User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 47 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 47
  2. Negative: 7 out of 47

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  1. Dec 18, 2011
    Although it isn't much of an adventurous film but it is entertaining even though the part we want to go see is the adventurous part and it is just a mystery. It does have an extremely talented cast and some cool visual effects enough to compensate. I give this film a 61% of a good movie.
  2. May 19, 2014
    As far as film adaptations go this one gets a pass. The film more or less has everything from the book staying true to the original source material. The film has the look and feel of Ember done right. What bogs it down are some cliché story, dialogue, and characters along with some rushed plot elements and underdeveloped characters, which is common when adapting a book to film. If you are a fan of the book check it out but make sure you keep an open mind as there are some changes made and some scenes cut out, which while they don’t ruin the movie they do detract from it slightly. Overall, this film gets a pass. Expand
  3. Oct 13, 2010
    when it first came out, people enjoyed watching this movie. after that, it didn't even became one of the highest grossing movies of 2008 since it got overshadowed by another movie The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

    so, what about this movie? well, it lacks on both action and adventure, but as a fan of movies based on books like Harry Potter, Narnia, and The Lord of the Rings, I
    say it is a good one and its sticks to the source material from the book.

    Rating: 7/10
  4. Jul 25, 2011
    This movie is a complete joke to all film making. Like it went way too fast so it left a whole bunch of plot holes and terrible special effects for 2008. But thats just the beginning the movie had terrible acting. The two main characters sucked on screen. The best part of the movie was Bill Murray and even he was bad. Now that right there is almost impossible. I actually applaud the director for making Bill Murray look bad. Bill Murray is a legend and he was terrible in that movie. For one he should have been in it a lot more. Two he should have been a LOT funnier. I didn't laugh once when he was on screen. Three they fattened him up terribly to fit the fat mayor character. I mean they like put a pillow in his shirt and started taping. They could have done a little better because of the fact it was an adaption of an amazing childrens book. I read it and loved it. But this movie is up next to Battlefield Earth and Transformers 2. It didn't make sense and i could make a better movie in my sleep. Expand
  5. Aug 25, 2014
    A good movie with a solid plot, good characters, and genuinely interesting idea.

    It was a little strange to talk about the "end of the world", considering the end of the movie itself, but I'll let that pass; what was more interesting was the idea of a world underground that has totally forgotten the humanity's past and life underground. It was almost like some dream-world with their new
    culture and habits.

    With some adventure and mystery this movie wade its way through what could have been a very dull experience, delivering a good story with nice, believable acting.

    I recommend this movie to anyone with a bit of a taste for innocent adventure.

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    At its best when sticking to a classic sci-fi-fantasy format. But when it tries to be a generic thrill ride, it loses its originality and peculiar charm.
  2. Reviewed by: Cammila Albertson
    A fun and moving family film with a subtly dark feel rarely seen in kids' movies since the '80s, City of Ember succeeds despite its shortcomings, not only because of its fun and inspiring story, but because most of its flaws are things kids won't notice anyway.
  3. Though the film ultimately falls short of its considerable promise, there's more than enough here to keep thoughtful moviegoers - of any age - intrigued.