8 Mile

8MileThis energetic and often exciting feature from Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential, Wonder Boys), set in Detroit in 1995, aims to be the kind of showcase for Eminem and hip-hop that Saturday Night Fever was for John Travolta and disco, and in most respects it succeeds. Hanson depicts a far grungier world, brimming with aggression and homophobia, and one might argue that his version of the working-class “success” story is a lot more honest about the racial and sexual undercurrents of its music and milieu and at least as frank about the desperate need for some kind of transcendence. The movie has some of the braggadocio of its white-trash hero, building to its competitive climax as if it were a gladiatorial sporting event. With Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer, and Brittany Murphy; Scott Silver wrote the well-honed script. 118 min. Burnham Plaza, Century 12 and CineArts 6, Crown Village 18, Ford City, Gardens 1-6, Golf Glen, Lincoln Village, Norridge, North Riverside, River East 21, Village North, Webster Place.

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