Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. He's playing the same old marshall vs shady real-or-fake game as usual and its as interesting and complex as it ever was.
  2. It's a third album that avoids all the pitfalls of third albums: introspective without being self-pitying, expansive in scope without being pompous, exploring new directions without disappearing up its own arse.
  3. We've heard it all before, we know the punchline, we've bought into the joke, but still we want the delivery again and again.
  4. Where The Marshall Mathers LP sounded like a primal howl of rage, The Eminem Show showcases an artist trying to make sense out of the chaos and turmoil in his personal and professional life.
  5. Beyond allowing peeks into his life, Eminem's other gambits are self-pity and self-mythologizing, and they aren't nearly as potent.
  6. This is mainly an improvement on a brilliant formula.
  7. The Eminem Show is essentially a holding pattern, but it's a glorious one -- one that proves Eminem is the gold standard in pop music in 2002, delivering stylish, catchy, dense, funny, political music that rarely panders.
  8. Eminem just may have made the best rap-rock album in history
  9. "The Eminem Show" is not a great artistic step forward, but it reaffirms Eminem's stature as a talented and prescient pop star.
  10. 80
    The Eminem Show is a brilliant piece of theater and a guilty pleasure. [Aug 2002, p.155]
  11. 70
    It's safe to say that if you liked Em's last two albums, you'll like this one. [Aug 2002, p.80]
  12. With each successive album Eminem finds new depth and excitement within the same themes and structures he used way back on The Slim Shady LP, so even if new songs contain earmarks of Eminem classics, they still feel reinvigorated.
  13. 70
    The Eminem Show lacks the overwhelming, single-minded force that The Marshall Mathers LP had.
  14. A thump-and-groove driven Cadillac ride down the shadowy streets of Motown.
  15. He often riffs for too long, so by the time he's singing to his daughter on "Hailie's Song," you feel the album's nearly 80-minute length.
  16. 60
    Behind the hype and the swagger, he's still baring enough of his soul for The Eminem Show to be compelling theatre. [Aug 2002, p.118]
  17. The only problem is Slim Shady. As Eminem outgrows his old alter-id, so the obligatory pantomime villainy, skits and crass cameos by Shady Records signings become a hindrance. [July 2002, p.109]
  18. A disappointing combination of promising musical experimentation and uninspired lyrics.
  19. The Eminem Show has pretensions toward real life, but it possesses all the resonance and revelation of a sitcom.
  20. We're unlikely to hear another platinum-selling album in 2002 that sounds as tired and thoroughly played out as the fourth offering from the troubled young Marshall Mathers.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 412 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 136
  1. Aug 13, 2010
    Solid third album.

    Slim Shady LP introduced the world to Eminem, a crude, white maniac with exceptional rhyming skills. Marshall Mathers LP
    gave the world Em's personal side while mixed with comic and satirical content. The Eminem Show is the retrospect of his career. After selling millions and millions of records, everyone wondered whether Eminem Show lived up to expectations. Yes it did.

    Taking more control over the production (Dre produced only 3 tracks), Eminem makes lyrical assaults on many including George Bush, rap critics, pop stars, Kim, and his mother. He goes from criticizing the common views against white rappers and to his success making keen observations that his color helped him gain fame. He criticizes the Bush administration in Square Dance for its decision to send soldiers to Iraq. He recalls his assault on a bouncer after he allegedly saw him kiss his wife. In Soldier, he recalls the violent rage in him before and during the attack but in Say Goodbye Hollywood, he regrets doing that saying that his wife would have cared less and that he could be imprisoned thus stalling his career and affecting his relationship with his daughter. In Sing For The Moment, he discusses how music has suddenly become an influence on kids because they can relate and how one should not take things so seriously. In Say What U Say, he and Dre declare war on Jermaine Dupri and Canibus.

    A couple of minor complaints are the repetition of content, namely rants against his mother and the whole Slim Shady antic on My Dads Gone Crazy. The songs Drips and Superman are unnecessary misogynistic rants against whores and should not have been included.

    Yet The Eminem Show succeeds because Eminem keeps it interesting. After all, he can't leave rap alone. The game needs him.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 5, 2012
    This album makes it Eminem's third classic consecutive album, proving to everyone what a rap sensation he really is, destroying his competition lyrically as well as commercially. Full Review »
  3. Jul 22, 2012
    Classic album with a little bit of everything. Beats are on point, and eminem's lyrics prove why he is one of the greatest to do it. It's disgusting how a professional critic could rate something like this so low. Full Review »