City of Ember

City of Ember Image
Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 56 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: For generations, the people of the City of Ember have flourished in an amazing world of glittering lights - underground. But Ember's once powerful generator is failing . . . and the great lamps that illuminate the city are starting to flicker. Now, in a race against time, the citizens mustFor generations, the people of the City of Ember have flourished in an amazing world of glittering lights - underground. But Ember's once powerful generator is failing . . . and the great lamps that illuminate the city are starting to flicker. Now, in a race against time, the citizens must search Ember for clues that will unlock the ancient mystery of the city's existence, and escape before the lights go out forever. (FoxWalden) Expand

Trailer

Autoplay: On | Off

Where To Watch

Stream On
Stream On
Stream On
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. 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.
  2. 75
    City of Ember has almost anything one could want from a science fiction-based family adventure film: likeable characters, an imaginative setting, and a fast pace.
  3. 70
    The story subtly evokes Rand and scripture, colliding secular and spiritual values, and, as such, appeals to the blue- and red-minded alike.
  4. All the running, the hiding, the escaping (from giant moles, from giant Murray) are decidedly less exciting, and compelling, than City of Ember wants to be.
  5. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    City of Ember lacks the vision and scope of "WALL-E," but it's based on a pretty good kids' book and it makes a pretty good "Twilight Zone" episode, with hope dangling at the end rather than one of Rod Serling's cosmic black jokes.
  6. 50
    Ultimately, it's undone by the overfamiliar nature of Doon and Lina's quest, the outcome of which, while breathlessly paced, is never really in question.
  7. 30
    A murky, directionless plot sinks this big-budget fantasy despite Martin Laing's elaborate production design; the dark, industrial-looking sets often recall "Brazil" but without that film's thrilling sense of an imagination run amok.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 24
  2. Negative: 4 out of 24
  1. JonathanS
    Jun 5, 2009
    10
    City of Ember is a fine thrilling film.
  2. 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 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
  3. 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, 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. Expand
  4. 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 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
  5. Oct 12, 2014
    6
    Enjoyable movie, I was expecting something better from the end, good acting, I didn't get it what was the relationship between the headlinesEnjoyable movie, I was expecting something better from the end, good acting, I didn't get it what was the relationship between the headlines characters. The script could be better but for the public is good. Expand
  6. HyperS
    Jan 15, 2009
    5
    If I had to compare this movie to one thing I'd say its like a Disney World log-flume ride gone amok. Lots of absurd and pointless If I had to compare this movie to one thing I'd say its like a Disney World log-flume ride gone amok. Lots of absurd and pointless over-the-top mechanisms round out an end-of-the-world story filled with so many obvious plot holes that it leaves the viewer with a "Huh?" as the movie reaches its conclusion. So where did the 5 rating come from? The adventure/mystery style of this movie reminds me of old puzzle/adventure video games [Myst,etc] that I liked as a kid and since its a kid's movie I can overlook the implausibility of the plot line enough to give it a 5. A young kid probably wouldn't mind all the plot holes so for them maybe this movie is a 7 or 8. Final word though to the builders: Elevator! Expand
  7. TommyBoy
    Oct 25, 2008
    0
    Walked out after the first 15 minutes. Could tell from the "get-go" this movie was going to be another Hollywood "craper". Got a pass for my Walked out after the first 15 minutes. Could tell from the "get-go" this movie was going to be another Hollywood "craper". Got a pass for my next time movie outing. Note: If you leave a theater and your only into less then 20-30 minutes of the movie..most theaters will give you a refund in the form of a "Pass" to another movie of your choice at that time or another day. Expand

See all 24 User Reviews

Trailers