8MM (1999, Nicolas Cage, Joaquin Phoenix)

Poster for the movie "8MM"
R 123 min - Thriller, Crime, Mystery - 25 February 1999
Our rating:

Director Joel Schumacher's thriller moves beyond Gotham City and D-FENS straight to the heart of darkness. Settling her late husband's estate, a wealthy widow uncovers an ageing 8mm film depicting the apparent murder of a young girl. She hires private eye Tom Welles (Nicolas Cage) to try and identify the 'star', and is told that the girl was a wannabe actress called Mary Anne Mathews.

Travelling to Los Angeles, Welles begins his tour of the extreme sex business, meeting treble-x mogul Eddie Poole (James Gandolfini) and enlisting Max California (Joaquin Phoenix) as his guide through the underworld. Searching for 'snuff' movies, the pair find only fakes linked by a sadistic leading masked man known as Machine (Chris Baeur) and marked with a tattoo identical to one seen in the movie. The connection takes them to Dino Velvet (Peter Stormare), a porno visionary whom Welles plans to entrap, unaware that a sinister group of men plan to protect their secret regardless of the consequences…

Comparisons with Schrader's Hardcore and Powell's Peeping Tom are inevitable and not unflattering, particularly thanks to Se7en author Andrew Kevin Walker, and the characteristic canny casting which sees Cage's dilemma - to destroy the monster or become him - played out with credible inelegance. His personal quest may be the film's artery but Phoenix's performance is its heart, offering humour and compassion, which bring a vitality and fresh motivation to Welles' crusade.

Director:  Joel Schumacher
Producer:  Joel Schumacher, Judy Hofflund, Gavin Polone
Composer:  Mychael Danna
Director of Photography:  Robert Elswit


Production Details

Release Date:  25 February 1999

Running Time:  2 h 03 min

Genres: Thriller, Crime, Mystery

Language:  English

Tagline: You can't prepare for where the truth will take you.

Budget and Box Office takings where known

Budget:  $40,000,000
Revenue:  $96,618,699