6.5/10
54,863
105 user 118 critic

City of Ember (2008)

For generations, the people of the City of Ember have flourished in an amazing world of glittering lights. But Ember's once powerful generator is failing ... and the great lamps that illuminate the city are starting to flicker.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
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3,176 ( 22)

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ON DISC
6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Liam Burke ...
Mr. Boaz
Brid Ni Chionaola ...
Seely Schnap
Maureen Dow ...
Mrs. Sample
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Lorraine Hilton ...
B.J. Hogg ...
Mayor's Guard
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Clary
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Storyline

When mankind is about to come to an end, a group of scientists decide to create and populate a city deep underground. The city of Ember is to last for 200 years after which its inhabitants are to retrieve from a strong box instructions to return to the surface. Over time however, the message is lost and life in Ember is rapidly deteriorating. Their power supply is failing and food is being rationed. It's left to two young adults to unearth the secret of Ember and to lead the way out. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

food | box | scientist | mayor | pipeworks | See All (159) »

Taglines:

Discover The Secret See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild peril and some thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

10 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cidade das Sombras  »

Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£496,909 (UK) (10 October 2008)

Gross:

$7,871,693 (USA) (9 January 2009)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the filming of city of ember in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the main city was all built in a paint house. The actors and extras were given maps as it was nearly as big as a small town. See more »

Goofs

When riding the boat through the flume, they come upon an obvious drop. Water is pouring over the edge. But, when they land in the lake after the drop, there is no water pouring, over them or behind them. See more »

Quotes

Doon Harrow: I got lost, I'm sorry!
Looper: Get lost again!
[throws him to the ground]
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Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Episode #5.41 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Mrs. Murdo's Believers Song
Written and Performed by Mary Kay Place
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Decent movie, lacking some story, lacking some direction.
9 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If the only thing City of Ember does is show that Belfast can play host to high concept movies, then it was worthwhile, but no doubt, it was aiming for more than that. Perhaps to stand next to such fare as Harry Potter, or a Pixar flick.

Unfortunately, it falls short, but only just. This is without doubt, an exciting romp about two coming-of-age children who break out of the mold forced on them by the dying Ember, and in doing so, change everything. The acting is solid, the set design and music excellent. The concept, the builders of Ember leaving behind secret instructions to get back to the world, is genuinely engaging.

Unfortunately, they don't get to these instructions fast enough, and a lot of time is spent wandering around the, albeit, beautiful city. Often times there is a lack of a perceived threat. Despite being replete with a nefarious mayor and a mutated mole (like the massive moths, never explained), the story uses neither of these things enough, leaving some scenes to be propelled solely by the heroes following the by-the-numbers instructions left to them. Worst of all, the ending feels like a poor man's Goonies.

In the director's corner, he is guilty of some slow scenes, but what is almost unforgivable is the flat looks of the actors during intense CGI action. Somebody wasn't thinking ahead.

Nonetheless, a charming film that I hope made enough money to spawn treatment of the books sequels.


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