-something with a love of everything we cover here, and a few things we don't. Erich has run Entertainmentopia since the site's inception in 1999, countless redesigns, a few crashes, and a lot of media later, here you have it!