February 26, 1999 0 By Fans
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Still of Nicolas Cage and Catherine Keener in 8MMStill of Nicolas Cage and Joaquin Phoenix in 8MMStill of Nicolas Cage in 8MMStill of Nicolas Cage in 8MMNicolas Cage as Tom WellesTom Welles (Nicholas Cage) is a private investigator and family man living a simple life in Pennsylvania - until a reel of crudely shot eight millimeter film sends him down a sordid and terrifying path into society's darkest corners.


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

Release Year: 1999

Rating: 6.3/10 (60,909 voted)

Critic's Score: 19/100

Joel Schumacher

Stars: Nicolas Cage, Joaquin Phoenix, James Gandolfini

A small, seemingly innocuous plastic reel of film leads surveillance specialist Tom Welles down an increasingly dark and frightening path. With the help of the streetwise Max, Welles relentlessly follows a bizarre trail of evidence to determine the fate of a complete stranger. As his work turns into obsession, he drifts farther and farther away from his wife, family and simple life as a small-town private eye.


Nicolas Cage

Tom Welles

Joaquin Phoenix

Max California

James Gandolfini

Eddie Poole

Peter Stormare

Dino Velvet

Anthony Heald

Daniel Longdale

Chris Bauer

George Higgins

Catherine Keener

Amy Welles

Myra Carter

Mrs. Christian

Amy Morton

Janet Mathews

Jenny Powell

Mary Ann Mathews

Anne Gee Byrd

Senator Michaelson

Jack Betts


Luis Oropeza

Archive Director

Rachel Singer


Don Creech

Mr. Anderson

Some doors should never be opened

Release Date: 26 February 1999

Filming Locations: Clevelander Hotel – 1020 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, Florida, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $40,000,000


Opening Weekend: $14,252,888
(28 February 1999)
(2370 Screens)

Gross: $36,283,504
(9 May 1999)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


The graffiti-covered buildings shown in the film are all that is left of some radar buildings built by Howard Hughes.


Factual errors:
Hollywood has no red-light district.


[first lines]

Airport Announcer:
Welcome to Miami. While in the airport, please observe Florida and local laws which prohibit any smoking in the terminal. Thank you for not smoking.

User Review

A dark, graphic view into the underworld of pornography

Rating: 8/10

Firstly, this film is hugely under-rated. For those reviewers who call
this film a "waste of time" or place it in the "hall of shame", maybe
they should go back to watching more obvious and simple films.

8mm focuses on "snuff" movies and follows Nicholas Cage as he ventures
into the dark underworld of the pornographic industry. I'm not a great
fan of Nicholas Cage (I still wonder how he ever made it as a movie
star), but in 8mm felt he redeemed himself from past performances.
Other actors in the film put on great performances, notably Joaquin
Pheonix, and James Gandolfini (of Sopranos).

What makes the film worth watching though is the emotion, dark imagery
and tense moments throughout the film. The storyline too is very well
thought out although does have a few holes and untouched areas that may
have helped develop the film further. There is no Hollywood ending,
forced propaganda, or marketing. What you do get is graphic scenes,
moderate violence, and an insight into "snuff" movies (which really is
quite disturbing).

Having said that this movie is not for the faint hearted, so if you're
a "puppy-dogs and ice-cream" kind of person I'd suggest watching
something else. If however, you feel you will be able to stomach such a
film then prepare yourself for a moving film, which will leave you
feeling that little bit darker at the end.

I highly recommend this film. 8/10