|Universal Pictures | Release Date: November 8, 2002||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
Movie stars radiate a power -- physical, erotic, spiritual -- that draws an audience into their orbit. Yet watching Curtis Hanson's gritty and electrifying 8 Mile, the first thing you notice about Eminem, the most scaldingly powerful artist in pop music today, is how vulnerable he looks. Read full review
Its too early to place Eminem alongside those Hollywood giants (Jimmy Cagney/John Garfield), but the promise is there. He understands the power of being still in front of a camera. Compact, volatile and burningly intense, hes got charisma to spare.
While the urban texture and the unapologetic work of Basinger impart a sophisticated air to what is essentially a downtrodden-teen-makes-good film, that is, finally, just what 8 Mile is. That's not a bad thing, but it's nothing to rap home about, either.
Eminem does not come off as a megalomaniac in 8 Mile, but he expects people to be very, very impressed. I doubt he could lend himself to a fiction that said anything else: his eyes couldn't tell any story but his own. [11 November 2002, p. 195]
There's something old-fashioned and dauntless about the way the film pushes past our initial resistance to its setting and subject matter, past pain, past defeat, to make this point. Because it rejects easy victories, this may be one of the few inspirational movies that could actually inspire someone, somewhere, sometime. Read full review
Transcends its star's controversial career and, in the bargain, stands head, shoulders and heart above every other Hollywood movie that we've seen so far this year.
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