Nov 302004

8MM (1999)

A private investigator is hired to discover if a “snuff film” is authentic or not.

Directed by
Joel Schumacher

Mystery, Thriller

Nicolas Cage, Joaquin Phoenix, James Gandolfini, Peter Stormare, Anthony Heald, Chris Bauer, Catherine Keener, Myra Carter, Amy Morton, Jenny Powell, Anne Gee Byrd, Jack Betts, Luis Oropeza, Rachel Singer, Don Creech

Joel Schumacher is perfectly capable of making a slambang thriller, even if his courses of action often don’t jibe with audience expectations, but his more serious efforts can be completely off the mark. Here, his intention to make a gritty, no-holds-barred film about the porno underworld is laced with tedious TV crime-drama set-ups and clich?s aplenty! Andrew Kevin Walker’s screenplay should bear at least half the blame, but the sinking feeling one gets from “8MM” relates largely to way it looks and plays out. Nicolas Cage is wasted in role as investigator trying to determine if a bloody snuff flick is real, and, if not, what happened to the young female victim involved. Intentionally seamy, but unintentionally stupid. Worth-watching if only for a terrific supporting performance by Joaquin Phoenix as a clerk, but poor Catherine Keener has an insulting role as Cage’s wife.

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