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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 46 Ratings

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  • 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 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
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. 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.
  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. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzales
    The story subtly evokes Rand and scripture, colliding secular and spiritual values, and, as such, appeals to the blue- and red-minded alike.
  4. 63
    It's lumpy, odd and tonally all over the place, but its vision gets to you, and its payoff delivers a tough kid's catharsis.
  5. 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.
  6. Stalls at the intersection of fantasy and science fiction.
  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: 14 out of 20
  2. Negative: 4 out of 20
  1. 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
  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. 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. Expand
  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

See all 20 User Reviews