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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.



(screenplay), (book)
4,370 ( 451)
6 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
... Lina Mayfleet
... Chief Builder
... Doon Harrow
... Mrs. Murdo
... Loris Harrow
... Mayor Cole
... Looper
... Barton Snode
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Liam Burke ... Mr. Boaz
Brid Ni Chionaola ... Seely Schnap
Maureen Dow ... Mrs. Sample
... Lizzie Bisco
Lorraine Hilton ... Miss Thorn
B.J. Hogg ... Mayor's Guard
... Clary


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


Discover The Secret See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cidade das Sombras  »


Box Office


$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,129,473, 12 October 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$7,873,007, 15 January 2009

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Doon gets his first glimpse of the generator, the camera views it from our perspective instead. Director Gil Kenan did it this way because Doon acts as our eyes and it conveys to us the importance of the generator to his city and our story. See more »


(at around 34 mins) 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 »


Captain Fleery: Stop! I need to tell you the rules. One: When a customer...
Lina Mayfleet: Gives you a message, repeat it back to make sure you've got it right. Two: Always wear the red cape so people can identify you. Three: Our customers pay 20 coins for every message no matter how far we have to carry it, so go fast. I love going fast.
Captain Fleery: Very good. I'm impressed. Now go!
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Referenced in Fred: Fred: A Star in His Own Mind (2008) See more »


Ember Is Forever
Written by Becky Stark
Performed by Becky Stark and the Citizens of Ember
Becky Stark appears courtesy of Matador Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Flawed... but with enough of its own to separate it from the flock
25 February 2009 | by See all my reviews

Had some trouble deciding my rating on this one. There is much about it to like, for sure, but there are also some flaws that cant be overlooked. It has great setting and atmosphere, an intriguing plot and charm to boot. Such things scores a lot with me. The directing is at times questionable though, there is little sense of pacing and there are some parts that feel tacked on (the crazy flumride anybody)just because its supposed to be a summerfranchie. The cute little girl is completely superfluous, and Bill Murray and Treadaway's Doon doesn't make enough with their characters (or isn't allowed too). One thing is clear. Its strenghs of this film mostly resides within the source material(witch i haven't read though). Its really nice for a change to see a fantasy film without a lot of monsters, the enemies here are brain-stagnation, greed and selfishness. Some parts had me snickering. The parts where they are handed there jobs through lottery (a jab at communism?)and the old man with the pipes. THe story is actually pretty good, not original, but tightly woven and deceivingly fresh with a timely message. In short, the source-material had the brains, but the director lacked the guts (or maybe just the talent, or were assasinated by his studio) too go through with it.

Still, it beats the latest Narnia installment, and the latest Harry Potter too for that matter. Also, Ronan, the kid from Atonement, turns in a good performance.

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