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City of Ember (2008)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 42,117 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 94 user | 117 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

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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Title: City of Ember (2008)

City of Ember (2008) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Builder
...
...
...
B.J. Hogg ...
Mayor's Guard
...
...
Matt Jessup ...
Joss
Lara McIvor ...
Roner
Myles Thompson ...
Smat
Eoin McAndrew ...
Student
Rachel Morton ...
Student
...
Student
Lorraine Hilton ...
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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 | secret | See more »

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:

Language:

Release Date:

10 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

City of Ember  »

Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£496,909 (UK) (10 October 2008)

Gross:

$7,871,693 (USA) (9 January 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There were so many sets built for the film that some of them wound up never being used. They do sometimes feature prominently in the background, like the hairdressers, but they play no part in the story. See more »

Goofs

When the girl shows the piece of glass from the box to her friend, she says "it's so shiny", this does not suggest she has never seen glass before. When glass ages in the open it slowly turns an orange or brown color, like those in the city. However, this piece by virtue of being inside the strong box has stayed clear. See more »

Quotes

[Doon and Lina have discovered a hidden bicycle-like jalopy with which their parents had tried to escape Ember, many years ago]
Lina Mayfleet: What is this?
Doon Harrow: [recognizing the built-from-weird-parts look of the thing] My dad made this.
Lina Mayfleet: It doesn't look very safe.
Doon Harrow: That's my dad. Everything he makes looks like this.
See more »

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

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
City of Ember
10 October 2008 | by (Orlando, FL) – See all my reviews

Having just taken 129 eighth-graders who read the book to see the premiere, everyone left the theater disappointed with what director Kil Kenan and screenwriter Caroline Thompson have given us with this translation from the page to the screen. Thompson, an accomplished screenwriter, deserves more of the blame in their (and my) opinion.

Books rarely translate better to film and this one suffers for many reasons. Jeanne DuPrau's book is an amazing trove of metaphors (candles, the library, the seed, the Pipeworks, and the city itself). When works of literature work on multiple levels, the filmmakers should at least offer us more than one. In fact, this book could be a metaphor for metaphors -- there are things below the surface that exist whether we acknowledge them or not; it is our job to find the tools to excavate the "deeper" level of what exists for others only on the surface.

Having sacrificed the novel's intellectual depth, the film version does a great disservice to the dedicated reader: we are given special effects that defy logic and re-focus the story unnaturally and unnecessarily; there are included scenes of hyped-up action they are neither satisfying nor helpful with advancing the plot; we lose some of the intricate details of character development; there's an unnecessary inclusion of giant scary creatures that offer distracting (and bizarre) thrills; and the mystery of what Ember is is destroyed in the first minute of narration.

The design of the film is great, but as in design, the beauty is found in the details. I believe that the greatest details of the book are missing, hidden away like the people of Ember. Let them come into the light!


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