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City of Ember (2008)

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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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(screenplay), (book)
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6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Looper
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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 (160) »

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

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Language:

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

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The rat-like creature that chases the main characters is a giant version of the star-nosed mole ("Condylura cristata"), native to eastern Canada and the northeast United States. As these animals are blind, they use their nasal tentacles, known as Eimer's organ, to detect food. Although all European moles share this feature, the star-nosed mole is the only animal with such a specialized one. Apart its size in the movie (real animals are 15 to 20 cm long), nothing else was changed. See more »

Goofs

(at around 14 mins) When Lina Mayfleet receives her red messenger poncho she puts it on quickly and Captain Fleery begins lacing it up. He never finishes, but when Lina pauses at the door to recite the protocol, it is more fully laced up. See more »

Quotes

[Mayor Cole addresses perhaps a couple of dozen citizens and gives what is meant to be a rousing speech, like a true politician: promising much but with little action to accomplish anything]
Mayor Cole: These are trying and troubled times. Our problems are grave. We need answers, but beyond answers, more important than answers, we need solutions. And in order to find those solutions, I propose we launch a thorough investigation.
[Many members of the small crowd nod and say "Yes."]
Mayor Cole: I hereby declare the ...
[...]
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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

 
Young actors save the day for the city
29 October 2008 | by (Philippines) – See all my reviews

"City of Ember", director Gil Kenan's follow up to his horror-lite for preteens "Monster House", is a fun ride that's well worth the admission price if only for the superb production design and the likable leads.

Lina Mayfleet (Saoirse Ronan) and Doon Harrow (Harry Treadaway) are two of the inhabitants of the City of Ember - an underground city designed to house humans for two centuries as an unspecified disaster takes place on the surface. But as the 200 years have passed, the generator that powers the city gradually falters, causing more frequent blackouts and scarce provisions.

When no one would listen to them, especially the city mayor - Mayor Cole (the effective yet underused Bill Murray) - it then becomes up to Lina and Doon to find the exit that leads to the surface, which is infinitely easier in theory than in practice, considering the plethora of puzzles and riddles they would have to solve.

Without having read the film's source material - Jeanne Duprau's novel

  • there's no way I can say if the script holds up to the narrative of


its literary counterpart, but here's where the film mainly falters. The film feels like a rushed end product crammed to fit within the confines of a typical family flick. Exposition is kept in the sidelines and character development seems more of a ploy to advance the plot than genuine attempts in sculpting something more than cardboard-cut supporting characters.

But despite the narrative faults, Kenan imbues such a magical quality to the dank environment. And for a film lacking impressive turns from its more mature and established actors (including Tim Robbins as Doon's father), upcoming stars Ronan and Treadaway's animated performances save the day, right from a sweeping introduction of the claustrophobic city to a touching finale that finally affirms the characters' quest for light amidst the darkness.


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