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8mm is a 1999 American mystery thriller film, directed by Joel Schumacher and written by Andrew Kevin Walker. It stars Nicolas Cage as a private investigator who delves into the world of snuff films. Private investigator Tom Welles is contacted by Daniel Longdale, attorney for wealthy widow Mrs. Christian, whose husband has recently died. While clearing out her late husband's safe, she and Mr. Longdale find an 8 mm film which appears to depict a real murder, but Mrs. Christian wants to know for certain. After looking through missing persons files, Welles discovers the girl is Mary Ann Mathews, and visits her mother, Janet Mathews. While searching the house with her permission, he finds Mary Ann's diary, in which she says she went to Hollywood to become a film star. He asks Mrs. Mathews if she wants to know the truth, even if it is the worst. She says that she wants to know what happened to her daughter. In Hollywood, with the help of an adult video store employee called Max California, Welles penetrates the underworld of illegal pornography.
Throw in a story that rambles along in typical Schumacher fashion without much direction (with Cage turning vigilante in the last 40 minutes of film) and you've got a real dud. The prime example: as it turns out, everybody but Nic recognizes the killer in the film after they see it -- making his weeks of searching the missing persons archives for the ID of the girl (and an hour of screen time) useless. Some of the characters are memorable, notably Phoenix as 'Max California,' porn expert, but overall this is one for which we needn't pray for a sequel.