User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 54 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 54
  2. Negative: 7 out of 54
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  1. Aug 25, 2014
    7
    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
    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.
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  2. Oct 13, 2010
    7
    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
    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
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  3. NickK
    Jan 10, 2009
    9
    Haven't seen a good family movie like this since the 80's. The only problems I felt it had, is that it all happened a bit fast creating plot holes. But for what it was, and something we have not seen for a while, it was well done, all you credits are to damn picky.
  4. ImNoYank
    Oct 13, 2008
    8
    Cant say that i have ever heard of the book over here in the real world(Europe) but i will say that it was a very entertaining movie Im not going to give it a 10 because it is not a showstopping blockbuster like Gladiator or A New Hope. but i will content on giving this a positive 8.
  5. Zpocz
    Feb 1, 2009
    8
    a visually impressive kids movie that forgoes the patronizing, condescending tone most hollywood movies aimed at children take. instead, it delivers an interesting story and it even manages to provide food for thought for kids you might hope grow up to be aware of the fallacies of authority gone unchecked and unquestioned, and dangers of complacency. the story is in the form of a fable, a visually impressive kids movie that forgoes the patronizing, condescending tone most hollywood movies aimed at children take. instead, it delivers an interesting story and it even manages to provide food for thought for kids you might hope grow up to be aware of the fallacies of authority gone unchecked and unquestioned, and dangers of complacency. the story is in the form of a fable, so if you're looking for logical consistency then i'd suggest looking elsewhere (but really, if that's what you care about in a kids movie i'd suggest rethinking your priorities...) the plot is indeed a little bigger than the movie has room for, but it still succeeds, overall, in telling a compelling, entertaining story. unfortunately, this movie was a flop, but i have the feeling it'll be a cult classic in 10 years. Expand
  6. JonathanS
    Jun 5, 2009
    10
    City of Ember is a fine thrilling film.
  7. RobertE.
    Oct 10, 2008
    9
    The book is perfectly realized with a wonderful set design, tight plot, and fine acting in the character roles, especially, though the principals are strong also. The focus of the film, as it was in the book, is on the courage and ingenuity of the young heroine and hero. Adults can't fail to notice the metaphoric theme of a world overused and wearing out, with most everyone in denial The book is perfectly realized with a wonderful set design, tight plot, and fine acting in the character roles, especially, though the principals are strong also. The focus of the film, as it was in the book, is on the courage and ingenuity of the young heroine and hero. Adults can't fail to notice the metaphoric theme of a world overused and wearing out, with most everyone in denial or taking advantage of the situation. Bill Murray as the politician grown fat on what he steals from the people while buoying up their confidence with patriotic songs and insincere piety - an almost terrifying-good performance, especially because we see our leader making his little performance on TV almost every day now - as the economy fall apart around our ears. Expand
  8. 7b
    Oct 13, 2008
    8
    Great movie for pretty much any age - looking forward to reading the book to drink in even more of the details.
  9. Darren
    Oct 16, 2008
    7
    If you go to see a kids movie, then expect to be entertained, drop your expectations for a super fantastic film. Some films exceed childish expectations and give you more than you paid for, others don't. I expected the film to immerse my childish mind into a world that I saw in the trailers. I thought the film did a great job of creating a world that was totally dependant on the If you go to see a kids movie, then expect to be entertained, drop your expectations for a super fantastic film. Some films exceed childish expectations and give you more than you paid for, others don't. I expected the film to immerse my childish mind into a world that I saw in the trailers. I thought the film did a great job of creating a world that was totally dependant on the light the generator was made for. It had enough suspense for an eight year old to forget the obvious plot holes and shortcomings. But most children don't look for faults, they look for peril, action and adventure. And for that goal alone, it was achieved. Were there plot holes, of course there were. Why would mankind put enough idiots in the city and hope that two kids were born to solve all the problems? How could a box that was in every mayors portrait be able to be lost and fogotten. Or that one person alone would only know what his one dial would be for and not the rest? For the good of mankind we'll have a bunch of idiots kept safe. I don't think that was the plan, but thats what they seemed to film. Overall, I enjoyed the film. I got lost in the city, and the fresh idea that mankind came up with a solution to the disaster that would come; rather than have the US come up with some plan to save the day and be all heroic. Expand
  10. RichardG.
    Jan 21, 2009
    8
    The movie was just good. The theme is very well made & you will feel creepy but pleasure with it. Although the plot &is a little bit letdown, but still a good movie to watch. I recommend this for family movies, not for mile high club.
  11. CityofEmberEmber
    Jun 11, 2009
    10
    Awesome movie! I loved it! I especially like Lina Mayfleet!
  12. JenniferS
    Nov 16, 2009
    7
    The plot has potential meaning and mostly fulfilled this. But yes, empty spots in this movie, a few, it feels like. A bit too scary for PG... I am 20 and for someone as aiming as I am, that sewer rat, that had the face of some species of sea creature, had me closing my eyes or looking away; it made the movie much more explanatory, by far- but it would give quite a fright to even a The plot has potential meaning and mostly fulfilled this. But yes, empty spots in this movie, a few, it feels like. A bit too scary for PG... I am 20 and for someone as aiming as I am, that sewer rat, that had the face of some species of sea creature, had me closing my eyes or looking away; it made the movie much more explanatory, by far- but it would give quite a fright to even a good-hearted 8 year old. I gave this a decent, hard rating. Definitely a keeper at some point. Expand
Metascore
58

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
    63
    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
    88
    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.