The Best Movies Based on Music

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Written By Tanya

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It’s not easy to want to see the best music movies, but only find the same old ones. There are many music movies that are “decent”, but the best ones can be lost in the noise.

We’re giving you the top 10 then the five runners up if we have seen the best, and then quickly we reel off some honorable mentions. There’s bound to be something new here.

We won’t list best musicals and best music documents. There are separate lists for these. This list is for movies about music with real actors and storylines. Let’s get this done…

#10 – The Doors

STARRING: VAL Kilmer & MEG RYAN

The Doors was directed and released in 1991 to mixed reviews. Those critics may regret their silly opinions as time passes. I remember that scene when the synthesizer player couldn’t relax on the beaches until he had a breakthrough on the melody that he’d been struggling to find. For me, that’s the way it is. It’s all work and no play!

Martin Scorsese, William Friedkin and Brian De Palma all considered making the film. However, the band wanted Oliver Stone to direct it after his success with Platteon. The film went through almost a decade of development while trying to find big actors to portray Morrison. Val Kilmer was the right choice.

Trivia Facts Jim Morrison’s family and bandmates were dissatisfied with the film. They claimed that it was inaccurate and harmfully portrayed him. It made only $34 million worldwide, but cost $38 million. Even though it has a large following, it is now a cult movie. You’ll see Billy Idol playing a part if you pay attention.

#9 – Walk the Line

STARRING: JOAQUIN PHONIX & REESE WIRESPON

Director James Mangold’s 2005 romance drama Walk the Line is about the life of Johnny Cash. Beyond the romance and stardom, what’s most enjoyable about this movie is the glimpse into the life of Johnny Cash. You get to meet top stars, drive fancy cars, and go backstage at mega-star concerts.

Both stars were awarded Oscars for their performances. The film also received a lot of praises from the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards and BAFTA Awards. Joaquin Phoenix sang and played Cash’s songs, while Cash was recording the movie. It didn’t matter if the film was about music, it was a big hit.

Trivia Facts Walk The Line was resisted by big film companies for nearly a decade. It was the most successful music biopic until Straight Outta Compton came along ten years later.

#8 – This Is Spinal Tap

STARRING: CHRISTOPHER GUEST & MICHAEL MCKEAN

This Is Spinal Tap was a mockumentary written and directed in 1984 by Rob Reiner. It’s a mockery, but it’s quite accurate. Managers and musicians alike can complain about small things like riders and the mechanics behind big concerts.

Spinal Tap was a fake British rock group. However, they recorded an entire album and performed it live with hits like “Tonight, I’m GonnaRock You Tonight” or “Gimme Some Money.” It’s one the greatest films of 1984, and all the critics loved. This is unusual since most people want attention by being contrarian. It was loved by big rock stars.

Trivia Facts This movie has been preserved in the National Film Registry by The Library of Congress as culturally, historically or artistically significant. Nearly all the dialogue was improvised. There is no script. Only scene outline. Spinal Tap is a term for rock bands that take themselves too seriously.

#7 – Love & Mercy

STARRING: JOHN CUSACK and PAUL DANO & PAUL GAMATTI

Love & Mercy, directed by Bill Pohlad was released in 2014. It introduced a new generation of people to the story of The Beach Boys’ genius and that of Brian Wilson. The film moves back and forth between the 1960’s, when The Beach Boys recorded the groundbreaking Pet Sounds album, as well as the 1980’s when Brian Wilson was suffering from mental illness.

Brian Wilson called the movie “very factual.” It was nominated among other awards companies and festivals for two Golden Globes, including the best original song. Even though the film didn’t get a wide audience at first, it was a favorite of critics.

Trivia Facts The movie’s name is based on Brian Wilson’s 1988 single with the same title. Wilson almost appeared in the movie as Jeff Bridges. Original script title was “Heroes and Villains.” While Wilson performs his title song live, the credits roll.

#6 – Almost Famous

STARRING: PATRICK FUGIT and BILLY CRUDUP & FRANCES MCDORMAND

Almost Famous boasts a star-studded cast that includes more actors than those listed above like Kate Hudson and Zooey Deschanel as well as Philip Seymour Hoffman, Philip Seymour Hoffman (Hugh), Jay Baruchel, Rainn Wilkinson, and many others. Cameron Crowe directed the comedy-drama and it was released in 2000.

This is about Cameron Crowe’s childhood as a Rolling Stone journalist as a teenager. He shadows 1970’s rock bands as they tour the country. Crowe did this with the Allman Brothers and Led Zeppelin. The film won the Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack. It’s great fun.

Trivia Facts A fake band called Stillwater appears in the film. However, during production of the movie, a real Stillwater band signed to Capricorn Records. They had to get permission to continue. The movie received critical acclaim but actually lost nearly $10 million.

#5 – Hustle & Flow

STARRING: TERRENCE ANDERSON, ANTHONY ANDERSON

Hustle and Flow was released in 2005. It was described as a drama film directed Craig Brewer. It features a stellar cast that includes Taraji P. Henson and Isaac Hayes, Haystack and Juicy J., as well as Taraji P. Henson and Ludacris. It received a great reception, and it won many awards and nominations that can’t be listed.

It’s amazing to see the crew build a song from scratch, including beat production. It’s worth the entire movie, but it’s especially worth it if you are a musician or have been through the process of creating rap songs.

Trivia Facts – Terrence H. Howard initially declined the role of DJay because he did not want to typecast, but was eventually accepted. John Singleton, a major studio and financier, rejected the film.

#4 – Rock Star

MARK WAHLBERG and JENNIFER AINSTON STARRING

Rock Star, directed by Stephen Herek, was released in 2001. Although it has some funny moments, it is a drama film that also contains serious moments. All of us are familiar with the many older bands who need to find a singer and poach the singer from the best cover band like Yes, Journey and Judas Priest. The movie features one of these singers.

It features quite a few musicians, like Zakk Wylde and Jeff Pilson. This movie grossed nearly $37 million, and it was a huge box office hit. Six songs were included in the soundtrack from Steel Dragon.

Trivia Facts Brad Pitt almost starred in the movie’s original title, “Metal God.” They felt that the original title was too restrictive. The scene was shot during a Metallica or Megadeth concert.

#3 – Amadeus

F. MURRAY ABRAHAM and TOM HULCE STARRING

Amadeus was released in 1984. It is a period piece by Milos Forman. It tells the story about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, an Austrian stage play. It’s not surprising that this film was a huge box office success and is one of the greatest films ever made. It received 40 awards, and was nominated in 53 categories.

The movie is described by “fantasia on Mozart and Salieri” which depicts a feud between the two characters at the court of Emperor Joseph 2. Mark Hamill was Mozart’s stage actor and nearly had the role, but the director was concerned that the movie would be viewed only as “Luke Skywalker” by the fans. It was shot in Prague and Kromeriz.

Trivia Facts Another movie that the Library of Congress has stuffed into National Film Registry to preserve is Although the movie is rated PG, an extended version that included 20 minutes of additional footage was later released and received an R-rating.

#2 – 8 Mile

STARRING: EMINEM, BRITTANY MURPH, & MEKHI PIFER

Curtis Hanson directed 8 mile in 2002. It received a warm reception. The film follows B-Rabbit’s journey through Detroit, trying to make it as a white man in the rap world. The story centers on his life and the lives of his crew, with the main events being underground battles for rap. B-Rabbit is the most talented, but he must overcome anxiety and fear while performing on stage.

You’ll find a lot of West Coast and Detroit rap stars in the film. It’s amazing how convincing Eminem is as an actor.

Trivia Facts This movie grossed just under $243million worldwide. The soundtrack reached the top of the Billboard Charts, and it is considered one of the best movie soundtracks . Proof, Xzibit and Obie Trice are among the many rappers featured in the movie.

#1 – The Blues Brothers

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JOHN BELUSHI and DAN AYKROYD STARRING

John Landis’ 1980 comedy film is undoubtedly the best movie about musicality. The Blues Brothers features some of the greatest singers such as Ray Charles, Aretha and James Brown. This was one of the most expensive comedies of all time due to incompetent writers, degenerate actors, and many delays.

This film is about a paroled prisoner on a “mission by God” to save an orphanage where he was raised. To do it, they reformed their R&B group to raise the $5,000 required. This movie is the ultimate “getting the group back together” movie. It takes them on a series involving many adventures that culminate in the big moment.

Trivia Facts The movie was so successful despite the huge budget, that it was made an 18-year later. This sequel was a huge success. The film held the record for most cars being destroyed in a movie until its sequel. The soundtrack is The Blues Brothers’ 2nd album.

Runners up: Which Movies About Music Nearly Reach the Top 10?

We can’t stop at the top 10 movies about music. Otherwise, we’d be ignoring other great films that are well worth your time. We’ve chosen five additional movies that are equally as good (but could not choose 10) and we’re calling them runners-up.

Bird

STARRING: FOREST WHITAKER & DIANE VENORA

Bird is an 1988 film directed by Clint Eastwood about Charlie Parker, a jazz saxophonist. His nickname was “Bird”. The movie shows Parker as a young man, 34 years old (his age at passing), with many montages. Forest Whitaker masterfully acts all of these scenes.

It’s a lot about his relationships with Dizzy Gillespie and Red Rodney, both of whom were great Bebop trumpet players. Parker’s entire music was recorded in mono, so they hired session performers to play the songs again, isolate and re-use Parker’s solos.

Trivia Facts This movie was created in the 1970’s, but it was kept secret by Columbia Pictures. Charlie Parker was originally going to be played in a comedy by Richard Pryor, but he lost his interest over the years. The film was shot in 52 days and made $14.4 million. However, it only earned $2.2 million back.

A Mighty Wind

STARRING: BOB BALABAN & CHRISTOPHER GUEST

A Mighty Wind was released in 2003. It is about a concert of folk music, where three bands reunite for a live TV show. It stars Christopher Guest and Jane Lynch, as well as Catherine O’Hara and Catherine O’Hara. It’s a bit like This is Spinal Tap, but for folk music. Many of the same musicians and actors are involved.

The movie is full of situationsal humor. One band opens with a song that another band has written, while the other band members go missing minutes before they are supposed to be there. The movie was promoted with a tour of seven cities featuring three bands: The Folksmen and The New Main Street Singers. Mitch & Mickey were also included.

Trivia Facts Other appearances by the bands before and after this movie include The Folksmen opening for Spinal Tap (same member!) On tour. The film’s music was composed and performed by the cast, along with C.J., the director’s long-term collaborator in musical composition. Vanston.

Straight Outta Compton

STARRING: O’SHEA Jackson JR. and COREY HAWKINS

It would be absurd to say that 2015’s Straight Outta Compton only stars the two actors mentioned above. N.W.A. Five members. This is the story of the rap collective that helped Dr. Dre and Ice Cube become stars. As creative consultants and producers, the real members were involved in the film.

The movie grossed $201 million at a cost of $50 millions. Some of the group members were dissatisfied at how their contributions were reduced or ignored. The film was surrounded by controversies and reactions. However, it ended up winning a lot of praises and money.

Trivia Facts This movie was a huge success and led to the release of the long-awaited Dr. Dre’s third album, “Compton”, which was also a great success. Dr. Dre sold Beats headphones to Apple in 2014. He is now one the wealthiest rappers as well as the most famous musicians.

Selena

STARRING: JENNIFER LOPEZ & EDWARD JAMES OLMOS

Selena, a 1997 music movie that tells the story of Selena’s life, struggles, and death, was filmed by Jennifer Lopez. Gregory Nava directed and wrote the story. It ends with Selena’s death at the age of 23 by her fan club president… what a tragedy. Even with this ending, it’s still a beautiful film and a great ride.

Selena was auditioned by more than 21,000 people, making it the 2nd largest audition (with Scarlett O’Hara of Gone With the Wind being the original). Salma Hayek declined the role because it was too soon to make the film. Selena’s songs were not new music, which was a credit to the soundtrack.

Trivia Facts Some scenes were nearly cut from the script to allow for a wider audience and a lower rating. Some scenes were not even able to be agreed upon by the family. It is the 15th most-popular musical biopic.

Ray

STARRING: JAMIE FXX & KERRY WASINGTON

Ray a movie about the life and music of Ray Charles, a blind R&B musician. It was produced by Taylor Hackford and released in 2004 to great success. Jamie Foxx was the 2nd actor to achieve this feat, winning an Oscar for Best Actor. This is how you know it’s a good film.

Ray Charles was allowed to object to a scene in which he refused to take up the piano. However, the credits indicate that some of it was fictionalized and dramatized.

Trivia Facts Ray Charles died months before the film was released, so we will never see the movie. Ray Charles was 7 years old when he developed glaucoma. Philip Anschutz funded the entire film with a budget totaling $40 million. The movie made a great profit, bringing in $125million.

Honorable Mentions for the Best Movies About Music

Although there are many more, we felt this extra section would be sufficient to provide all the information you need about the top music movies. You can find more if you need them, but they are not always worth your time. All of these offer something valuable.

  • Hedwig & the Angry Inch was a box office bomb in 2001 that some people really enjoy. Although it’s quite bizarre, the film has won many awards and gained a large fan base. The story is about someone who steals the music of their mentor and becomes famous in comedy-drama.
  • The Runaways a 2010 independent film that focuses on the formation and eventual dissolution of a 1970’s rock band called The Runaways.
  • Bound for Glory was a 1976 biopic that is based on the fictionalized autobiography by Woody Guthrie. If you are interested in the directing side, it won the Academy Award as Best Cinematography.
  • Lady Sings the Blues, a 1972 biopic about Billie Holiday’s life and career, is available.
  • La Bamba, a 1987 film about Ritchie Valens’ life and music career, is fantastic. It is so great that it is in the National Film Registry for preservation.
  • Coal Miner’s Daughter was a hit in 1980. It tells the story of Loretta Lynn, a country music singer.
  • A Star is Born was made four times in total since 1937. Lady Gaga is the most recent star in 2018, followed by other big stars. It is about the growing romance between these two musicians.
  • Sid Vicious and Nancy is an 1986 film that focuses on the lives of Sid Vicious (and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen). Although it didn’t make much money, everyone who saw it loved it and it is now a cult favorite.
  • What’s love got to do with it is a 1993 film about Tina Turner. If you are looking for a movie about music, this is a great choice.
  • I’m not There is an animated 2007 film about Bob Dylan’s life and music. It is considered to be one of the greatest films of the year.

You can’t watch all of this, particularly the top 10, without coming away with new favorites. These movies are some of the best music movies and you can’t go wrong if these are your first time seeing them.

Comments

7/10Yes! FrenchEddieFelson 14 March 2019

Rap is not my cup of tea. This movie is well-executed and holds its water. 45 of 48 people found it helpful. This review was helpful? Log in to vote. Permalink

Powerful silences Chris Knipp 11 Nov 2002.

Those who say that ‘8 Mile’ depicts a vanilla-ed Eminem might have a point. This movie introduces him and his music to a non-rap audience, just like ‘Wild Style’ introduced us to hip hop. People who claim Eminem has been sanitized for mall viewing are not aware of the difference in language. Although his CDs may contain more inflammatory material that is shown in the movie, what is said here is not suitable for suburban grandmothers who don’t have a hearing loss.

It’s amazing – and admirable – to see how Curtis Hansen’s crew keeps track of the plot scene by scene. When it doesn’t seem to matter, Rabbit’s issues with Stephanie Smith, Kim Basinger, are not. Bassinger is a blue-ribbon southern white trash trailor park mother. It’s easy to feel that Bassinger could, with some minor tweaks, be the mother to a Grosse Pointe prep boy. A lady whose problem wasn’t overspending but imminent eviction by a stinky trailor. Bassinger makes trashiness attractive, as Hansen made it attractive in “L.A.” Confidential was released six years ago. Rabbit has problems with his girlfriends, but they are not significant. He has one ex and one new one. Both of them are delicious, but they’re primed for rejection. Rabbit has close relationships with his emcee friend Future’, played by Mikhi Pfifer. His token white homie Cheddar Bob (Evan Jones) is his most lovable and affectionate.

Eminem’s closest relationship is with himself. This is evident from the very first scene. Eminem is performing rap gestures in the competition shed room men’s room. He is also looking in the mirror and hearing his music. It’s fine because this is what a young man must do: make friends with his true self. In the last scene, he leaves behind his rowdy friends and goes off on his own. It’s not strange to draw a parallel with Shakespeare’s Henry IV. Although the Shakespearean analog was specifically used for Keanu Reeves in “My Own Private Idaho”, it is more prominent here. Eminem is not a cold person like Keanu Reeves’ character in Van Sant’s movie. Eminem is very close to his friends and they are always touching each other’s hands. After seeing “8 Mile”, you will remember the hands and the hugs.

Eminem, as seen in “8 Mile”, isn’t completely motivated by his anger. His anger is contained. He is able to control his anger and turn it off and on when he wants it. Rabbit and Eminem are winners because of his ability to control his anger.

Eminem has a genuine quality that makes him a strong presence onscreen. He projects an inwardness that is paradoxical, and his refusal to look at anyone makes his face leap out at us. His authenticity is evident because he does not put on a scene to please the audience, or make it look good, but he is there and moving along with it.

Eminem’s “8 Mile” is more than just a movie. It’s just too well-made to be a movie. Without Eminem, ‘8 Mile’ would not exist. The only significance of the rapping contests hosted by Future is that Rabbit first shies away from them and then enters them and wins. It is hard to imagine how rappers/actors feel when they are put down by Eminem.

The limitations of the star biopic can’t be ignored by 8 Mile. There have been many movies about music stars, their families, sponsors and their first big breaks. Many of these movies are more detailed and richer than this one. The movie’s hero is only seen until the moment he walks off, after proving that he can be a superstar. His personality and, in particular, his quietness are the main focus. Rabbit/Eminem’s most memorable moments are when he stands silently, with his mike in hand, waiting for inspiration. This moment is full power, even if he decides not to compete and gives the mike back. Eminem’s expression of pure imminence and raw potential is captured in this movie to an entirely new level of clarity.

This rapper is great just standing there. 125 of 149 people found this helpful. This review was helpful? Register to vote.
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8/10 A Quality Piece Of Hard-Hitting NaturalismPeteBDawg9 Nov 2002

8 Mile is probably not what you expected. You probably expected one of two things from the cast and premise. Either a ridiculous excuse for self-aggrandizement, or a ridiculous caricature hip-hop culture. You don’t get either. You get a bold film that is both intellectually and culturally rigorous, and an emotionally intense film that seems to sometimes break apart.

The plot isn’t a biography about Martial Mathers (a.k.a. Eminem is the author of the plot, but it is heavily informed and guided by his experiences as a rapper in Detroit’s blue-collar and non-white neighborhoods. Eminem delivers a powerful, compelled performance that is far enough away from his public persona to give the story a strong sense realism and without losing any artistic merit. They make good use of their talents and create the Detroit of the film from the world, not fiction. They help to communicate a difficult, unforgiving place and time, but they also inspire deep and profound sympathy that doesn’t exist in every film.

It doesn’t end there. Most of the film was shot in Detroit. The gritty, often almost chaotic design and cinematography make this movie stand out from other Hollywood movies. This movie goes places that movies rarely go. It is an example of how many people live everyday, and it’s a movie that takes you to places where movies can’t. 8 Mile may have the strongest and most convincing representation of an automobile plant of any movie in the last 20 years. It still uses the location for plot-driven drama. Good stuff.

The film is not without its faults. The film is very dark and depressing. At times, it crosses the line of cliché a bit. And the villains, an opposing rap group called the “Free World,” are a little too over-the-top. But, time after time, the solid acting, impressive camerawork, and captivating cinematography keep drawing attention.

In case you weren’t aware, there’s rapping. It is top-quality, cutting-edge stuff. The script integrates it so well that it is clear that the characters decide to rap and not that they are forced to. Eminem is not a rapper, but the rapping must happen. This is a remarkable achievement in an industry that has many pop music movies. This film is a powerful expression of rap and the human experience. It bridges the gap between poetry and rap in a way that’s not been done before.

8 Mile’s most important aspect is the dedication of the crew and cast to the idea. The cast never stops working hard and the camera never stops moving. The film is meticulously shot and crafted with a heartbeat the size of a car. This movie is worth watching if you can bear the violence and obscenity (and there are a lot). 326 of 355 people found it helpful. This review was helpful. Register to vote.
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10/10 Eminem fans worldwide receive a warm welcome dee.reid 9 November 2002

“8 Mile” is a new film that stars controversial rapper Eminem as his first lead role. It loosely draws inspiration from his childhood in Detroit. Jimmy Smith Jr., a.k.a. Eminem is the role of Jimmy Smith. “Rabbit” is a young man trying to improve his life through “battles”, which freestyling, rap contests held at local nightclubs. Rabbit chokes when it’s his turn to speak on the mic for the first time. Future, Rabbit’s best friend (Mekhi Phifer), hosts these battles. Future believes Rabbit has the potential to be a great leader, but Future makes too many decisions without consulting Rabbit first. Rabbit’s home is less fortunate. His home life is not much better. He is broke and has no place to call his own. He works in a boring job at a steel plant, and Janeane, his girlfriend (Taryn Manning), has tricked him into believing that she’s pregnant. Rabbit’s mother Kim Basinger (Kim Basinger) is in danger of losing her home. She is also sluting around with a man about her age. Rabbit’s life changes when he falls for Alex (Brittany Murphy), a young model-aspiring woman who wants to move to New York.

“8 Mile” is an emotional and touching drama. Eminem shows that he can act, and may even have a future in motion picture acting. While this does not mean that Eminem will be thanking Paul Rosenberg next year for his work, we can expect him to be praised for his future roles in movies. Eminem’s controversial past makes it clear that not everyone will like “8 Mile”. It also features one of my favorite soundtracks in a while. Eminem’s hit song “Lose Yourself”, has a lot of emotion.

Eminem, since he burst onto the music scene in 1999 with his critically-acclaimed/lambasted album “The Slim Shady LP”, he has been met with a lot of controversy, as well as praise. His songs are often funny, but there are also many darker undertones. I think too much has been said about his lyrics. Most of them revolve around homophobia, murder, or his relationship with Kim, his ex-wife. People have forgotten that Eminem said that Hailie Jade is the only thing that really matters to him. Do you think that Eminem would have performed “Stan” if he had not been homophobic?

Eminem is a long-standing fan. I don’t let criticisms of his music get to me. But sometimes, you have to just say “What the heck?” Are they really necessary? They are not necessary, I think. People today are too biased about people like Eminem. Eminem isn’t Vanilla Ice, and “8 Mile” doesn’t attempt to capitalize on his success as “Cool As Ice”.

Here is a list I have of grievances about Eminem that you should know:

  • First, don’t disrespect Eminem. Many of those who detest Eminem have not listened to any of his songs. I believe they only have listened to small clips of his songs that were played in a discussion about his controversial lyrics. You’ll find that he’s a young man with a lot of opinions if you listen to his songs.
  • Do not watch “8 Mile” with predetermined mentalities. People who aren’t convinced of Eminem’s talent will have a harder time enjoying themselves than those who do believe in him.
  • Non-believers may wonder if Eminem truly did not have talent. How is it possible that his albums, “The Slim Shady LP”, Marshall Mathers LP”, and “Devils Night” (with group D-12), have collectively grossed over $12 million? It is clear evidence of TRUE TALENT, I believe.
  • Do you think Eminem would have been as famous if he were black and rapped about “controversial subject matter”? Because most likely, no one would even dare to produce him. However, Eminem is white. I don’t care if he raps about such things.
  • Too many people make Eminem’s race an issue. Eminem is aware that he’s white and will never be anything else. Eminem doesn’t present the “thuggish” image some people believe rappers should display. He doesn’t rap about what some believe is ruining rap music.

Eminem has a lot of future ahead of him. This review was 203 of 257. This review was helpful. Register To vote.
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8/10 So rappers CAN act …? MissMill 28 November 2005

I was afraid about this movie. Eminem would make a movie one day. That movie would be awful! !

It came along, and you know the result? It wasn’t horrible. It was a relief.

Although I have never been able t put my finger on Mr. Mathers’ ability to rap, I find his style amazing. Mathers’ rhymes are intelligent and sharp, and he does them with justification. Could he do it on the big screen? He did. He was natural and real in his first movie. He was able to have good chemistry onscreen with almost all of the characters, but Brittany Murphy was his favorite. (Uh, that sex scene… It was so hot.

The movie’s final battles are the ultimate climax. Eminem’s talent is unquestionable.

  • It might seem easy to be yourself in this movie, but it is not hard to see that the film is a bit autobiographical. It takes courage to be out there like this. Well done.

This review was rated 8/10229 of 249 as helpful. This review was helpful? Register To vote.
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8/10 The perfect movie to watch with Eminem SnoopyStyle4 Oct 2014Jimmy

“B-Rabbit” Smith (Eminem), is eager to become a rapper. It’s 1995 Detroit. He aims to overcome his personal issues with the help of David ‘Future” Porter (Mekhi Phifer). His mother Stephanie (Kim Basinger), is a drinker. When Janeane (Taryn Maning) tells him she is pregnant, he leaves her. He chokes during a head to head rap battle. He can’t move and has to return to his trailer with his mom. Greg Shannon, his mom’s boyfriend, is a complete jerk. He works part-time in grimy auto parts and then meets Alex (Brittany Murphy).

Eminem plays himself, and does a great job. His cast includes some great actors. This movie is all about the feeling of the place. Detroit has the right grittiness. It is evident that the people are desperate. Rap battles can be exhilarating. It is a fairly standard story with some nice touches. It’s all about the perfect story for the ideal lead. This is what he’s really doing. This review was helpful? Register to vote.
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Dark but interestingChuckles118 November 2002

I enjoyed this movie immensely. It was quite a departure from typical Hip-Hop movies, which often glorify the lifestyle of the artist. This is a very materialistic lifestyle. This movie was quite dark.

Eminem was a great actor. He’s not going win Oscars for this role but he does an excellent job acting. You wouldn’t pay much attention to his acting if it wasn’t for who he really is.

Most of you have already heard that the movie is based on Eminem’s real life. However, none of these events are true. His relationship with his mother, Basinger (or at least the way it sounds in his music), is much more friendly than it is in real-life.

Brittany Murphy is his love interest but also his muse.

Some scenes will leave you baffled. Eminem and Murphy’s love scene at the plant is one of them. It is out of place, and it affects the movie’s pace. Taryn Manning’s ex-girlfriend role is also almost inexplicable. Her character is an important plot element in the film. However, the appearance of her character at the end of the film seems unnecessary because it is not well-developed. It is possible that Manning had more scenes that were deleted by editing.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. It may not be as enjoyable for everyone, but it’s likely that they have different expectations. If you’re expecting something other than a hip-hop based film that subtly comments on social/economic/racial issues, and is a pseudo-rags to riches story, then you might be sorely disappointed.74 out of 90 found this helpful. This review was helpful. Register to vote.
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10/108 Mile (2002): A Hip-Hop Movie Masterpiecedavidtkd-2524928 January 2018Warning: Spoilers18 out of 20 found this helpful. This review was helpful? Register to vote.


10/10Great Filmdaveym-649-44496231 July 2017

Watched this for the first time in 10 years recently. This is a wonderful film. It was a true statement of its day. It perfectly illustrates everything that went wrong in America in the 1990’s. This gives food for thought and inspires empathy for the lost generation of poor Americans. Living in trailer parks, gang-related – black and white.

This is where some of the most creative wordsmiths in the world work, creating Rap and Hip Hop music. One Oscar-winning song was created from all this.

It may not be for everyone, but it is worth the effort. 18 out of 21 people found it helpful. This review was helpful? Register to vote.
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10/10this is a movie you can really ‘lose yourself’ in.haydenisticparadise10 November 2002

This movie was amazing! It was amazing! Although I was not a huge fan of Eminem before the movie, I am now. It was eye-opening to see how things differ on the other side of the tracks. The script, the actors and the music were all great. I also loved the lighting. There’s something for everyone! It has comedy, drama, action and sex. The movie was a great film. I laughed so hard that I had to cry at times, and then I just cried at other times. It is a great show that I HIGHLY recommend to anyone, regardless of whether or not they are Eminem fans. Be careful though when trying to enter it. Before my 16-year old friend was allowed to enter, we had to go to four different movie theatres. They are checking I.D. This one is a big deal. Go see the movie! It will be a great movie! It’s my favorite movie! 50 out of 54 people found it helpful. This review was helpful. Register to vote.
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A good story with good moments and a strong central performance 28 January 2003Jimmy rabbit is a white boy from the poor (or black) side of town. He grew up with this influence and has developed rapping abilities, but is too scared to perform in the cruel ‘Shelter’ battles. Jimmy is separated from his girlfriend and returns to the trailer park home of his Mum with her boyfriend. While he works in a pressing shop, he continues to write rhymes and tries to figure out who will help him get out of Detroit.

I finally saw the film after missing preview screenings and not being available to go with friends. Because of the negative or balanced reviews in the media, I was probably better prepared. This allowed me to lower my expectations and I was not disappointed. It is difficult to describe the plot because there is no one narrative. Instead, it is Rabbit’s story. It is therefore a bit rambling, with the story just drifting along. It still works, however. It holds your attention, and there is enough to keep you interested.

It is the telling that makes it best, I believe. Good direction, but the cameras are not ready to glamourise anything. The film’s most clever move was its liberal use of hip hop throughout. We occasionally hear a beat from a song, but it’s not wall-to-wall music like many rappers’ films. Em’s voice can only be heard when a track by Eminem is being played. This saves his vocal skills for the finale. The film isn’t perfect. I was tired of rap scenes in everyday life and it didn’t make sense to me. (Of course, I am not sure if this is the norm for some people’s lives). There are too many scenes that involve meaningless violence. This didn’t feel like Rabbit living a normal life, but rather the film trying show Rabbit tough and ready to take on the world.

After seeing the climax, it is hard to write an honest review. That’s why I left it for a few days before writing this. The Shelter’s climax is a series short battles that are exciting and pumping. It’s not spoiler enough to say that some lines by the rapper are great until Em takes his turn and wrecks the place. It was hilarious and so funky, I wished he’d made more of his own tracks in his recent Benzino disses. He shines in this role, but he is also very good overall. He is likable, but not easy to like. And he doesn’t try to be a sympathetic figure.

Phieffer isn’t as convincing and his acting skills are not as impressive as I’ve seen. Although he can act, he isn’t a great actor. All of the supporting cast are credible and quite convincing. Only a few are clearly stereotypical. Fortunately, the usual rapper appearances are not too intrusive and don’t seem to be too distracting. There might be more, but I only saw Obi Trise (Xhibit) and they didn’t take anything away from my experience. Murphy is sexy and trashy, but her character and sub-plot had no place to go. They just became part of the story. Basinger is okay, but not as bad as I expected or felt she should be. Basinger didn’t have to be his Mum in the songs. However, a little less of the ‘victims of circumstance’ would have helped her buy into it.

Although the message is important, the film’s story was not very well told. The telling is worth it. The direction is good, and the use of music is a nice touch. Eminem makes sure that the film is always worth the effort, whether he is making witty comments in a car park or ripping into the opposition during a battle. Understated! It’s an understatement!

Eminem is a strong presence that makes an average story (at best) unwatchable. This review was viewed by 47 of 80 people. This review was helpful. Register to vote.
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10/10Cool, refreshingreds_savo13 February 2006

This movie is something that really refreshed the Hollywood studio. It’s pretty different than the other movies because of it’s really interesting plot and great cast(including Eminem).I have to say that Eminem did an amazing job on his debut and that he really was fascinating in a role that is maybe very autobiographical. Phenomenal soundtrack including 50 cent and Xzibit and of course “lose yourself”-the academy award winner. I think that the rap contest scenes are the best part of the movie, because they were made so realistic. After all, a movie that is surely creating maybe even an another genre in something that i called movie industry and a great try !23 out of 27 found this helpful. This review was helpful. Register to vote.
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9/10 I was SO surprisednightraven_Dk15 February 2003

I don`t wanna say too much about this flick……..only this…now I didn’t have high expectations for this one and i was amazed by the acting by Eminem, this guy really rocks and so does this movie….do yourself a favor a go see this one….MASTERPIECE13 out of 14 found this helpful. This review was helpful. Register to vote.
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9/10Great filmchristianaugustatanacio3 July 2018

I’m not really into watching this type of genre but this one is different I did not get bored while watching the film and Eminem can really act to think that this is his debut film.10 out of 11 found this helpful. This review was helpful. Register to vote.
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7/10Huh. 7/10Huh. Maybe he is just playing a role so similar to his own that he doesn’t need to act. It’s a predictable story, so there isn’t much tension when you watch it. It was also a mystery to me why untelevised and unpublicized rap fights were so important for grown-ups. It’s still a satisfying underdog story, and I’m glad that I watched it. This review was helpful? Register to vote.
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9/10 Excellent DramaShowtime84011 Nov 2002

I don’t like dramas but “8 Mile” was a great movie. Eminem was an actor I couldn’t have hoped for. His performance was outstanding and kept me engaged throughout the movie. Mekhi Phifer was a great actor and is a rising star in Hollywood. Brittany Murphy could do a better job but her character development was not what I liked. She seems to flip-flop so much that you don’t really know which side she is on. Kim Basinger did an excellent job. I don’t see too many of her movies. Her last movie was “Bless the Child”, which was a huge disappointment.

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