New On Netflix: 8 Mile

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Whether it’s based (loosely or otherwise) on the life of its star or not is probably moot, as 8 Mile is a great story no matter whose it is. Eminem shows off his impressive acting chops as Jimmy ‘B-Rabbit’ Smith, a blue collar factory worker looking to jumpstart his career as a hip hop artist but finding frustration and seemingly insurmountable personal challenges at every turn. As good as Eminem is, he’s second fiddle to the city of Detroit itself, expertly portrayed here as a crumbling, poor and dangerous ‘hood that is nonetheless crackling with creative energy. 8 Mile is an angry, rough but ultimately optimistic and inspiring drama, with some terrific performances by Kim Basinger as Jimmy’s trailer trash mom and the late Brittany Murphy as the local girl who skips the date and goes right to the sex (in the factory, at that).